EUCOCO reaffirms support for self-determination for independence of Western Sahara

Berlin, 3 December 2022 (SPS) - Participants in the 46th conference of the European Coordination for Support and Solidarity with the Saharawi People (EUCOCO), held on Friday and Saturday in Berlin, have reaffirmed their support for the right to self-determination for the independence of Western Sahara.

The conference, which was attended by no less than 220 participants, stressed it was "aware of the particularity of the current context characterized by the silent war in Western Sahara, regional tensions, the energy crisis, the change of position of the President of the Spanish government and the ongoing proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

In their final declaration, the participants called on "the United Nations and the Security Council to assume their responsibility through MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum on Self-Determination in Western Sahara) to conduct the referendum in Western Sahara as provided for in the 1991 and 1997 agreements".

In the same context, EUCOCO also called on "the UN Mission to guarantee respect for human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara".

The conference also commended "the resistance of the Saharawi people (...) in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, especially Sahrawi political prisoners".

It also praised the "unwavering" position of the African Union (AU) with regard to the principles of international law, in particular the right to independence of the Sahrawi people, as reflected in the ruling of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights on 22 September 2022.

In addition, the 46th EUCOCO conference called on "the European Union (EU) as a whole, as well as the member countries to unequivocally support the democratic solution leading to the decolonization of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa.

"It is unacceptable that respect for human rights is promoted and demanded according to the part of the world where they are violated," insisted the participants, denouncing "a policy of double standards".

The conference assured that "the upcoming rulings of the CJEU will give the EU countries in particular and the international community in general a decisive role in the conflict of Western Sahara," noting that "neutrality cannot be an option in the face of occupation.

During their work, the participants, taking into account the current context, agreed on the actions to be carried out in 2023 and the follow-up committees of each of the workshops were renewed.

These committees will be responsible for ensuring within the Task Force the implementation of the decisions taken at the conference in four areas: politics and information, consolidation of the Saharawi state, natural resources as well as human rights and occupied territories.

All this with the intention of "carrying out a global action that, among other objectives, can unite the efforts of the European solidarity movement with other movements around the world, continue to support the consolidation of the Sahrawi state and human rights defenders in the occupied territories and devise a strategy to end the illegal exploitation of natural resources in Western Sahara.

It is also to "strengthen the communication aspect in order to break the information and media block on the conflict in Western Sahara and mobilize democratic forces and media, including in Morocco.

Finally, EUCOCO has decided that its next edition will take place in Ivry-sur-Seine, France.

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