20 February 2017

Morocco: Social Dialogue Has Endorsed Social Character of Morocco's Constitutional Monarchy - HM the King

Rabat — HM King Mohammed VI underlined that social dialogue, which has been adopted and institutionalized as a strategic option for Morocco, has endorsed the social character of the country's constitutional monarchy.

"Social dialogue is a principle and an approach that, since my accession to the throne of my glorious ancestors, I have been urging all stakeholders to adopt and institutionalize as a strategic option for our country which, since the 1962 Constitution, has endorsed the social character of our constitutional monarchy," the Sovereign noted in a royal message to the participants in the 2nd International Parliamentary Forum on Social Dialogue, which kicked off Monday in Rabat.

"Accordingly, I have been keen to strengthen and further develop the social dialogue achievements made during the reign of my late father, His Majesty King Hassan II," HM the King said, adding that "the creation of the Economic and Social Council, provided for in the 1996 Constitution, was one of the strategic decisions he made."

The Sovereign stressed that on several occasions, he has urged successive governments to promote consultation between social parties, adopt suitable approaches for the establishment and organization of professional relations and consolidate and develop social dialogue mechanisms and approaches.

To put this course of action into effect, the legislative body has introduced a significant number of laws, following royal guidelines, in order to launch a series of consultation, negotiation, conciliation and dispute-resolution mechanisms, the monarch pointed out, noting that a number of councils and committees have also been created to facilitate dialogue between production stakeholders.

The national social dialogue system has therefore been consolidated thanks to various mechanisms for collective bargaining and dialogue provided for in the Labor Law, the Sovereign said, noting that the efficiency of the social dialogue mechanisms may not be measured by their mere existence, nor by how regularly they work, as they must have a tangible effect that produces good practices and helps promote social peace, economic growth and sustainable, inclusive development for all social categories, in order to reach the ultimate goal of achieving social justice.

One of the main challenges facing all parties involved in the process of social dialogue is how to manage the transition to a new generation of mechanisms, HM the King stressed.

"In this regard, I would like to point out that our country's constitution reflects our shared aspirations and brings realistic and effective responses to this practical challenge," the Sovereign said, adding that "a number of constitutional provisions offer invaluable opportunities that need to be intelligently and innovatively exploited by legislators, as well as by all stakeholders, local councils and civil society in order to achieve advanced institutionalization of social dialogue, as one of the components of the national model for social justice."

Optimal use of such opportunities, however, requires appropriate answers to a number of practical questions, HM the King noted, adding that when looking for answers to these questions, four challenges closely linked to the process of building a Moroccan model for social justice must be taken into consideration.

The first challenge is the institutionalization of social dialogue mechanisms which have simple procedures and clear approaches and can include all parties, while the second challenge "is the need to enlarge the scope of social dialogue to include new issues, which are at the heart of my concerns and part of our country's constitutional and conventional commitments, namely effective equality, the fight against gender discrimination at the workplace and the fight against child labor," the Sovereign explained.

The third challenge is the need to build a new social dialogue system, taking into consideration the prerequisites for gender equality and the respect of human rights, along with Morocco's commitments in accordance with the International Labor Organization's conventions and with the requirements for sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions, HM the King underlined, adding that the fourth challenge is to consider the institutionalization of social dialogue as a major gateway to achieving social justice and sustainable development.

"These requirements must be taken into consideration not only to ensure the methodological coherence of the new social dialogue system, but is also because they are at the heart of the course of action resolutely adopted by our country, with a view to changing to a new sustainable development model which is fair and comprehensive. This model should achieve social justice and set the conditions for a decent life, which are fundamental for laying the foundations for a solidarity-based society, as described in the preamble to the Kingdom's constitution," the Sovereign said.

In this regard, HM the King asked the House of Advisors to pursue the participatory construction of a Moroccan model for social justice, through the organization of thematic and sectoral debates, forums and consultations with the relevant actors and to make use of their results to prepare future sessions of this parliamentary forum.

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