European youth umbrella demands fish agreement renegotiation
The Nordic Committee of Co-operating Social Democratic Youth Organisations (FNSU), consisting of organisations from all the Nordic and Baltic countries, demands renegotiation of EU-Morocco fisheries agreement to exclude occupied Western Sahara.
FNSU consists of member organizations from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
See statement here.
Adopted by the FNSU board meeting 13 February 2009
End the occupation of Western Sahara
Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony, is located south of Morocco. It has been on the UN decolonization list since 1966, when it was a Spanish colony. Since 1975 Morocco has been an illegal occupying power in Western Sahara, in violation of over 100 UN resolutions, which call for the Saharawi's people’s right to self-determination and independence.
A big part of the Saharawi population has been living as refugees in the Algerian desert for over thirty years. Since 1991, when the cease-fire between Morocco and Polisario was signed, the Saharawi struggle for self-determination has been a peaceful one. A referendum, where the Sahrawis would decide on the future status of their country, was scheduled to take place in 1992 but has not yet been held due to the Moroccan intransigence. Despite the Sahrawi question being on the international agenda for over forty years little progress has been shown towards the realization of the Saharawi people’s inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
The situation for the Sahrawis still living in the occupied territories or in Morocco is terrifying. Their human rights are being violated on a daily basis; they are being discriminated against at work or in school, arbitrarily imprisoned, tortured and killed. Over 500 Sahrawis have until this day “disappeared” and are still missing. To deny that Western Sahara belongs to Morocco is considered an attack on the kingdom’s “territorial integrity”. Peaceful Saharawi demonstrations for independence are therefore violently attacked by Moroccan authorities. In a recent report called “Human Rights in Western Sahara and in the Tindouf Refugee Camps “ Human Rights Watch recommends that MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) in its mandate get included human rights monitoring and reporting in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
Not only is Morocco oppressing the Sahrawi people it is also stealing their natural resources despite UN resolutions against prospecting and export of natural resources in occupied areas. The European Union is currently contributing to the plundering of natural resources by having a fishery agreement with Morocco where the occupied territories of Western Sahara is not excluded. The European Union will provide Morocco with an “advanced status” which will further improve the economic situation for Morocco and integrate it even more with the EU. This decision has been made despite the fact that Morocco is occupying Western Sahara and systematically violating human rights. The territory of Western Sahara must be excluded from all agreements between the European Union and Morocco.
On the basis of the facts presented above FNSU requests:
that all Governments recognize the Saharawi peoples right to self-determination and in the long term SADR (Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) as a independent state in accordance with international law. that the mandate of MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) will include human rights monitoring and reporting in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. that the present fishery agreement between the EU and Morocco, be suspended and renegotiated in order to exclude the waters off Western Sahara. that the EU excludes Western Sahara from the current EU-Moroccan advanced status arrangement and that the EU puts pressure on Morocco to guarantee human rights in general and the human rights in Western Sahara in particular. that the Nordic and Baltic governments put pressure on national and international corporations not to invest in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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