Moroccan Ambassador to Korea Chafik Rachadi emphasized the significance of autonomy as a key driver for peace and development during an event titled “Autonomy as a relay for development comparative approach” held in Seoul, Friday.
Drawing parallels between the familial and national levels, Rachadi highlighted the importance of active choices and behaviors in building and sustaining peace.
“Peace is a verb,” Rachadi said. “Billions of people across the world hope and pray for peace. It is a dream shared by all humans from every language, background, creed and experience. But that verb not only implies but demands action.”
He stressed that achieving peace requires not only passive hopes and prayers but active engagement and decisions.
Rachadi drew on the analogy of a family, asserting that a wise family encourages self-determination and embraces diversity among its members rather than enforcing rigid control. Expanding this wisdom to the national and global context, he underscored the historical success stories of autonomy in regions such as Jeju Special Autonomous Province in Korea and the Moroccan Sahara.
Highlighting the challenges posed by separatism, Rachadi praised autonomy as a more hopeful alternative, citing its pivotal role in promoting peace, security, and economic development. He cited the Broad Autonomy Initiative for the Sahara Region, presented by Morocco in 2007, as a “serious and credible” basis for peace recognized by the U.N. Security Council and the international community.
Rachadi recounted the historical context of Morocco’s pursuit of autonomy in the Sahara, referencing the Green March of 1975 initiated by the late King Hassan II, and shared a congratulatory message acknowledging Morocco’s victory in recovering the Sahara territory.
Turning to the present, Rachadi showcased the success of the autonomy model in the Moroccan Sahara, emphasizing its role as a catalyst for development, economic growth and regional stability.
“The region is becoming an economic hub, a leading center of cooperation and a geostrategic space dedicated to stability and shared prosperity,” he said.
Rachadi presented concrete evidence of the positive impact of autonomy on the Sahara region, including comprehensive development, infrastructure projects and increased voter turnout. He underlined the economic benefits, with Morocco investing $7 for every $1 of revenue from the region.
The symposium, titled “Autonomy as a relay for development comparative approach,” had the objective of tackling practical examples around autonomy, taking Korea’s Jeju Special Self-Governing Province as a living example in Asia recognizing the island’s unique status and the desire to promote its development while preserving its distinctive culture and environment. As well as highlighting the Moroccan Autonomy Plan for the southern regions of Morocco as a viable initiative on the African continent.
The symposium was divided into two sessions, with the first highlighting theoretical and practical approaches to autonomy, and the second session focusing on development and regional security through autonomy including development aspirations in the Moroccan Sahara through the autonomy plan.