Morocco has called for pooling efforts and making bold innovations to promote the sustainable development of LDCs, which is the key to a dignified and solidarity-based response.
The call was launched by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in an address during the High-level debate of ECOSOC on LDCs.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that Morocco’s active solidarity in favor of the least developed countries (LDCs) is a cornerstone of the African policy spearheaded by King Mohammed VI, recalling that the King’s commitment has been materialized again in the context of the coronavirus health crisis, through the royal initiative to extend medical assistance (medicines, equipment, protection gear, prevention products) to around twenty African countries, which are part of the LDCs.
Bourita indicated further that since the adoption of the Istanbul Program of Action, the LDCs have made real progress in vital areas, such as access to basic services, health, education, trade as well as in the area of governance, and that the current tendency to reclassify LDCs prompts optimism.
This trend reflects the development efforts of LDCs. Actually, six countries have left the category of LDCs and sixteen others currently meet the criteria to follow suit, said Bourita.
“We have reason to worry about the sustainability of this undeniable progress”, he said, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the socio-economic situation and worsened the vulnerabilities of the least developed countries.
However, this context of health crisis can also be transformed into an opportunity to give new impetus to cooperation in favor of LDCs, said Bourita, deeming that this debate is an opportunity to provide innovative, concrete, and realistic solutions to the structural and exogenous constraints facing LDCs. In this vein, he called for pooling efforts and making bold innovations to promote the sustainable development of LDCs, which is the key to a dignified and solidarity-based response.
As to Morocco’s cooperation with LDCs, Bourita underscored that this solidarity-based cooperation is governed by bilateral or triangular agreements in various fields, such as agriculture, fisheries, health, drinking water and energy, experience sharing, and technical assistance.
This cooperation is also supported by several concrete initiatives, including in particular the cancellation of the debt of the least developed African countries, access to the Moroccan market for products from certain African LDCs without customs duties, the granting of scholarships, the implementation of infrastructure projects, particularly in the education, health and water sectors and the establishment of a migration policy that has helped to regularize the situation of around 50,000 nationals from fraternal African countries, since 2014, said Bourita.
This solidarity-based cooperation is also being deployed through Morocco’s regional and international initiatives in the area of climate change, said the minister, citing as an example the operationalization of the three Climate Committees, launched by King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the African Action Summit, organized by Morocco in 2016, on the sidelines of COP-22 and the “Triple A” Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture.
He also cited the “Triple S” Initiative to promote Sustainability, Stability and Security in Africa and the Universal Access to Sustainable Energy Initiative and the Climate Hub for African Youth, launched on the occasion of the 2019 Climate Action Summit.