Updated

9/26/16 Post-Weekend Roundup: COP22 on the Horizon, Joining the African Union, and More – Jordana Merran

Jordana Merran
September 26, 2016

Here’s a look at Morocco happenings since last week:

  • Setting the eco-example: On September 21, Morocco officially ratified the Paris Agreement at the United Nations General Assembly meeting. As of today, 61 countries have ratified the Agreement, representing roughly 48% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Agreement enters into force when at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify it. Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Salaheddine Mezouar, who is heading COP22 preparations, said in a Wall Street Journal interview that he is confident enough countries will sign on by November that the Agreement will enter into force in time for the Marrakesh event. The bigger fish to fry is to “get governments, private companies and banks to agree on how to reach $100 billion per year in funding for the projects.” As he said in the Journal, “If we see the real needs, they are gigantic, so actually $100 billion is not that much. This sum shouldn’t be a psychological blockage, but rather launch a positive dynamic.”
  • Rejoining the African Union: Also at the UN General Assembly meeting, Morocco informed African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma that the country had submitted its official request to rejoin the Union, according to an African Union Commission release. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI first unveiled plans to rejoin the AU in July and has repeatedly made the case for its status “as a valued and cherished partner, thanks to its development and political model, as well as its role as a major player in promoting security and stability in the region and defending the cause of Africa.”  For more analysis on Morocco’s Africa relations, check out this Atlantic Council article.
  • Policing corruption: As US police departments across the country consider fitting police officers with cameras, some may be surprised to know that Morocco has already bought into the practice. Moroccan “national security authorities decided to equip officers’ helmets with small video cameras” when several videos showing bribes went viral online, reports Deutsche Welle.
  • USAID pushes vocational training: Maria Longi, deputy assistant administrator for USAID’s Middle East Bureau, recently wrote on the agency’s blog about its “Favorable Opportunities to Reinforce Self-Advancement for Today’s Youth” project, which provides professional skills training and other resources to 12,000 at-risk youth in the Moroccan cities of Tangiers and Tetouan. Per her blog, the project “addresses the challenges that push young Moroccans down hazardous paths. It improves their access to quality education and job opportunities and increases their community involvement through vocational training and career services, giving young people more positive options for their future.”

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