Rabat - King Mohammed VI addressed a message to the participants in the Parliamentary Forum on Social Justice, held on February 19-20 in Rabat.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI addressed a message to the participants in the Parliamentary Forum on Social Justice, held on February 19-20 in Rabat.
Here follows the full text of the Royal message, read by the King’s Advisor Abdellatif Menouni.
Praise be to God
May peace and blessings be upon all Prophets and Messengers
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the participants in the Parliamentary Forum on Social Justice, which is being hosted by the House of Councilors. Your Forum has brought together representatives of prestigious national and international institutions, in addition to experts from civil society and economic and social sectors representing a wide range of fields. I should like to say how much I appreciate all you have been doing, each in his or her field of competence, to promote thought on social justice issues.
The convening of this forum by the Kingdom of Morocco’s House of Councilors should not be seen merely as a response to the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to observe World Day of Social Justice on 20 February each year. In fact, it is much more than that. It provides an opportunity for us to take stock of achievements and ponder what Morocco is doing to promote social justice. Indeed, this is one of our most important national projects, a reign-long project through which we hope, by the grace of the Almighty, to fulfil our people’s aspirations and expectations while living up to our cultural values.
Achieving social justice is therefore a strategic goal in Morocco. Since my accession to the throne of my glorious ancestors, I have provided policy guidance in the political, economic and social sphere to promote social justice.
Our policy in this respect reflects a constant concern for the daily economic and social conditions of all segments of the population, particularly those suffering from poverty and various forms of deprivation. It is also in keeping with a firm belief that dignity, justice, equal opportunity and the enjoyment of a decent life by all components of the Moroccan society are fundamental human rights. Those ideals are at the heart not only of many of the initiatives I have launched, but also of the strategic public policy instructions I have given, particularly to the government, parliament and local councils.
Our vision in this respect is based on realistic as well as humanitarian considerations. It constitutes the essence of the first and second programs of the National Initiative for Human Development, and of the development program for rural populations – especially the poorest and most fragile segments – which I announced in the last State of the Nation Address.
In keeping with that same vision, I asked the Economic, Social and Environmental Council to prepare a report on intangible capital. Before that, we adopted a report marking the fiftieth anniversary of the country’s independence in which we explored prospects for the achievement of comprehensive, sustainable human development for the benefit of all Moroccan citizens.
When drawing up a development model for our southern provinces we also adopted an approach based on rights. One of my chief objectives in this respect has been to make sure this model serves as a pioneering, practical approach to achieving all aspects of social justice, especially the territorial dimension.
In my speeches as well as in the messages I send to various national and international forums, I invariably insist on the close correlation between economic growth, social justice and social cohesion. Indeed, I firmly believe that achieving high levels of economic growth makes sense only if it is accompanied by concerted efforts and effective, targeted public policies based on the fair and equitable distribution of the fruit of economic growth among all segments of the Moroccan population. Moreover, Morocco’s investment effort for the implementation of flagship projects will achieve its intended objective only if those projects lead to the proper harnessing of human resources.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Now that almost five years have elapsed since the new constitutional provisions came into force, I wish to point out that the “social dimension” has invariably been a characteristic feature of the country’s constitutional monarchy since the 1962 Constitution.
It is, therefore, hardly surprising that our common aspiration for social justice – to which I have been giving concrete substance in word and deed, and which has been voiced in various ways by community groups, political actors and civil society advocates – was clearly and unambiguously enshrined in the preamble to our country’s Constitution. Reflecting our irreversible policy decision, it states that Morocco will seek “to build an inclusive society, in which all citizens enjoy security, freedom, equal opportunity, respect for their dignity, in addition to social justice, within the framework of the intrinsic relationship between the rights and duties of citizenship”.
The fact that this policy choice is enshrined in the Constitution should by no means be seen as a mere “constitutional declaration of intent”. It is actually a comprehensive institutional benchmark for the goals and objectives to be achieved by sectoral, territorial and cross-cutting public policies in the economic, social, cultural and environmental spheres.
The depth and consistency of the Moroccan perception of social justice is clearly evidenced by the fact that the supreme law of the land has explicitly listed basic economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, particularly for priority groups targeted by public policies designed to achieve social justice. I am referring, in particular, to children, young people, disabled people and other vulnerable segments of society mentioned in the Constitution.
To give concrete substance to this policy, the Constitution has not only provided for the aforementioned rights, but also mentioned mechanisms, principles and constitutional commitments to guarantee their actual implementation.
I wish to refer, in particular, to the principle of gender equality with regard to human rights, the elimination of all forms of discrimination, the constructive commitment of government authorities to use all necessary means to ensure all citizens – men and women alike – enjoy basic economic and social rights on an equal footing, the principle of sharing the public burden – each according to his or her means – as well as collective solidarity in bearing the cost of development – each according to the means and resources available to them. There is also the duty of both Parliament and the Government to ensure financial balance, the use of cooperation and solidarity as guiding principles for regional and territorial organization, in addition to the public authorities’ constitutional commitment to promote collective bargaining and collective labor agreements, bearing in mind the important role played by the constitutional mechanisms of participatory democracy.
The main challenge in implementing such a social vision is to find practical answers to the following question: How can we translate constitutional commitments, principles and mechanisms into public laws and policies that can achieve social justice, which remains our common goal?
To answer this basic question, which will no doubt be addressed by your forum, two essential elements need to be taken into account.
The first one is our country’s record in and active commitment to the global endeavor championed by the United Nations system and its agencies as well as by the International Labor Organization to promote social justice programs and the related conventions and declarations that make up the international human rights law.
The second element is the need to build on ground-breaking national experiences in the area of social justice and use them as benchmarks in public policy formulation. They include the National Initiative for Human Development, the commitment through all national public policies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, gender-based budget programming, the Social Charter prepared by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council and the institutionalization of social dialogue as an accomplishment to be preserved and further developed.
In the same vein, our country has actively contributed to the global endeavor to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Morocco has also reasserted its firm position in international forums for greater solidarity and cooperation to achieve development, particularly in Africa. Our record in this respect provides a solid foundation for us to make a decisive contribution towards the adoption of practical measures for the implementation of sustainable development agendas and the achievement of social justice at regional and international levels.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thanks to accomplishments we have made through the ground-breaking national initiatives I have launched, the new constitutional provisions adopted and our active involvement in the global social justice agenda, we believe – now that we have ample experience in the field – that we have the means and skills needed to embark on developing a Moroccan participatory model for the achievement of social justice. Such a model can help us rise to challenges not only to promote social solidarity at social, spatial and environmental levels, but also to use economic development to foster social justice and social cohesion, and to ensure that public policies on social justice and sectoral and territorial development are consistent and coherent. Integrated policies targeting specific groups, such as children, young people, the elderly and the disabled also have to be consistent, and national achievements in the area of social dialogue should be strengthened. Moreover, the opportunities offered by the new constitutional provisions should be leveraged in the field of participatory democracy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to commend the House of Councilors on its contribution to building this model by organizing the present Forum. This is the first initiative of its kind to observe a world day, namely that of social justice.
The House of Councilors is proactively taking advantage of its constitutional standing and diversified make-up in terms of competences and representation, including territorial, professional and civil society representation. It is also building on its role – as a chamber that effectively embodies the aspirations of territorial, professional, trade union and civil society players – to launch a multi-stakeholder, participatory public debate on developing a solidarity-based Moroccan model for the achievement of social justice in all spheres.
Allow me to refer, in this respect, to some basic conditions which need to be taken into account to ensure the success of your action and your discussions. The participatory and rights-based approach to develop the Moroccan model for the achievement of social justice should be taken into consideration. It is just as important to constantly keep in mind our constitutional duties as well as the country’s obligations under the conventions signed by Morocco, particularly those relating to economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, child rights and the rights of disabled people. The cross-cutting nature of gender equality also needs to be taken into account.
By launching a debate on the Moroccan model for social justice, we are showing how strong our constitutional institutions are and how dynamic our public domain is. For this reason, a wide range of views and the interests of different categories of the population can be accommodated, reflecting the dynamism of our public domain. This is a valuable asset. Its importance can be properly appreciated only when one looks at the tensions and upheavals many communities are facing because of certain extremely sensitive social issues.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the participants in this Forum, particularly the representatives of regional and international organizations and foreign experts, and to welcome them to the Kingdom of Morocco. I appreciate their constructive contributions to this major international event which is designed to promote the cause of social justice.
I wish you every success.
Wasalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.