Domino of Spanish regions urge for no Western Sahara trade
demo_oslo27_610.jpg

This week, the parliament of Galicia demanded full suspension of trade and corporate complicity in the exploitation of natural resources in Western Sahara. Galicia is only one among many.
Published: 29.04 - 2017 08:50Printer version    
[This article was updated on 8 May 2017]

A series of Spanish regions and municipalities have over the course of the last weeks adopted statements demanding respect of the Court of Justice of the EU judgement from 21 December 2016.

The judgment put a halt to the inclusion of Western Sahara in EU-Morocco trade deals, as the territory is separate and distinct from Morocco. The latest Spanish regional assembly to pass such a statement was the one in Galicia on 25 April 2017.

Western Sahara Resource Watch had written earlier about a similar case, in which the parliament of the Basque Country adopted the same statement on 3 March 2017.

There have since then been many more:

The autonomous regions of Extremadura 23 March 2017, the Balearic Islands 28 March, Aragón 30 March, Catalunya 5 April, Cantabria 2 May, the municipalities of Ortuella 30 March, Etxebarri 3 April, Rota 20 April, Alcazar de San Juan 26 April, El Trabuca 31 March.

Also the cities of Bilbao and Las Palmas, and the town of Villanueva del Trabuco, near Malaga, is said to have adopted a similar statement.

It is to be noted that these statements are reported to have been adopted by consensus, with the full support of all political parties, including the ruling party at national level, Partido Popular. The many statements come as an initiative of the Spanish Greens/Equo.

The combined population in the regions and municipalities that have endorsed such declarations is 24,3 million people - more than half the total Spanish population.


The passed texts are variations of this below:

Institutional Declaration for the Respect of International and European Law in relation to Western Sahara
Considering the ruling of the European Court of Justice of the 21st of December 2016, which states that Western Sahara is not part of the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco, implying that no trade agreement between the European Union and Morocco can be applied to Western Sahara and that the consent of the Saharawi people is needed in order to pursue any commercial activity of any kind or the exportation of their natural resources;
Underlining the obligatory nature of this ruling for all European and national authorities and thus, also for city councils whose duty is not only to observe it, but also to make citizens and economic actors aware of its content so that they can apply it correctly;
Taking note of the Resolution 2285 of the UN Security Council adopted in April 2016, according to which achieving a political solution to this long-standing dispute and enhanced cooperation between the Member States of the Maghreb Arab Union would contribute to stability and security in the Sahel region;
Acknowledging that as a result of the invasion of the territory by Morocco in 1976 a large part of the population left in exile for Algeria, where they still live today in refugee camps in the south of Tindouf;
Considering that Spain put an end to its presence in Western Sahara on the 26th of February 1976, violating its international duties toward the Sahrawi people, preventing the conclusion of the ongoing decolonization process in the framework of the United Nations, and that Spain has a moral, historic, and legal responsibility towards the Sahrawi people;
The City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in its plenary session approves the following institutional declaration, which;
1. Underlines the absolute necessity to fully respect and comply with the European Court of Justice ruling of 21st December 2016, which states that the association and trade liberalization agreements between Morocco and the European Union must not be applied to the territory of Western Sahara.
2. Expresses its concern about the exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara, including by European companies, in contradiction with international and European law; insists on the fact that any commercial activity with Western Sahara must have the approval of the Saharawi people in order for it to be legal;
3. Calls on all European, Spanish and Canarian companies to act according to international and European law, ending all activities that may favour the perpetuation of Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara and the exploitation of the natural resources therein (such as fishery, agriculture, extracting of phosphates and sands, or renewable energy activities); and urges Spanish local, regional and national authorities to implement current legislation in accordance to the recent ruling of the ECJ.
4. Joins its voice to the solidary movement in Spain that has been calling for a fair and long-lasting solution that would be acceptable for both sides, based on a referendum that would put an end to the conflict of Western Sahara.
5. Reiterates the importance of strong, plural relations with our Moroccan neighbours and that a fair solution to the conflict of the conflict of Western Sahara would allow for the enhancement of relations with Morocco.


    

Top
News:

21.06 - 2017 / 21.06 - 2017Polisario warns shipping industry of more vessel detentions
20.06 - 2017 / 20.06 - 2017Isle of Man shipping company exits Western Sahara until settlement
16.06 - 2017 / 16.06 - 2017New report reveals the companies transporting conflict phosphate rock
15.06 - 2017 / 15.06 - 2017Saharawis won first round in conflict mineral cargo court case
12.06 - 2017 / 12.06 - 2017Wisby Tankers continues fueling occupation of Western Sahara
12.06 - 2017 / 12.06 - 2017Swedish bank excludes phosphates industry in Western Sahara
06.06 - 2017 / 19.05 - 201715 questions that Atlas Copco does not want to answer
02.06 - 2017 / 02.06 - 2017Moroccan government confirmed Glencore exit from Foum Ognit
01.06 - 2017 / 01.06 - 2017Ballance takes in new controversial cargo to replace detained vessel
30.05 - 2017 / 30.05 - 2017UN Global Compact drops Vigeo Eiris case after own goal
30.05 - 2017 / 30.05 - 2017Protests in Palma de Mallorca against sand imports
30.05 - 2017 / 29.05 - 2017Can the EU answer these questions on Western Sahara trade talks?
24.05 - 2017 / 20.05 - 2017Canada bound ship with conflict minerals released from detention
18.05 - 2017 / 18.05 - 2017New Zealand conflict cargo judgment set for 9 June
18.05 - 2017 / 18.05 - 2017Danish vessel with plunder cargo detained in Panama
11.05 - 2017 / 10.05 - 2017EU intends to ignore Court of Justice judgment on Western Sahara trade
11.05 - 2017 / 11.05 - 2017Glencore is departing Western Sahara
05.05 - 2017 / 03.05 - 2017Enel considers involvement in occupied Western Sahara non-political
04.05 - 2017 / 04.05 - 2017Ballance Agri-Nutrients admits to be buyer of seized cargo
04.05 - 2017 / 04.05 - 2017Video of the seized vessel




EN ES FR DE AR

Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

On 17 February 2013, in a mockery of justice, a Moroccan military court condemned 25 Saharawi citizens to shockingly tough prison sentences. Help us to release the Gdeim Izik 25.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
The Western Sahara oil curse

tn_san_leon_protest_camps_8_august_2015_610x200.jpg

Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.

WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy