bethesda, Maryland, USA, 03/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
The second edition of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla kicked off on Friday, March 18, 2016 in the southern city of Dakhla , Morocco , under the theme ”Africa and South-South Cooperation”.
Founded in 1986 in Switzerland, the Crans Montana Forum is a non-governmental organization aimed at encouraging international cooperation, dialogue, development, stability, peace and security in the world.
The event brings together heads of States and governments, ministers, MPs and businesses from all over the world, but more particularly from Africa, the Arab world, central Asia and South America.
More than a thousand participants from 131 countries and representatives of 27 regional and international organizations take part in the forum.
The opening ceremony was marked by the message sent by HM King Mohammed VI to participants.
In his message which was read out on Friday by chairman of the Council of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Ynja Khattat, the Sovereign recalled that at the previous forum’s meeting, he shared his ambition to see a new development model crafted for this region “which is so dear to me.”
“It is the result of a promising strategy through which we seek to bring our three southern provinces to a level of development that will enable them to fully play their role as an African economic hub and as a bridge between Europe, the Arab Maghreb the Sahel region,” the Sovereign explained.
The decision to meet, once again, in the city of Dakhla has more than just a symbolic meaning, HM the King stressed, noting that “it bears witness to the fact that fresh momentum has been given to the vision we have of the Moroccan Sahara as a place conducive to interaction as well as a platform for time-honored human and commercial relations and for the exchange of knowledge between the South and the North.”
Today, development plans are a tangible reality, the monarch said.
“During recent visits to the Sahara region, I launched a number of large-scale development projects, honoring my commitment to the citizens of our southern provinces,” the Sovereign said, citing the forthcoming creation of competitive economic hubs to stimulate growth, provide jobs, enhance cultural expression, uphold human rights and protect the environment.
These hubs are expected to support productive sectors, such as agriculture, sea fishing and ecotourism, while also enhancing land, air and sea transport networks between the southern provinces and the Kingdom’s other regions on the one hand, and between the region and other African countries on the other, HM the King explained.
“Special attention has also been paid to the social side through, for example, the implementation of a number of projects to improve the quality of education as well as health and socio-economic services,” the Sovereign underlined.
“I wanted these structural projects to coincide with the implementation of advanced regionalization, following the recent regional elections, the establishment of bodies that were elected directly by the citizens and the provision of important constitutional and legal powers as well as financial and human resources,” HM the King emphasized.
“For decades, our Continent suffered tremendously in a world divided by colonization. It reeled under the effects of ideological conflicts which were not of its making. Today, it is high time Africa regained its rights vis-a-vis both history and geography: a rich history of African peoples united by centuries of exchanges and diverse ties, and geographical facts which show just how important it is to have integrated, complementary sub-regional groupings,” the Sovereign pointed out.
“Africa should have a say in this global debate. It should neither keep quiet nor allow itself to be dictated to, let alone be forced to choose between development and the preservation of the environment,” HM the King emphasized.
It is this vision that Morocco has chosen to champion as it prepares to host the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakech next November, the Sovereign said.
HM the King voiced the hope that this global conference will celebrate South-South cooperation for the preservation of the environment. I also hope it will put Africa and all developing countries at the heart of the international agenda.
“Our overall objective is to make sure that the voice of a united, strong and determined Africa is heard and that it is heeded,” the Sovereign stressed, adding that it is up to the international community to devise development patterns that ensure the well-being of people, while meeting the requirements of sustainability.
“We must all act along these lines and listen to the creative segments in our societies, namely our youth, for they are the ones who are innovating and who are shaping tomorrow’s world,” HM the King pointed out.
It is also the responsibility of States to champion forward-looking plans and to strive to implement them through determined action and structural projects, the Sovereign said, stressing that however ambitious public policies may be, they will remain fragile if they are not fully embraced by the citizens and civil societies.
“This is the very essence of sustainable development,” the Sovereign concluded, noting that to be robust and sustainable, development must be driven by a vision shared by all stakeholders in society, and each one should decide how he or she is going to embody that vision.
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