March 22, 2023

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Professor Milot Loukili: “Much of Morocco’s future is at sea”

Morocco has won a seat on the Continental Shelf Limitations Commission. The Kingdom is committed to this important UN body for a period of five years (2023 to 2028), which is part of the Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982).

The subject of a brief press release is that Morocco’s election has a historical weight, which partly explains its context, which is marked by the diplomatic force’s significant involvement in maritime affairs in recent years.

The Commission is compelled to make recommendations to coastal states on issues related to the external boundaries of their continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. It consists of 21 experts selected on the basis of geographical distribution.

To represent it, Morocco has set its sights Pundit of the Moroccan legal scene, Prof. Milot Lougili. In this interview, this expert in marine law gives us the purpose and challenges of the event.

Media 24: Why is it important for Morocco to be on the Commission on Continental Shelf Limitations?

Pr Miloud Loukili: The event should be warmly welcomed. For a number of reasons, this is a victory for Morocco, which has a legal right to a seat on the Commission on Continental Shelf Limitations.

First, I mention the fact that Morocco was there from the beginning of the process Amendment of the Law of the SeaThis led to the adoption of the Montego Bay Conference in 1982. He was actively involved in the whole process and signed to the conference in 1982 before being approved in 2007.

This reflects the commitment Sea of ​​Morocco. The Kingdom is a maritime country as it is a maritime country located in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Even better, he said The boundary of one of the three waters [Gibraltar] The largest in the world.

Since the adoption of the 200 nautical-mile maritime economic zone in the early 1980s, Morocco has more maritime territory than land. He has every right to sit on this committee. Especially the country that specializes in this matter.

Just like Morocco African And he is proud of it, knowing full well that his presence within the Commission will benefit his network and other countries on the continent that will benefit from his expertise.

– Will Morocco’s presence within the Commission strengthen its position in its various files in this area?

– Remember that Morocco A legitimate country. It has always operated within the framework of its legal and diplomatic principle, respecting the rules of international law. It has most recently fully tabled the rules of the Convention on the Law of the Sea in its internal law corpus.

Morocco is fully oscillating with international law, but also in the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which is inspired by diplomatic practice in this matter. The maritime law policy of the country is in line with this sentiment.

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It is noteworthy that Morocco has for many years adopted an integrated maritime strategy as part of its blue economic policy. This strategy has the dimension of Indo-African South-South cooperation. Morocco, the late H.M. As Hassan II put it, a tree with deep roots in Africa. Its strategy is part of this protocol of win-win cooperation with African countries.

– How did Morocco prepare its trophy? What are his pre-election activities?

– As a legal expert and expert in maritime law, I believe that the action taken by Moroccan diplomacy has paid off. In fact, Morocco led an intelligent and energetic campaign to promote its candidacy, which mobilized the entire body and all diplomatic representatives.

Here, the tribute falls to me, which justifies the action taken by the Permanent Representative of Morocco in New York to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of International Organizations and the United Nations. All diplomatic missions around the world.

I think Morocco’s election to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is, if necessary, a testament to the confidence and credibility that Morocco enjoys internationally.

In fact, the kingdom Reliable Because of its geographical position, its unwavering commitment to the principles of international law and inter-state cooperation, its philosophy based on the United Nations Charter and its full adherence to the Montego Bay Conference. The states thus relied on Morocco’s candidacy and voted in favor. This is a victory for Morocco, and it should be credited to Moroccan diplomacy.

– Morocco has for many years been modernizing its legal corpus in this area, particularly by changing the law relating to regional water and establishing a separate economic zone, two texts of which have now been restructured into international law. Did this element argue in favor of the Moroccan file?

– Undoubtedly. I can say that Morocco has a consistent theory in this matter. When he was a staunch player in the process of reforming the law of the sea that created the constitution of the oceans [la Convention de Montego Bay]The Kingdom has taken a firm commitment since its ratification of United Nations treaties in the region, turning international rules into its internal legal arsenal.

– What does this premiere say about Morocco’s international presence?

– Yes, this is the first time and this is part of the dynamics Strengthen Morocco’s position in the international arena And, in particular, in international and regional organizations.

Suffice it to recall that Morocco is through the International Court of Justice by Judge Mohammed Pennuna and by Professor Hassan El Owazani of the International Law Commission. The Kingdom is also present in international human rights organizations through Professors Mohamed Bennani and Mahjoub El Haiba. This should include other international organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization, which he elected for the eleventh time as a member of the committee. Not to mention that Morocco recently hosted an event of extraordinary geopolitical and geo-strategic significance. Conference of African Nations on the Border of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Morocco, you see, is very much international. But as far as maritime law is concerned, this is the first time he has sat on the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. This is a way to further strengthen the maritime character of our country.

– Do you have any idea about the privileges of the Commission?

– This is an element This. It was specially developed by the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1982. It has a specific mandate, which is to study the requests submitted by the coastal states who want to extend the shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

It is an independent UN body of 21 experts. It forms the cornerstone of the entire process for the Continental Shelf Extension, making recommendations after careful consideration of requests that coastal states consider to be more than 200 nautical miles on their continental shelf.

– Are the positions of the committee mandatory or constrained?

– I remind you that within the architecture of the Montego Bay Conference the Boundaries Commission has taken its place. In fact, it is the original company with a pro active role. It is a creature This The conference was created on the same basis as the International Maritime Commission, its headquarters in Kingston (Jamaica), and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, located in Hamburg (Germany).

It should be noted that they have a very important weight in terms of the recommendations made by the Commission. So stick to it. They act as lawsuits, and they have a specific character until they affect the position and posture of the country demanding an extended Continental wardrobe.

The Commission publishes recommendations for expanding the Continental shelf of coastal states, which extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the base. It has no industry or mandate to govern disputes or disputes over borders between countries.

– You will be sitting there as an expert. What will be your role?

– I would like to express my pride and pride in seeing Morocco choose my candidacy first. I am proud to represent my country in this organization.

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I had the privilege of following the process of making maritime law that began in 1975 within the Third United Nations Conference. I also had the privilege of following the preparations of the International Maritime Commission. As I took on the responsibilities of Director of the Advanced Maritime Research Institute and Commercial Navy in Casablanca, I gained a certain theoretical, legal and practical experience at the level of negotiation techniques that I would lead to share with my colleagues. Team.

But the main thing in all of this is to work with other members of the Commission in full intelligence and oscillation, in accordance with the letter and spirit of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.

– Morocco has ratified the Montego Bay Conference, modernized its legal arsenal in the maritime field, and recently resumed talks with Spain on Atlantic borders. UN His election to the Commission seems to be part of a positive movement …

– Again, this election reflects the trust placed in the maritime strategy of the kingdom, with His majesty matching King, may God help him. Also, I recommend you for his speech marked by a strong sea trail that matches the majesty of 2020.

Morocco is a maritime country, open to the sea, it wants To protect its sovereign rights in maritime areas With two main orientations: Respect first Neighborhood. Morocco has always supported dialogue in its international relations, especially in its relations with its neighbors, especially Spain. It is very important to point out. Morocco has not fulfilled a ruleIt is open to dialogue and has an outstretched hand regarding its sovereignty and its rights.

The second idea, which is based on the Moroccan theory, is to use it because it is basically an African country and is proud of it. Geographical position for the benefit of African countries. Morocco has significant assets in terms of expertise, training institutes and internationally experienced visitors.

In conclusion, I believe that Morocco’s election reflects a positive picture of its maritime strategy and outlook on maritime affairs nationally, regionally and internationally.

– At this good pace, what can we expect? Next phase, what is the next plan?

– Allow me to speak as a lawyer and expert. I am neither a diplomat nor a politician. But to answer your question, I would like to see a quote from a great Mediterranean poet Paul Valerie. “Seeing the sea is seeing the possible”.

There must be trust in our country under the honorable leadership. Much of our future is at sea.The Kingdom of Morocco The vision of the sea kingdom is the vision of all possibilities.