The Moroccan head of government has called for a special fund to support Sustainable Development Goals in Africa in the face of current and future crises.
Rabat – Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani on Friday called for more attention on sustainable development in Africa during a virtual meeting of the UN in New York. Africa needs strengthening in order to better weather crises in the future, he underlined.
El Othmani highlighted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), laid out by UN member states and formally adopted by Morocco, as the way forward.
Morocco’s head of government spoke to the UN about the need for a fund to further support Africa’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Morocco is keen to “continue to keep its commitments,” according to Morocco’s head of state, stressing that Morocco can play an important role through its wide network of partnerships on the continent.
El Othmani stated firmly that Morocco’s efforts in international development place “Africa at the heart of (our) concerns” as Morocco’s role in regional diplomacy and sustainable development continues to grow.
A decade of action
Morocco has garnered international praise for its success in developing renewable energy as the world battles climate change. The country aims to build on this success, urging the UN to establish a fund that helps nations in Africa achieve results across sustainable development fields.
Strengthening African “immunity to crisis” requires a special fund to support the global community’s lofty and much-needed SDGs and El Othmani reiterated Morocco’s commitment to the world’s “blueprint for a prosperous future.”
Morocco was an invitee to speak at the UN’s “SDG Moment 2020.” The new event will feature at the opening of each General Assembly for the next decade, as the SDGs’ target date of 2030 approaches.
UN Secretary Antonio Guterres convened the first-ever SDG Moment. It also featured a speech by Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who expressed disappointment with the failure of many nations to “do the work” needed to meet the SDGs’ targets.
The UN has called for a “decade of action.” Though 193 countries have committed to the 17 goals for sustainable development, reaching those goals’ targets will require spectacular efforts.
The right time
El Othmani expressed relief at the special attention on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially for Africa. They “come at the right time,” according to the head of government, who hopes to strengthen momentum for sustainable development.
He highlighted COVID-19 as a call to action to further increase resilience in African states where the “unprecedented health and socio-economic crisis” has impacted millions.
Achieving the global community’s goals for sustainable development are a national priority in Morocco, El Othmani underlined.
He highlighted improvements Morocco has made to provide access to basic services (SDG 6, for example) and reduce poverty (SDG 1). He added that the empowerment of women (SDG 5), the reduction of social inequalities (SDG 10), and investment in human capital (SDGs 4, 8) are as important as renewable energy (SDGs 7, 13).
El Othmani proceeded to outline Morocco’s efforts in achieving these targets through national programs, and in particular the measures it took during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.