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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[Rappler] Is this enough?

Once again, on this sunny morning, the Special Committee on Decolonization came together to discuss the political representation of the Western Sahara territory. The representative of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic opened the session by hoping for fruitful delegations focusing on the self-determination of their region. Furthermore, they are willing to discuss human rights violations and the refugee crisis while being aware of opposing opinions. The Moroccan representative follows this statement by redirecting the discussion to the economic activity in the region and asking all delegates to reevaluate the before-mentioned proposals.

Today's consultation focused on allocating humanitarian aid to refugees and victims of human rights violations. The SADR asks for additional funding to improve the medical conditions of civilians and the possibility for medical professionals to be provided. The current proposals include funding from Spain, the previous colonizer of the region of 40 million. Spain, however, disregards other delegates' inquiries about a further budget increase by maintaining that the nation wants its citizens to be safe from increased tax payments to fund the SADR. The Republic of Tanzania calls this decision insensitive. In addition, they fear that the currently allocated 469 helpers are insufficient to provide sufficient help to the Sahrawi people. The current proposal entails the four brackets of health-, housing-, nutrition- and education assistance. Furthermore, the Western Sahara reemphasizes their need for experienced professionals and engineering experts.

Today's first conference at the C-24 resembles a scenario us Filipinos are all too familiar with. The economic powers of the committee, first and foremost the colonizer Spain, repeatedly state their desire to help the colonized but are unwilling to provide substantial funds and humanitarian aid. The Sahrawi Republic has paid the price of European imperialism for too long; now, it is time for Spain to stand up for their actions. Whist the representative of the SADR states their optimism of today's session, the feasibility of the proposed plan remains open. And the questions remain which countries are willing to provide this aid, what will happen to the territory after the humanitarian package has been used, and how the autonomy plan of the SADR will continue going forward?

- Page Knight, Correspondent for Rappler


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