Most participants in the Ministerial Conference in Support of the Autonomy Initiative under Morocco Sovereignty, held virtually on Friday, January 15, 2021, expressed strong support for Morocco’s autonomy initiative as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to this regional dispute.
Participants in this conference, held at the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America, committed to continue their advocacy for a solution, using Morocco’s autonomy plan as the sole framework for resolving the Sahara dispute, according to a Chairs Summary made public at the end of the Conference.
Representing 40 countries, among which 27 were represented at the ministerial level, participants welcomed the development endeavors launched in the region including in the framework of Morocco’s "New Development Model for the Southern Provinces."
Most participants recalled the Proclamation of the United States of America of December 10, 2020, entitled "Recognizing the Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over Western Sahara," which reaffirmed support for Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute.
The US Proclamation also urged the parties to engage in discussions in coordination with the United Nations without delay, according to the Chairs Summary.
The participants also underlined that the US Presidential Proclamation provides guidance for efforts to advance the UN-exclusive political process aiming at reaching a lasting political solution, with the autonomy initiative as the only realistic basis for such a solution. This Proclamation will strengthen the international consensus in support of the UN-exclusive political process.
The Conference highlighted the decision of twenty United Nations Member States to open Consulates General in the Moroccan cities of Laayoune and Dakhla, considering that such steps will promote economic and business opportunities for the region, strengthen the vocation of the Sahara region as an economic hub for the entire continent and advance progress towards reaching a long-awaited final political solution to this dispute, which has been going on for several decades.