Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights examined the second periodical report submitted by Morocco on the measures it has taken in order to conform to the provisions of the International Pact on economic, social and cultural rights. In the paragraph on the right to self-determination, Morocco declares itself "a supporter of dialogue, consultation and the right of peoples to self-determination", adding that "Morocco is endeavouring to achieve complete territorial integrity in strict compliance with international law"...
In its commentary, "the Committee regrets that there has not been a definitive solution to the question of self-determination. The Committee encourages the State party to seek, in cooperation with the United Nations, a solution to the problems impeding the realization of the referendum on the issue of self-determination in the Western Sahara."
During a debate in the House of Commons on EU aid, Tess Kingham MP stated that Morocco has received substantial EU aid in recent years. Adding that "it is difficult to see how Morocco's need can be deemed greater than many of the poorest countries. Given the mainstreaming of human rights, it is also difficult to justify giving such large sums of aid to a country that is still occupying Western Sahara. How are the human rights of the Saharawi people weighed and defined?" She is concerned also by the fact that the international community, including the UK Government, is shying away from supporting a referendum for people in Western Sahara. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development (Mr. George Foulkes) in his answer said he appreciated what Mrs Kingham said about Morocco, adding "I remember my visit to see the plight of the Polisario front, so I understand that as well."
National Union of Saharawi Women
In the context of a tour of Latin America, a delegation from the NUSW stayed
in Cuba, where they had a number of talks at different levels.
At a meeting of the Fisheries Committee in Brussels, Struan Stevenson MEP (UK, Conservative, Fisheries Spokesperson) , raised a point of order demanding a legal ruling on the fisheries agreement between the EC & Morocco. Quoting fom a recent answer of Fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler stating that "In the event of a future fisheries agreement with Morocco, and consequently at the time of any possible negotiations, the Commission will refer to "Morocco's fishing zone," this area being defined as "the waters coming under the sovereignty and/or jurisdiction of Morocco", the British MEP would like to know "what legal grounds exist in international law that enables the EU to use tax payer's money to pay the Moroccan government for fishing rights which do not belong to them."
The president of the Saharawi parliament, Salem Lebsir, is visiting the Balearic Islands at the invitation of his counterpart, Maximilien Morales. Received by the president of the autonomous government, he declared that "we have fixed with the UN an ultimatum of four months for it to find a definitive solution to the conflict and to put pressure on Morocco to agree to the organisation of the referendum."
«New cases of forced disappearance and arbitrary detention have been settled. The independent arbitration commission responsible for the compensation of victims of human rights abuses has given his verdict in some 170 new cases. It essentially concerns former detainees of the secret prisons of Qalaât M'gouna et Agdez (Khenitra), most of them originate from the Southern Provinces [= Western Sahara]» (L'Economiste, Morocco)
A top-level British delegation recently visited the liberated territories, especially the region of Tifariti. The delegation was made up of the assistant to the [British] ambassador in Rabat; the British military attache; and a senior member of the embassy staff in Rabat.
Common Declaration of three German NGOs: "Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt", "medico international" and "Kritische Ökologie", on the occasion of the visit of the Moroccan Prime Minister to Berlin and Potsdam from 3-6 December. The three NGOs ask the German authorities to indicate to their guest that "the violation of human rights and of international law puts into question any advance in bi-lateral relations" between Germany and Morocco.
Abraham Serfaty asks for the resignation of the Moroccan Prime Minister, A Youssoufi, after the publication in Morocco of a letter implicating him in a failed coup d'état against Hassan II in 1972.
The municipality of Redondela (Galice) will send a delegation to the Saharawi camps to conclude a twinning pact with Edchera, a locality in Western Sahara.
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