In addition to interventions, the activity was also an opportunity to present to the participants food and drinks from different countries, including Saharawi green tea.
Here is the complete text of the intervention of the POLISARIO Front’s representative:
60th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Human Right
EDA-University of Cork Ireland .2008 -12-10
Mr Chairman , distinguish, guests, ladies and Gentleman , dear friends ,
First of al allow me to thank you for inviting me to celebrate with you this significant and precious moment-the 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Right , under the title “Where’s Me Rights?”, it is a very important question which all of us in Western Sahara have been asking .
As you have said that on 10th December 1948, the general Assembly of UN adopted the declaration of Universal Human Right Declaration.
Following this act UN called upon the countries "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
Thus every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance (…)
Today we have to remember all of those whom lost their lives in defending the values of freedom and justice , democracy, and human right which we all share.
Just early last week two Saharawi students had been killed in clod blood by Morocco in Agadir buss station similar to many others..
As long as the Morocco is adamant, in its illegal occupation, and the Saharawi are determined in their peaceful resistance against it . I am sure that these victims of the brutal savage of the Moroccan manner towards the Saharawi civilian, is not the first of it is kind will be the last.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction (…)
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.” (Universal Human Right Declaration)
Dear friends ,
The essence of the Western Sahara tragedy lies in non-respect of the fundamental right of self- determination, and low mass media attention
“The UN Declaration of Human Rights laid down what any person might reasonably expect, yet there are remarkably few people who enjoy these rights. With cameras in the hands of activists and meaningful distribution open fully want to change it." -- Peter Gabriel
Some people feel that UN must be shamed, for the fact that after six decades of its existence to be unable to solve a simple decolonisation matter which has been in its agenda since sixties, equally the eagerness of not upsetting the new King of Morocco, made the public opinion believe that the international community is powerless to save peace and stability in the region of North-West of Africa.
“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral” Paulo Freire:
Now is a pity and sad that UN could not yet deliver what the Saharawi people expected from it .
As you may know that The disregard of the fundamental principle of UN has led to a vigorous armed conflict between the Kingdom of Morocco and the POLISARIO Front, which make the conflict to continue for more than a three decades and half.
The question of Western Sahara is an issue of decolonization, of which solution is anchored in the free and democratic exercise by the Saharawi people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, as provided for in the UN Charter and other UN relevant resolutions.
In an historical legal opinion, issued on 16 October 1975, the International Court of Justice concluded that “the materials and information presented to it do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the Territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco”. The Court also recommended “the implementation of the General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)… and in particular of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory”.
These conclusions were further confirmed, in January 2002, by M. Hans Corel, in his advisory opinion to the Security Council, by stating that the Spanish withdrawal from the territory in 1975 “did not affect the international status of Western Sahara as a Non-self-governing Territory”. The decolonizing process of Western Sahara was dramatically interrupted in 1975 due to the Moroccan military invasion and illegal occupation of the Territory.
Consequently to Morocco invasion, hundreds of thousands of Saharawis, most of them women and children, were forced to exile in neighbouring countries; hundreds of Saharawis have been reported disappeared, while others remain imprisoned in Moroccan detention Centres for many years .
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” (Universal Human Right Declaration)
In 1991 ,After 16 years of military confrontation between the two parties Morocco and POLISARIO Front, both of the them have accepted a UN settlement Plan whose objective is “to allow the people of Western Sahara to freely choose through a free and fair referendum, organized and supervised by the UN, and in cooperation with the OAU(AU), between independence and integration into Morocco”. However, Morocco’s obstructive attitude and lack of political will provoked several deadlocks and stalemates.
By opting for complete disengagement from the Settlement Plan, which it had already accepted, Morocco clearly showed how contemptuous it was of the tremendous efforts and huge resources that the United Nations brought to bear on resolving the conflict for eighteen years.
It was also Morocco who to date persists in its rejection of the Peace Plan For the Self-determination of the People of Western Sahara, which was the outcome?
Of enormous mediation efforts deployed by the former US Secretary of State, Mr. James Baker III, in his capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara since (1997-2004)
The peace plan, which was strongly endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1495 (2003), has been repeatedly acclaimed by the UN Secretary-General as an optimum, mutually acceptable solution that would provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in consonance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
After it become crystal clear that Morocco disassociate it self from the peace plan process . In September 2004, the Republic of South Africa decided to recognize the Saharawi Republic in accordance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
Since 2005 and out frustration and anger to Morocco’s obstruction position The Saharawi people from different walk of the life : Women ,children ,teen ages, adults, elderly have shown in united way their strong rejection to the Moroccan occupying force through many ,peaceful demonstrations in all Saharawi towns , such are Aaiun, Smara Dakhla, Bojdour, and in the south part of Morocco like Assa or Tan Tan ,Goulimin . Amhamid Al ghzlane , and in the Moroccan universities .
Since then wherever there is a strong concentration of the Saharawi, demonstrators have gathered in squares in towns or in the universities campuses waving the Saharawi flag and chanting slogans in favor of the right of Self-determination .
“This is always dangerous for the demonstrators who risk being hit by police batons or even torture .which sometimes leads to death as was the case of five young Saharawi ( HAMDI LEMABARKI, BACHAIKH LAKHLIFI, and SIDHA OULD LAHBIB ,”
Aminatou Haidar (ex-prisoner and F.Robert Kennedy Human Right Lauriat 2008) and the recent example ELHOUSIEN ABDESSADEK LAKTEEF , BABA GHAYA ABDELAZIZ , who been killed at the buss Station in Agadir, first week of December .
Not to mention the daily ransacking of homes and the constant intimidation and harassment campaign against Saharawi human right defenders and loss of jobs ,the prohibition of free movement . Contrary to Universal Human Right Declaration
“Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person
Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”
The EU, of which Ireland is an active member, and the civic society, cannot be indifferent with regard to the question of Western Sahara.
Besides its interest in preserving international peace and security, the EU must have a great interests in the resolution of the conflict of Western Sahara.
It is widely acknowledged that Morocco would not have been able to persist in its attitude of intransigence and disregard for international legality with impunity without the backing, which has been receiving from EU Member State, which makes no secret of its support for Morocco’s theses.
“All that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.”
-- Ramsey Clark
Organizations including Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch and the US State Dept and European Parliament all have strongly criticized the Moroccan government’s alarming human rights record in Western Sahara.
The most of all the report of the High Commissioner for Human Right of UN in June 2006 which blocked from publication by some permanent member of security council UN . This leaked report reported in its paragraph
“9. The question of the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara is paramount to the consideration of the overall human rights situation in the respective territories. It is a human right enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The respect of all human rights of the people of Western Sahara must be seen in tandem with this right and a Jack of its realization will inevitably impact on the enjoyment of all other rights guaranteed, inter alia, in the seven tore international human rights treaties in force.”
On 13th October ,EU starts a process of grating an advance status to Morocco, it is worth to bring to your attention that , Barcelona declaration, associations partnership, neighbourhood policy, strongly emphases the full respect of human rights.
“If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time cultivate the fields to produce more bread; otherwise there will be no peace”
-- Norman Borlaug
Dear friends, till when the Saharawi people will be enduring alone the burden of the destitution, deprivation from its political , economic, cultural, social right !?
35 years has elapsed and the Saharawi people waiting for the international community to honor its political, moral obligation .
In the context of seeking way-out, the Saharawi side has contributed sufficiently and eloquently to the creation of a climate of détente and tolerance necessary for any sincere and honest negotiation, which might lead to the just and lasting solution to this long overdue conflict.
On 11th April 2007 in this framework , POLISARIO Front handed over to Secretary-General of UN a proposal which takes into account the concerns of Morocco,.
It is with deep disappointed that Morocco continues its intransigence and refused to accept any solution less than what so called “autonomy” .
It is rather astonishing that the conflict of Western Sahara has been dealt with by five Secretary General of UN and many special envoys and more than 100 UN resolutions and MINURSO ( UN mission for the referendum in Western Sahara ) has been in the countries more that 17 years .
Why The Western Sahara is the last decolonization issue in Africa , it is not also the time to ask the international community “Where’s Me Rights?”
It is time for that the international community must came to use its influence on Morocco to say to her enough is enough time came for that Morocco must bide by the UN resolutions and start without further delay the implementation of the Peace Plan and respect the Human right and release all 50 Saharawi political prisoners and give an account on 500 Saharawi disappeared since 70s and release 150 Saharawi POWs , and open the occupied territories for MPs. MEPs, Press, NGOs, Diplomats, Observers .
Dear friend the Saharawi people are appealing to you heart; mind for urgent and active solidarity
We know that you can make a change you have made it in Latin America you have made it in East-Timor and in many African countries
And you can make a change in Western Sahara too please don’t be late
States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.
Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Silence never won rights. They are not handed down from above; they are forced by pressures from below.
-- Roger Nash Baldwin
Many thanks .
Yahiaoui Lamine Baali POLISARIO’s Representative-UK and Ireland