MRAP: the Kingdom of Morocco has disqualified itself from the election to the Human Rights Council

General Assembly Human Rights Council 23rd session Item 2 - Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Update by the High Commissioner General debate Mr. President, MRAP thanks Madam High Commissioner for stressing the real setbacks to human rights protection that follows when civil society is threatened or restricted. The legal situation and the policies adopted in territories under occupation, by definition, undermine non-governmental organizations and the healthy functioning of democracy: this is true not only in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The refusal by the Kingdom of Morocco, last month in the Security Council, to include a permanent human rights component in the mandate of the MINURSO poses a serious threat not only on the activities of the Sahrawi non-governmental organizations, but even on the human rights defenders lives. Having in mind the terms and the spirit of GA Resolution 60/251 , the Kingdom of Morocco has disqualified itself for the election to the Council. In fact, the Kingdom of Morocco already rejected the recommendation, made by some UN Member States at its last Periodic Review, for the inclusion of a permanent human rights component in the mandate of the MINURSO arguing that it did not fall within the scope of the mandate of the Human Rights Council. This clearly shows that the Kingdom of Morocco has not integrated the role of coordination and mainstreaming of human rights within the United Nations system given to this very Council by the General Assembly. Madam High Commissioner, we urge you to dispatch a fact-finding team to Western Sahara in order to assess the human rights situation and the situation of non-governmental organisations and we urge you to include in the next annual report of the Office a section dedicated to the non self-governing territories. I thank you for your attention. 27th May 2013