The government of independent Western Sahara was represented at both the BRICS international summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August, and at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in early September.
Morocco has illegally occupied most of Western Sahara since 1975, which means that the territory’s real government, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), is not recognised as a member of the United Nations.
It is, however, a member of the African Union, which is why the SADR president, Brahim Ghali, was invited to the African Climate Summit.
Ghali told the gathering: ‘It’s absolutely necessary that the SADR be represented in the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] and at the COPs and be a signatory to the Paris Agreement to participate in climate negotiations, and formally submit our nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC secretariat.’
The SADR has developed its own climate action plan or NDC, launched at COP26 in 2021.
- US scholar Stephen Zunes commented on X/Twitter on 9 September: ‘If the Moroccan regime didn’t have tens of thousands of troops busy oppressing the people of occupied Western Sahara they would be better able to rescue people buried under the rubble inside Morocco.’