By Jordana Merran
We hope you had a festive, friends-and-family-filled Thanksgiving celebration. (Perhaps you even borrowed a few of our Moroccan-inspired recipes to spice up your feast?) Here’s a look at some key news stories and blogs from over the holiday.
- Last week, Moroccan authorities continued emergency responses to the severe flooding that has killed 32 in the country. Yesterday, the Interior Ministry announced that food aid would be distributed to victims.
- On November 24, Morocco submitted to the UN instruments for the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the International Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
- At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, Wall Street Journal Frontiers Editor Dan Keeler interviewed US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. Jean AbiNader looked at the main themes of the Summit in his blog, noting that “Morocco’s partnership with the US is emerging as a key component of US strategy in the region, and the Summit is a prime example of the benefits beyond security agreements that can be achieved between these friends.”
- On November 26, the New York Time’s Eric Schmitt reported that “Morocco is the latest Arab nation to respond to an American appeal for more firepower, sending several F-16s to the fight” against ISIS.
- From November 27-30, Morocco hosted the 2nd annual World Human Rights Forum in Marrakech. 7,000 people from nearly 100 countries gathered for four days of panel discussions, workshops and other activities on topics ranging from access to education to women’s rights to environmental justice and everything in between.
In a message delivered to attendees on his behalf by Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid, King Mohammed VI stated that “the Kingdom of Morocco is proud to host this global event and to contribute to fulfilling an ambition which is shared not only by our continent but also by all developing countries, namely to become full-fledged players in the development of human rights standards and assessments.”
“My country freely chose to initiate in-depth, proactive reforms which fulfill the aspirations and expectations of Moroccans,” he said. “This innovative, inclusive process, which culminated in the adoption of a new Constitution in 2011, has helped consolidate the rule of law and democracy as an irreversible choice. Morocco, which has been proceeding confidently and serenely along the never-ending road of human rights, can, after 15 years, present quite a decent record covering such vital areas as transitional justice, women’s rights, human development, the rehabilitation of the Amazigh culture as a key component of the Moroccan identity, the consolidation of national human rights institutions and the governance of the religious domain on the basis of the tolerant principles and teachings of Islam. There are other ongoing projects with a significant impact on the protection of human rights in such areas as justice, the press, civil society, local governance and the protection of vulnerable groups.”
- On November 28 and 29, Morocco’s head of government Abdelilah Benkirane and Casablanca Finance city’s CEO Said Irbahimi launched “Casablanca Arbitration Days,” a forum dedicated to international juridical security and arbitrage. Reuters first reported the announcement here, quoting Mr. Ibrahimi as saying, “In the past, African companies might go to Paris, Brussels or Geneva to resolve their business disputes. Now they will be able to stay in Africa and find professional services here.”
- Also in business last week, Mexico chose Morocco as the site of its first trade office in Africa; and European auto parts manufacturer Delphi announced the opening of its third facility in Morocco.