21 January 2013

Morocco: HM the King Sends Message to Third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit

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Riyadh — HM King Mohammed VI sent a message to the 3rd Arab economic and social development summit which opened on Monday in Riyadh.

Here follows the full text of the message:

Praise be to God

May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Summit,

Your Majesties,

Your Highnesses,

Mr. Secretary-General of the League of Arab States,

Your Excellencies,

It gives me great pleasure to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to my revered brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of the Summit, for taking the praiseworthy initiative of convening this summit, the third of its kind. The regularity of these summit meetings is indeed commendable, and I wish to say how grateful we are for the warm welcome extended to us. I am sure we all hope this Summit will achieve tangible results that enhance Arab joint action and endeavors.

Your Majesties,

Your Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

The idea of instituting this Arab Economic and Social Development Summit was prompted by the desire to respond to the aspirations of Arab peoples and to give substance to an oft-proclaimed vision, namely to endow our Arab joint action with an economic, development-oriented dimension that makes Arab citizens the prime focus of our attention and provides them with all they need to lead a dignified life. Therefore, I cannot but laud such a wise initiative, all the more so as it fills a gap as far as our economic, social and environmental needs are concerned.

There is no doubt that the two preceding summits enabled us to develop a practical participatory approach by focusing on a number of development projects. Our aim was to promote economic cooperation, give substance to bilateral and multilateral Arab economic and commercial projects and agreements and develop mechanisms for their implementation. We also sought to adopt systems and tools for follow-up in order to overcome obstacles and solve problems in the light of changing economic circumstances. Moreover, special attention was paid to investment in infrastructure projects, such as road networks, electrification and communications, and to the promotion of economic integration. Importance was also given to ways of boosting the private sector to make it a key lever for the achievement of sustainable development.

The projects agreed on under this development-oriented approach are consistent with the Kingdom of Morocco's development agenda, with my country's efforts to carry out major development programs and implement specific sectoral strategies, as well as with the National Initiative for Human Development which I launched in 2005. This Strategy has been instrumental in reducing poverty and curbing social precariousness, unemployment, marginalization and exclusion.

Your Majesties,

Your Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

This Summit is convening at a time when the Arab world is still feeling the impact of the global economic crisis. Furthermore, some countries in the region are experiencing economic and social difficulties which are the result of complex political changes. This situation will test our ability to adopt a rational approach that can help us formulate appropriate solutions for the intricate issues on the table.

The Arab region boasts vast, diversified and complementary natural resources as well as human resources that should enable it to achieve its economic take-off and contribute to devising creative development policies that put the citizen at the heart of Arab concerns. The region's special importance from the geopolitical perspective means it can play a key role in boosting exchange relations and international cooperation. It can also have a positive impact on the global economy.

To play that role, however, we must make sure that the choices we make are the right ones, whether they concern the development of genuine cooperation in the Arab region, or our ability to hold our rightful place at global level.

I should like to take the opportunity offered by this important summit to say how determined I am to contribute to promoting and consolidating our promising economic bloc, and to ensure we make the most of the diverse and abundant resources available in our region.

In this regard, I cannot but say, once again, how much I regret that the Maghreb Union has not so far been in a position to play its natural role and support co-development in Maghreb countries, particularly by ensuring the free movement of people, capital, goods and services.

Being convinced that Arab joint action is a necessity, Morocco is keen to make sure it is even more open to investment and trade with all Arab countries. My country will also encourage the sharing of know-how and experiences as well as the development of public private partnerships. Giving tangible substance to solidarity, Morocco contributed to the Special Account for support to SMEs in the Arab world.

In this respect, I would like to commend the promising, model strategic partnership in which Morocco has been engaged with the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Your Majesties,

Your Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

I firmly believe that fulfilling the imperative, strategic ambition of achieving the goals of this Summit hinges as much on the adoption of a single, unambiguous vision as on our willingness to embrace a policy of openness, cooperation and solidarity. This is a prerequisite if we are to tackle current security challenges, confront the successive economic and social crises and give Arab States more clout in international economic forums, where the close-knit, cohesive economic blocs usually have the final say.

I wish to reiterate my sincere thanks and my appreciation and gratitude to my revered brother and Chairman of the Summit, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, for his generous hospitality and for his dedication to defending the just causes of the Arab and Muslim Ummah. I pray that Almighty God help us fulfill the aspirations of our peoples and grant us success in our endeavors to ensure their happiness.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

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