Following the mid-March landmark court ruling in New Zealand, Aymeric Chauprade urges Western Sahara investment
Rabat – The EU’s Aymeric Chauprade is calling a recent New Zealand court case on Western Sahara phosphates a “victory of reason.” The former European parliamentarian and current Foreign Affairs Committee member for the European Parliament wrote a scathing article in the EU’s Parliament Magazine decrying “Polisario’s legal manoeuvres.”
Chauprade used his article in the EU publication to highlight the landmark court case in New Zealand that once again confirmed the legality of doing business with products from Morocco’s southern Western Sahara region.
“Polisario has been trying for years to damage Morocco’s trade relations with other countries,” Chauprade wrote before highlighting examples of the practice in the EU. “However, whenever the EU-Morocco trade relationship has been endangered by Polisario’s legal manoeuvres, reason has always prevailed,” the former MEP concluded.
Chauprade used the New Zealand court case to highlight the dubious legal status of Polisario itself, which claims to represent all Sahrawi people yet blocks any efforts to conduct an internally recognized census in its Tindouf camps. The New Zealand court ruling “underlines yet again the fragility or even absence of any legal status of the Polisario movement,” Chauprade wrote.
Aymeric Chauprade emphasized the importance of the New Zealand ruling on its pension fund investments in Western Sahara products. The fund in question “is rated A+ by the United Nations in its annual assessment of governance and strategy for responsible investment,” Chauprade highlighted.
The article in the EU’s Parliament Magazine uses the New Zealand case as further evidence that Morocco’s Western Sahara region is open for business.
Chauprade described how the Fund’s defense had “provided convincing evidence that investment and business activities in Morocco’s southern provinces are fully consistent with international responsible investment practices.”
The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee member emphasized how the New Zealand pension fund had not made the decision lightly.
The fund had consulted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, local industry, and visited Morocco’s southern provinces on multiple occasions. Chauprade described how the fund’s representatives had “seen for themselves the positive social and economic impact of their activities.”
The prominent EU politician wrote that “once again, a national court affirms that it is legal to invest in the southern provinces of Morocco.” Those investments, he concluded, “contribute, through economic investment, to the development of an entire region of Morocco.”
The New Zealand ruling should have consequences in how the EU approaches business dealings with Morocco’s Western Sahara region according to Chauprade. Regional disputes ought to be left to the UN, he concluded on the region’s official status.
Chauprade was most damning on Polisario who brought the case to the New Zealand high court. “By once again directly attacking the economic and social development of the Moroccan Sahara regions, Polisario demonstrates that it does not have the welfare of the Sahrawi population at heart,” he analyzed.
Chauprade left no stone unturned in his damning conclusion. He stated that “year after year, legal failure after legal failure, Polisario reveals its sad face: that of an organisation from the past, which is heading for the dustbin of history.”