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Ministerial Conference in Support of Autonomy

Participants in this conference, held at the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America, committed to continue their advocacy for a solution, using Morocco’s autonomy plan as the sole framework for resolving the Sahara dispute, according to a Chairs Summary made public at the end of the Conference.Representing 40 countries, among which 27 were represented at the ministerial level, participants welcomed the development endeavors launched in the region including in the framework of Morocco’s "New Development Model for the Southern Provinces."Most participants 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.The participants also underlined that the US Presidential Proclamation provides guidance for efforts to advance the UN-exclusive political process aiming 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. The US position, combined with the current international momentum in favor of the Moroccan autonomy plan, allows to "break the deadlock" that has prevailed on the Sahara issue for several decades and "opens a promising path and new prospects.The Conference highlighted the decision of twenty United Nations Member States to open Consulates General in the Moroccan cities of Laayoune 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 dispute, which has been going on for several decades.Morocco has demonstrated such a commitment by responding positively to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to appoint a new personal envoy "unlike other parties who continue to hamper the efforts of the Secretary-General.