Spain’s UN diplomatic mission refused to meet with a Canary Islands delegation that fervently supports the separatist stance on the Sahara issue.
Declining to engage with the Canarian delegation underscores Spain’s stance, which strongly supports Morocco’s autonomy plan proposal, and the Kingdom’s territorial integrity, a position it adopted in 2022.
The delegation from the Canary Islands, which vocally defended the “right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination,” was met with an uncooperative response from the Spanish mission on October 6th during the special political and decolonisation committee sessions , setting the stage for a contentious debate within the United Nations.
Accusations were leveled by the Canarian delegation against Pedro Sánchez, the acting President of the Spanish government, for his support of the alleged “illegal Moroccan annexation of the Sahara.”
Comprising representatives from a range of social organizations, political parties, and public administrations, the Canarian delegation presented their case at the United Nations during the IV Special Political and Decolonization Committee sessions, taking place from October 4 to 6.
Their primary message revolved around what they claimed to be the Sahrawi people’s undeniable right to self-determination.
One of the grievances raised by the delegation was related to Spain’s perceived failure in fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities as the administering power of the Moroccan Sahara, particularly with regard to the Sahrawi population and, what they termed, “the decolonization process.”
The delegation also drew attention to the ongoing conflict in the Sahara region, attributing it to alleged Morocco’s violations of the ceasefire, which was violated by the Polisario Front in 2020, continued human rights abuses against the Sahrawi population, and Morocco’s aggressive maneuvers to annex Sahara.
This included allegations of the imprisonment of human rights defenders and the imposition of life sentences on Sahrawi political prisoners.
The Canarian delegation underscored Spain’s backing of Morocco’s claim to the Sahara with purported autonomy, which they argue denies the Sahrawi people their fundamental right to self-determination.
The delegation emphasized the significant risks associated with Morocco’s expansion into the Sahara region, particularly in terms of regional stability.