Washington, DC, March 16, 2015 (MACP) — From March 12-14, the Swiss-owned and Monaco-based Crans Montana Forum convened more than 800 people from around the world in Dakhla, Morocco for its 25th event, themed “South-South cooperation and the development of Africa.” In a message delivered to Forum participants on his behalf by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, King Mohammed VI commended the theme choice, reiterating that “Morocco’s African policy is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights.”
“Morocco has been working untiringly to help forge a modern, bold, entrepreneurial and open Africa; an African continent which is proud of its identity, which derives its vibrancy from its cultural heritage and which is capable of transcending outdated ideologies,” he said.
Because Morocco’s development model for the Sahara “aims to turn this region into a hub between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa,” noted the King, “The city of Dakhla is destined to become a platform for multi-form exchange relations between the Atlantic region, the Maghreb and the Sahel.”
Forum organizers noted that “Dakhla enjoys an exceptional strategic position and offers an extraordinary model of economic and social development.”
The King acknowledged that “the borders inherited from colonization often continue to be a major source of tension and conflict,” and that “Africa is a continent with growing and unsettling security issues”; but he stressed that “Africa’s tremendous human and natural resources should, instead, be a powerful catalyst for regional integration,” and urged that “It is up to us – Africans – to innovate in order to turn them into open spaces where fruitful exchange and interaction can flourish between African societies.”
Forum participants represented public- and private-sector organizations from more than 100 different countries from around the world. High-profile guests included Philippe Douste-Blazy, UN Deputy Secretary General; former President of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero; France’s former Minister of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development Jean-Louis Borloo; and Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization Yonov Frederick Agah, among others.
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