High level officials will discuss means to strengthen ties, delivering commitments, and unifying voices for shared prosperity between Morocco and the Pacific Island States.
Rabat – Morocco’s government has called for strengthened partnerships with the Pacific Island States as part of its approach to strengthen South-South cooperation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita underlined the North African country’s commitment to a “practical, united, and multifaceted partnership,” with the Pacific Island States.
Bourita shared Morocco’s vision through a speech his delegate, Mohcine Jazouli, delivered at the opening of the 3rd annual Morocco-Pacific Island States forum. The symposium will run until February 28.
In the speech, Jazouli said the Moroccan commitment for strengthened South-South cooperation is part of King Mohammed VI’s vision. The commitment “has been, is, and will remain the cornerstone of Morocco’s foreign policy, as a constant choice, aimed at consolidating relations with friendly countries” in the southern region.
The initiative seeks innovative measures to promote mutual solidarity between the North African country and its partners.
“In addition to its commitment to consolidate this option in the geographic areas to which it belongs [Africa and the Arab world], Morocco also pays particular attention to diversification and the consolidation of its relations with countries of the South,” notably the Island Developing States, the FM said.
Jazouli is representing Bourita during the event as the FM s currently on a 2-day visit to Saudi Arabia.
Bourita’s message added that Southern countries, in the Pacific Islands “maintain effective and united cooperation with Morocco at bilateral and multilateral levels.”
Following comments on the importance of South-South cooperation, Boruita went on to describe the importance of the event’s location.
The minister said that Morocco is proud of hosting the event, especially in Laayoune “a dear city that occupies a very special place in the hearts of Moroccan people.”
Hosting the event in Laayoune is a significant milestone for Morocco. It comes in the wake of another diplomatic win for Morocco, with seven African states opening general consulates in the southern cities of Laayoune and Dakhla.
The opening of diplomatic representations in the region reflects the growing continental support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over Western Sahara.
In addition to south-south cooperation, the meeting focused on responses to climate change. The Moroccan FM outlined Morocco’s active participation in innovative mechanisms such as the Climate Commission for African and Pacific States.
The Initiative aims to “build bridges between this commission and the Small Island States of the Pacific.”
Morocco, according to the minister’s speech, also put in place a dynamic to program to understand better the issues stemming from climate change and its consequences at the national level.
“It is more than ever necessary to take up the challenges that arise from climate change and its perverse effects,” the minister warned.
A study published by Afrobarometer in February 2019 stipulates that a large proportion of the Moroccan population is not aware of climate change and how it affects the environment.
The study shows that 4 out of 10 Moroccans (39%) have never heard of climate change.