UGTSARIO reacted to the position expressed last March the 17 by the South African Trade Union, COSATU, which openly declared it won’t participate to this meeting unless it is organized in a country other than Morocco.
The Saharawi Trade union further called upon all trade unions and civil society movements in the world to adopt a similar decision as COSATU’s and “to express their opposition to the colonialist policies pursued barefacedly by Morocco” in Western Sahara.
It also called on all the members of the International Council of the World Social Forum to boycott the meeting, because it is a flagrant “flagrant violation of the Charter of Principles of Port Alegre”.
The General Union of the Workers of
Saguia El-Hamra and Rio de Oro (UGTSARIO)
Bir Lehlou, 31 March 2009
The General Union of the Workers of Saguia El-Hamra and Rio de Oro (UGTSARIO) has received with great satisfaction the news about the courageous decision taken by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to boycott the forthcoming meeting of World Social Forum’s International Council if it were to be held in Morocco. This is because Morocco is a colonialist country that still occupies by force large parts of another African and neighbouring country, Western Sahara, and violates flagrantly the human rights of its people including the right to self-determination and other fundamental political, social and cultural rights.
The decision represents yet another heavy blow to this colonialist regime that has persistently violated all international conventions and resolutions and the basic tenets of international legality. Because of its misconduct, Morocco has severed all ties with its regional neighbours and continental partners, whilst reneging on all its commitments towards them.
The decision to boycott any activity of this kind, as evidenced by COSATU, is an expression of a moral and political commitment related not only to defending the right of the Sahrawi people, which has been systematically denied by Morocco, but also to striving for building a world free from injustice and where justice, peace and mutual respect reign.
UGTSARIO would like to applaud this commendable decision and to express its profound appreciation to the leadership and all members of GOSATU. UGTSARIO considers this decision as another great gesture to be added to the many acts of solidarity and support that all components of South African society have tirelessly extended to the Sahrawi people and their struggle for freedom and independence. It also highly appreciates South Africa’s determination to continue the struggle until Africa has been completely freed from colonialism and occupation.
UGTSARIO would also like to call upon all trade union and civil society movements in the world to adopt similar decisions to express their opposition to the colonialist policies pursued barefacedly by Morocco.
UGTSARIO considers that any participation in events of this kind is a blessing and sheer encouragement for the Moroccan torturers and oppressors to continue inflecting all sorts of terror on the Sahrawi defenceless civilians that are subjected to a systematic policy of torture, intimidation, kidnapping, disappearance and even assassination.
UGTSARIO would finally like to add its voice to this courageous and highly commendable decision taken by COSATU and to express anew its deep appreciation for this move.
UGTSARIO and all the unions affiliated in it condemn the decision to organise the meeting of a progressive forum in a colonial country such as Morocco, and consider it a flagrant violation of the Charter of Principles of Port Alegre.
UGTSARIO finally calls on all the components and Social Forums members in the World Social Forum to boycott the International Council’s meeting if the organisers keep the decision of organising it in Morocco.
Cheikh Lehbib Mohamed
Secretary General of UGTSARIO