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Saturday, November 25, 2017
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Belgian-British Professor Wilfried Swenden of the University of Edinburgh said the Moroccan autonomy proposal for the Sahara is a clear roadmap for the entire region.


Speaking at a seminar held last Monday at the UN headquarters in New York on the theme "Regionalization and Territorial Autonomy: Differences, Singularities and Complementarities", Professor Swenden presented a comparative study of different systems of autonomy in the world. He explored ways of thinking that could add value to the Moroccan experience of regionalization.


In his comparative analysis, the Belgian-British academic examined the cases of the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Belgium and India, noting that the degree of sub- state autonomy according to the particularity of each country.


According to Mr Swenden, there is no " standard model" for good territorial management. Any territorial strategy should be part of an evolutionary approach and should stand out from any rigid paradigm that could affect its effectiveness.


The expert pointed out that "all models in the above countries are not governed by a fixed notion of autonomy and undergo changes according to the reality of each country."


Mr Swenden highlighted the strengths of the Moroccan autonomy plan presented in 2007 and the process of advanced regionalization to which Morocco is committed.


He welcomed the recognition of Saharan culture in the Moroccan Constitution, shedding light on Article 13 of Autonomy Plan, which provides for mechanisms to enable the autonomous region of the Sahara to have the financial resources to its development in all fields.


He also noted that "human development indicators in the Sahara region are higher than in other regions of Morocco".


Ultimately, Professor Wilfried Swenden recommended that autonomy plan be implemented in a holistic approach, stating that the benefits of this plan will be better evaluated not in its embryonic phase but rather in its realization in the field.


The seminar was moderated by leading experts, researchers and academics from Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Vietnam. It was attended by some fifty diplomats, including several ambassadors accredited to the United Nations, in addition to representatives of the media based at the United Nations.


This meeting offered the opportunity to compare the provisions proposed by Morocco for the Sahara autonomy region with the experience of many other regions of the world in terms of regional or territorial autonomy.


-News on Western Sahara issue/ Corcas-

 

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