Morocco calls for joint reflection on UN future
Morocco, Politics, 9/16/2000
Moroccan minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, has stressed the need for a collective reflection on the future of the United Nations, to back the UN secretary general's efforts meant to energize the bodies of the world organization in a bid to fulfill the aspirations of the member countries and of the members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Benaissa made the statement before a NAM meeting held in New York on the sidelines of the ongoing 55th session of the UN general assembly.
He called for the consolidation of the role of the UN, insisting on the need to make of its decision-making mechanisms more democratic, and consequently more credible, tools.
"The reform and the consolidation of the role of the Security Council, one of the main bodies of the organization that is entrusted with international security and peace keeping, are an imperative necessity," Benaissa said.
He added that the changes sweeping over the world "require from our movement a new working method to safeguard the gains of the past and face up the negative incidence of globalization." He said that the world trade system exacts that the NAM countries seek efficient means to protect their interests in the face of the pressures entailed by the opening of their markets to industrialized countries and by the indebtedness burden.
Sole a fair and balanced partnership between the North and the South, based on the principle of equality, respect of mutual interests and shared responsibility between nations is likely to secure to world economy the expected stability, Benaissa said calling for a genuine partnership-oriented international cooperation.
In his address before the NAM meeting, Benaissa also touched on the situation in the Middle East renewing Morocco's attachment to peace and security in the region and to the Palestinian people's right to establish their independent state on their soil, with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as capital.
He also deplored the continuation of the embargo against the brotherly Iraqi people, calling Iraq to implement the Security Council resolutions and contribute thus to putting an end to the embargo.
Touching on Morocco's territorial integrity, Benaissa renewed the kingdom's attachment to the UN settlement plan on the Sahara and to the referendum it provides for.
The UN settlement plan provides for the holding a referendum in the Sahara --a Moroccan southern territory that was formerly under Spanish rule and that was retrieved by Morocco in 1975 under the Madrid accords.
The vote, which will give the people of the Sahara a choice between independence or integration with Morocco, has been repeatedly delayed because of the maneuvers of the separatist polisario which seeks to shrink the voters list.
Benaissa said the referendum is "a democratic, fair and equitable means for the Sahara inhabitants to express their will."
He said Morocco, which is attached to its national sovereignty and to legitimacy, fully backs all moves by the UN Secretary General and his personal envoy to definitively settle the Sahara issue that is crippling the development, cooperation and stability in the Maghreb Region.
Benaissa also drew attention to the situation of thousands of sequestered Sahrawis who are being forcibly detained in the Tindouf camps, in south western Algeria, and who have been living for nearly a quarter of a century in dire conditions, as testified, he said, by the international red cross, the UN high commissioner for refugees and the hundreds of diplomats, newsmen and other persons having visited these camps.
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