Rabat – Morocco’s United Nations Permanent Ambassador Omar Hilale underscored Morocco’s plans to promote development in Western Sahara, emphasizing that socio-economic progress “should not be held hostage by the political process.”
For more than 30 years, Morocco has been increasing its efforts to enhance further progress and to empower local residents.
During the United Nations C24 regional seminar, held on May 9-11 in the Caribbean country, Grenada, Hilale reaffirmed that the Western Sahara conflict remains a question of national unity and territorial integrity for all Moroccans.
In his statement to the seminar, Hilale emphasized that the region was neglected before its “return to the homeland in 1975.”
“Morocco has made important public investments,” he said, to serve the region at different levels, including infrastructure, industry; services, agriculture, health, education, and tourism.
The official added that the aspects of human development in the region are “higher than the national average and have enabled the opening up and upgrading of the Saharan provinces.”
Hilale also discussed King Mohammed VI’s development plan for the region, which launched in 2015 with a budget of nearly USD 8 billion.
Morocco’s regional development plan has enabled local inhabitants to take care of their domestic affairs in a “democratic, participatory and inclusive way,” he said.
Hilale also expressed that Morocco is committed to the UN-political process on the basis of Security Council resolutions since 2007.
The ambassador concluded his statement, underscoring the importance of the recent Security Council resolution 2414, adopted on April 28.
The resolution, according to Hilale, reaffirmed the parameters of the political solution, which “must be pragmatic, realistic and compromise.”
The resolution also obliged the Polisario Front to withdraw from the region immediately and to stop its maneuvers that could hinder and destabilize the region.
The UN also urged Polisario’s main backer, Algeria, to not shrink from its duty to contribute to the political process and find a mutually acceptable solution to end the 40-year conflict over the region.