In 1907, French forces occupied a large part of present-day Morocco. It became a French protectorate in 1912, with a Franco-Spanish agreement turning the country’s northern-most part into a Spanish protectorate. Morocco gained independence in 1956, the same year as Tunisia, which from 1881 had been a French protectorate as well. The two North African countries obtained independence more easily than their common neighbor, Algeria. But they, too, had to fight hard. After World War II Moroccan nationalists did so seeking the support not only of fellow colonial elites and of already decolonized states like Egypt, which indeed adapted a rather ambiguous stance towards them. Rather, as David Stenner’s Globalizing Morocco: Transnational Activism and the Postcolonial State (2019) has shown, they also nurtured contacts in Europe and in the United States. The latter’s postwar might made it of critical importance for the Moroccans, who sought to gain US governmental and public opinion support vis-à-vis France. These postwar moves built on networks rooted in the interwar period and in World War II. (In fact, Vichy-controlled Morocco was one of the first polities aligned with Nazi Germany that US and British forces conquered in the war, in November 1942.)
Another important arena for post-World War II Moroccan nationalists was the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. There, they received organizational and political help from recently independent states like Indonesia and some Arab states. In turn, in the later 1950s Morocco would help Algeria’s Front de Libération Nationale at the UN.
The text reprinted here reflects the Moroccan interest in the UN. It is an article published in a nationalist Moroccan newspaper in 1950 about the United Nations’ success and failures since its foundation in 1945.