by Iddi Z. Yire, GNA Special Correspondent in Laayoune, Morocco.
the Kingdom of Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and
Laayoune, Feb. 29,
GNA – The Third Morocco-Pacific Islands States Forum has ended with an
affirmation that the Sahara Region is an integral part of Moroccan territory.
The Heads of the
Delegations of the Member States of the Morocco-Pacific Island States in a
communique issued at the end of the three-day meeting held in the Moroccan
southern city of Laayoune, reaffirmed their common attachment to the principles
of sovereign equality, the political independence, and the territorial
integrity of States.
The communique also
affirmed that the Sahara Region was an integral part of Moroccan territory, and
considered that Moroccan Autonomy Initiative was the only and unique solution
to the regional dispute on the Moroccan Sahara.
“We support the
efforts led under the exclusive aegis of the United Nations towards achieving a
realistic, practicable, and enduring solution to this regional dispute in full
respect of Morocco’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.”
The forum held on
the theme: “Strengthening Linkages, Delivering on Commitments and Unifying
Voices for Shared Prosperity between Morocco and the Pacific Island
States”, was to explore ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between
Morocco and its partners in the pacific islands.
reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation between Morocco and the
Pacific Islands States for the mutual benefits of their countries, within the
framework of South-South Cooperation, in the spirit of solidarity and in line
with the national priorities.
“In this spirit, we
are grateful to King Mohammed VI for the Kingdom’s vision and will to elevate
its relations with the Pacific Islands States to hitherto, unprecedented level
in diverse areas of cooperation,” the communique stated.
It said the holding
of the third Morocco-Pacific Islands States Forum was a platform to strengthen
dialogue on common challenges and enhance cooperation in the areas of shared
interest between Morocco and the Pacific Island States.
It welcomed the
ongoing endeavours in the areas of education, technical cooperation in the
sectors of vocational training, agriculture, health, fisheries, tourism and
recognised and welcomed the ownership, leadership and considerable efforts that
had been made by the Pacific Islands States in advancing the implementation of
the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway
(SAMOA Pathway) and Sustainable Development Agenda.
It said in this
regard, the Government of Morocco intends to continue providing support to the
participation of the Pacific Islands States to the Conference of Parties of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“We remain concerned
about the adverse impacts of climate change, especially those related to
coastal erosion, sea level rise, natural disasters and extreme weather events,
which continued to pose a significant risk to Pacific Islands States and to
their efforts to achieve sustainable development and, for many, represent the
gravest of threats to their survival and viability, including, for some,
through loss of territory, as well as through threats to water availability and
food security and nutrition,” it said.
It said in this
regard, they would endeavour to strengthen their dialogue and cooperation,
through innovative approaches and
solutions, exchange of experiences and good practices, South-South Cooperation
and triangular cooperation, and capacity building particularly in the fields of
food security and nutrition, health, sustainable tourism, integrated coastal
zone management approaches, renewable energies, education and training.
“We will build on
the experience and the potential of the initiatives launched by the Kingdom of
Morocco notably, the Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture, the
Initiative to promote Stability, Security and Sustainability, and the
Commission for African Island States launched at the First Africa Action Summit
for Continental Co-Emergence, held on the sidelines of the Conference of the
Parties (COP22) in November 2016.
announced that Morocco expressed its will to join the Group of Friends on
Climate and Security, and leverage its membership of this Group to share its
experience in the fields of climate change adaption and migration.