The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, on September 23, 2022 in New York, confirmed Morocco’s commitment to the African-Atlantic partnership, which will actively serve stability and joint development.
Speaking at the meeting of ministers of the African Atlantic States, Mr. Burita emphasized that the renewal of this geostrategic alliance expresses the vision and commitment of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to make the African Atlantic space a framework for pragmatic and timely interstate cooperation.
“Our meeting last June and the Rabat Declaration that came out of it materialized this vision, establishing the Atlantic region of Africa as a space of peace, stability and general prosperity,” he noted. In this regard, he emphasized that through the Rabat declaration, the Atlantic-African states have demonstrated a strong ambition to place joint actions within the framework of a broader partnership and deepen integration ties in order to more effectively face the challenges of the region. and identify great potential for collaboration
Mr. Burita also noted that these States agreed that the joint actions are guided by the principles of consultation, solidarity and dynamic and entrepreneurial South-South cooperation, noting that the international context, which has rarely been as complex as today, reinforces the urgency of this initiative .
“It also obliges us to respond to the imperative to strengthen our partnership. Especially since we face the same challenges and share the same concerns, including security, stability and sustainable development,” he explained.
Underscoring the complex, interconnected and multidimensional threats facing the region, the minister warned of terrorist threats spreading in parts of Africa with “very negative” implications for stability in the region.
“The effective fight against terrorism requires an integrated approach aimed at actions both in terms of security, promoting the ideals of tolerance, and achieving sustainable development,” he said, adding that the situation with transnational organized crime in the region is very alarming. “Illegal trade in arms, drugs or people is developing very quickly and threatens peace and development in the Atlantic-African space,” he warned.
Mr. Burrito also warned of the threats posed by piracy, which “damages the economic development and trade prospects of countries in the region,” saying that the direct and indirect costs of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea are close to two billion dollars annually, and that figure does not include all costs , borne by African countries and their partners.
The minister also noted that the intertwining of terrorism, separatism and transnational organized crime multiplies the threat by creating an “alliance of evil forces”. “No country can cope with these challenges alone,” he stressed, calling for joint efforts through cooperation and coordination.
Speaking about the prospects of cooperation, Burita emphasized the huge opportunities for partnership in the region in the fields of blue economy, maritime cooperation, and energy.
“By 2030, the blue economy is projected to bring $3,000 billion in added value to the global economy annually, and our region has enormous potential in this area,” he noted, pointing out that maritime cooperation is also an asset “that will allow to strengthen our economic integration and trade and improve our competitiveness in the global economy.
Regarding the environmental problems facing the region, Burita said that efforts to solve these problems are part of the dynamics of economic cooperation in this area, recalling that the African continent, which accounts for 7% of greenhouse gas emissions, is the most vulnerable to effects of climate change.
“The initiatives of the African Action Summit held on the sidelines of COP22 in Marrakesh in 2016, on Africa’s emergence through climate action, are among the appropriate actions for our collective fight against climate change,” he argued, adding that the search and the promotion of international partnerships is desirable to support efforts and build capacity to address challenges and exploit opportunities for cooperation.
In this context, he said that the draft program of action of this initiative aims to identify common strategic priorities to realize the vision of an effective and inclusive Atlantic-African partnership, noting that this project is a unifying element to “unite us around a common goals and guide us in our joint actions.
The order of action also serves as the basis for the preparation of action plans of the three thematic groups established by the Workers’ Declaration dealing with issues of political dialogue and security; blue economy, maritime communication and energy, as well as sustainable development and the environment, the minister continued.
He added that today’s meeting will be sanctioned by a declaration confirming the common will to “consolidate our partnership and give impetus and direction to our future collective actions, including the Program of Action and the work of the three thematic groups”.
The minister urged the participating states of this partnership to appoint coordinators of this draft Program of Action to begin the development of a common agenda and coordination of actions.
This meeting took place on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Kingdom of Morocco – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates.
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