U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
January 15, 2021
The Ministerial Conference in Support of the Autonomy Initiative
Under Moroccan Sovereignty
The text of the following Chair’s Summary was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Kingdom of Morocco.
1. At the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America, the Ministerial Conference in support of the Autonomy Initiative under Morocco’s sovereignty was held virtually on January 15, 2021.
2. Forty countries participated in the Conference, among which 27 were represented at the ministerial level.
3. The Conference participants expressed strong support for Morocco’s autonomy initiative as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to this regional dispute.
4. The Co-Chairs 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 over the Western Sahara territory. The Proclamation also urged the parties to engage in discussions in coordination with the United Nations without delay.
5. Co-Chairs also underlined that the U.S. Presidential Proclamation provides guidance for efforts to advance the UN-exclusive political process aimed 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.
6. The Conference highlighted the decision of twenty United Nations Member States to open Consulates General in the Moroccan cities of Laâyoune 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 protracted dispute.
7. Participants welcomed the development endeavors launched in the region including in the framework of Morocco’s “New Development Model for the Southern Provinces” initiative.
8. Participants committed to continue their advocacy for a solution, using Morocco’s autonomy plan as the sole framework for resolving the Western Sahara dispute.
# # #