Praise be to God
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I should like, first of all, to welcome you to the Kingdom of Morocco, your home away from home, which is honored to host the 31st session of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers.
The convening this important meeting in Marrakech reflects Morocco’s strong commitment to supporting Arab joint action, especially that which involves officials in charge of home affairs, considering the key role they play.
To this end, mechanisms for consultation and coordination should be reinforced in order to enhance our officials’ ability to craft innovative strategies that can help keep pace with current shifts and changes, and meet the requirements of security and social stability.
In this regard, we respectfully remember His Royal Highness Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the Honorary President of this august Council - may he rest in peace - who played a pivotal role and had the great merit of ensuring the continuity of the Council’s meetings, right from the first session, which was held in Casablanca in 1982.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The convening of this session of the Council, amid significant changes and far-reaching reforms under way in the Arab world, will no doubt provide a chance to get to the heart of the concept of security, which has profoundly changed. This will contribute to enhancing the security of our Arab countries, making them immune to the perils of extremism and terrorism and to all types of organized crime, including arms smuggling and trafficking in human beings and drugs.
Your meeting today attests to your strong will to preserve the security and stability of our Arab world, and to uphold the values of cohesion, peace and cultural openness, which form the bedrock of our communities. It will also enhance your contribution to meeting the legitimate aspirations of Arab peoples for further progress and development.
You are therefore called upon to adopt rational, forward-looking and far-sighted approaches that can effectively contribute to the development of creative plans based on coordination and cooperation. The aim is to be able to deal with anything that could compromise the security and stability of our countries, or the safety of our citizens.
Needless to say, successful security policies and effective pre-emptive measures hinge on the involvement and contribution of the citizens, who fully realize their constructive role in ensuring security and serenity, in the same way as they play an active part in the development process and in creating the right conditions for investment and the achievement of progress.
Seen from this perspective, the concept of real security is much broader than the narrow meaning it is usually given. Security primarily means putting the citizen at the heart of public policy, capitalizing on an effective social partnership in which the State and the citizens mutually supplement and reinforce one another – a partnership in which security imperatives, development requisites and respect for human rights go hand in hand.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Considering the crucial role played by the citizens not only as key partners in the achievement of security and stability and in the promotion of the development process, but also as active contributors to the creation of the right social environment imbued with democratic values and respect for human rights, I was keen to lay the foundations for a new concept of authority. It is built around preserving and expanding liberties, safeguarding peoples’ dignity and rights in a state based on the rule of law, and promoting a democratic system close to the citizens as well as a participatory approach in the management of public affairs.
In the same vein, I launched the National Initiative for Human Development in 2005, which makes the citizen the central element of the development process as well as its main goal. Indeed, I firmly believe that political and civil rights cannot have tangible meaning in the citizen’s everyday life unless they are supported by economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.
I have seen to it, at the same time, that a new territorial system based on decentralization is established. This has led to the launching of the advanced regionalization project, which aims to consolidate territorial good governance and pave the way for a democratic management system of local affairs. The ultimate goal is to achieve integrated social and economic development.
To make sure we capitalize on the positive results achieved and the far-reaching reforms undertaken in the fields of human rights and development, I have seen to it that the Kingdom’s Constitution includes a comprehensive charter of social, economic, cultural and environment rights.
Building on the same approach, I have made sure our efforts also address the issue of migrants, particularly those from Sub-Saharan countries. Thus, a comprehensive, multidimensional migration and asylum policy has been adopted. It is rooted not only in Morocco’s time-honored tradition as a welcoming, hospitable land, but also in our record as a nation that lives up to its international commitments, respects migrants’ rights and takes into account their humanitarian situation.
All of the above projects and reforms are based on honoring man and on making the citizen the cornerstone as well as the ultimate goal of public policies. As such, they set the stage for a holistic approach in which democracy, development, security and stability are closely intertwined.
Aware of the importance of this integrated approach, and in order to promote a comprehensive perception of security based on respect for human rights, the preservation of social peace and the creation of an environment conducive to development, Morocco has introduced this approach in the training curricula of security colleges and institutions.
This can be seen through the implementation of the security governance strategy, which makes it possible for security college graduates to be more open to the citizens and to have a greater ability to listen to and respond to people’s needs, not to mention the capacity to participate actively and pragmatically in finding solutions to the citizens’ real problems. They also contribute to creating the right environment for the promotion of investment and development, and to encouraging private and community-based initiatives aimed at fostering solidarity and social peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a summary of the Moroccan experience, which I wanted to share with you at this important meeting.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, the adoption of an Arab security charter will only be possible through a unified, common Arab perception of the concept of security, with its constantly evolving economic, social and human rights dimensions.
I am sure this meeting which brings together a fine group of Arab officials and international experts will adopt a set of practical recommendations that will pave the way for effective solutions which fulfill our Arab peoples’ aspirations for further security, peace, stability, progress and prosperity, in an environment where freedom and dignity prevail.
I should like to take this opportunity to commend the outstanding action carried out by your Council to serve this goal through various strategies and specific plans as well as through a number of workshops. These efforts contribute to raising Arab awareness. They also strengthen the commitment to constructive security action and to the pivotal role it plays in bringing about the environment where values and rights are preserved and the development dynamic promoted.
I see the Marrakech meeting as a fresh start for the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, particularly in light of the sweeping changes in the region and the overall situation in the Arab world. You have tremendous responsibilities in the areas within your remit. You are therefore called upon to agree on your one and the same approach and enhance coordination and constructive consultation because they are conducive to promoting development and ensuring security and stability.
Once again, welcome to your second home. May Almighty God grant you success for the benefit of Arab peoples.
“"And say: work (righteousness): Soon will Allah observe your work, and His Messenger, and the Believers”
True is the word of God.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.