Washington, DC, October 1, 2015 (MACP) — In a speech delivered on September 30 by Prince Moulay Rachid to the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI called on the UN and regional and international financial institutions “to draw up an action plan for economic transformation in Africa and provide steady resources to finance it.”
“A review of the achievements made under the Millennium Development Goals indicates significant progress between 1990 and 2015,” read the King’s message. “However, gaps between regions around the world and inside certain countries are still a legitimate cause for concern.”
The King warned that in Africa “deteriorating conditions and the people’s daily pressing needs cannot be put on hold until international bureaucracy wakes up and makes the necessary decisions… Africa must be at the heart of international cooperation for development in order to help the continent rid itself of its colonial past and unlock its potential.”
Citing Morocco’s own success in achieving Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, as well as the country’s National Human Development Initiative, which “has contributed not only to reducing poverty, vulnerability and exclusion, but has also helped reduce inter-regional disparities,” the King reiterated that Morocco is “ready to put [its] experience in the field at the disposal of our partners, especially in Africa.”
This is especially true on the issue of climate change, according to the King, who stated that “Morocco will spare no effort to make Africa’s concerns known and its voice heard, together with those of developing small island states, which are the most vulnerable to climate change.”
Recalling Morocco’s participation in the Rio Summit in 1992 and the country’s “strong, ambitious commitments” announced in 2015 to fight climate change, the King noted that “Morocco is proposing that Marrakech host the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”
“In the past decade Morocco has made impressive gains in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and has shown real leadership on a number of issues that continue to challenge Africa as a whole—from agricultural development to security,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “Aggressively fighting climate change is another way that Morocco has sought to lead by example.”
King Mohammed VI also reaffirmed that “Morocco will reject any irresponsible or risky course of action in connection with the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.” He urged the UN to “press ahead with its efforts to resolve disputes through peaceful means,” and to “remain committed to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states so that peoples’ aspirations for peace, security and stability may be fulfilled.”
This Moroccan policy has long been supported by the United States government, most recently in Spring 2015 when a US-Morocco Joint Statement reiterated that US policy toward Western Sahara supporting autonomy of the region under Moroccan sovereignty “has remained consistent for many years,” with Secretary of State John Kerry stating that “Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic, and credible, and that it represents a potential approach that could satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity.” Secretary Kerry and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar also reaffirmed their “shared commitment to the improvement of the lives of the people in the Western Sahara and discussed appropriate ways to meet that goal.”
“The King’s remarks at UNGA remind us that for more than 10 years the UN has called on Morocco and the Polisario Front to reach a negotiated settlement, and that Morocco in 2007 proposed such a compromise solution recognized by the international community as credible and realistic,” said Jordan Paul, Executive Director of the Moroccan American Center for Policy. “It’s time to move on that compromise.”
Contact: Jordana Merran, 202.470.2049
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