UN-ESCWA meeting: Moroccan King calls for reforms, stronger cooperation

‘Our goal is to upgrade national economy’

RABAT - Moroccan King Mohammed VI sent a message to participants in the high-level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), which opened on Tuesday in Rabat. The full text of the message was read out by State minister Abdellah Baha.
Present at the UN-ESCWA meeting are political leaders, international experts in sustainable development issues, specialists in economic and social matters, and representatives of civil society organizations.
In his message, King Mohammed VI drew the attention towards the sweeping political changes in some Arab countries, as well as the adverse effect of the global financial crisis and its impact on economic and social conditions.
“Your decision to choose short-term economic challenges in democratic transitions as the theme for this meeting is therefore timely. Careful scrutiny of all aspects relating to this theme is required, all the more so as much more attention is devoted to political developments in these countries than to economic issues,” said the Moroccan King.
King Mohammed VI noted that Morocco remains committed to solidarity with the Arab countries that are experiencing political changes, and with the Arab peoples who are yearning for freedom, dignity and social justice.
“We have been calling on the international community to provide support to these countries to help them complete the process of political transition and rise to the security and development challenges they are facing,” he said.
Speaking of the various economic and social difficulties facing the Arab region, the Moroccan King called for the implementation of realistic programs for tangible cooperation between the various countries in the region. He also urged the building of an Arab economic power base on the foundations of solidarity, complementarity and integration.
“I am sure you realize that the rapid, far-reaching changes in some sister Arab nations have had an adverse impact on their economies. This situation not only makes it increasingly hard for them to meet the demands of their peoples - particularly in the economic and social spheres - but it also jeopardizes the security and stability of these countries, he said.
The Moroccan King stressed the need to make good use of the human and natural resources available to the Arab countries so as to achieve the various economic goals. He called also for the re-activation of the Maghreb Union as “a crucial demand made by Maghreb peoples”.
“I reiterate my pledge to seek to give concrete substance to the Maghreb Union, for this is a crucial demand made by Maghreb peoples. It is also a strategic requirement, an urgent necessity as far as security and development are concerned, and an economic obligation given the prevalence of powerful economic blocs in our world, where there is no place for fragile or artificial entities,” he said.
The Moroccan King hailed the strategic partnership between Morocco and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), calling for the development and the strengthening of the already-existing ties.
The King also pointed to key policy choices that helped Morocco consolidate its specific, democratic, development-oriented model, notably “the constant responsiveness to the legitimate aspirations of the Moroccan people, to free will and to a national progressive approach”.
“We introduced sweeping political and institutional reforms that were crowned by the adoption of an advanced constitution. Our goal has been to consolidate the rule of law and our institutions, to promote effective political practice based on participation and close attention to the citizens’ needs, to expand the scope of freedoms and to advance human rights in general”, the King said.
“We also achieved key spatial and historical reconciliations, both through the outstanding work of the Justice and Reconciliation Commission - which, in terms of transitional justice, is a model for the world - and through the rehabilitation of the various components of the rich, diversified Moroccan identity,” he added.
King Mohammed VI noted that the various political and human rights reforms have been accompanied by major development projects, which concern the fight against poverty, vulnerability and marginalization as well as the consolidation of social cohesion.
He also spoke of the implementation of mega projects and the adoption of well thought-out sector-specific strategies.
“Our goal is to upgrade the national economy, to sharpen its competitive edge, and to encourage the kind of productive investment that creates jobs,” he said.
The King also spoke of the constant reform of the justice system, and the launch of a major project for the achievement of advanced regionalization. Through the latter project Morocco aims at upgrading state structures, strengthening good territorial governance.