May peace and blessings be upon the
Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Your celebration of Accession Day, in keeping with a longstanding tradition, is not just the embodiment of the permanent bond of loyalty to the nation’s First Servant, who is entrusted with the task of leading the nation and preserving its unity; it is a commemoration which also reaffirms, in a constantly renewed manner, the bond of mutual allegiance between you and me, as we lead our country along the path to progress, prosperity and stability. Furthermore, this celebration illustrates your unwavering commitment to the nation’s immutable values.
Since my accession to the throne, I have launched several major economic and social projects and, at the same time, introduced political and institutional reforms to fulfill your aspirations. I have given my undivided attention to ensuring our citizens’ dignity and prosperity. Ours is a permanent march which is based on bold initiatives, resolute action, participatory approaches and effective use of the resources available.
As part of that march, and in accordance with my instructions, all previous governments have made praiseworthy efforts to give substance to my vision concerning reform and development. As a result, the current government has found not only a positive and constructive legacy, but also concrete achievements in the economic and social spheres. I therefore urge it to press ahead along the same lines which I am eager to keep to, and to show the same will and determination to achieve further progress and development.
My determination to implement the nation’s policy with regard to the setting up of constitutional institutions and the promotion of good governance under the rule of law is second only to my strong desire to see to it that we carry on with our untiring action to achieve our objectives, namely steady economic growth, sustainable development and social solidarity.
Morocco has managed to make significant progress in the area of infrastructure development. Our towns and villages are supplied with drinking water and electricity and have access to other basic services. Similarly, much progress has been made with respect to developing large-scale facilities, such as ports and airports and expanding the road network. Furthermore, the optimal management of water resources has been achieved and projects to further develop rail transport and urban transport systems have been launched. These accomplishments have changed the landscape of various provinces, giving Morocco a new face. They have also set the stage for the improvement of the strategies adopted in various sectors.
Similarly, the gradual implementation of sector strategies has enabled our country to make tangible progress and to attract greater foreign investment, notwithstanding a difficult global economic and financial environment.
I reaffirm my commitment to investment promotion and wish, once again, to call on the government to give priority to all measures that stimulate growth and create jobs.
I also ask the government to make sure meeting domestic consumption needs is properly balanced with our ability to increase exports, given the positive impact this has on our balance of payments.
Years ago, Morocco embarked on a policy of promoting global industries under the Emergence Plan. The results achieved, by the grace of the Almighty, encourage us to keep up our efforts in this regard. I therefore urge the government to create conditions conducive to the diversification and expansion of our industrial base, and to adopt a proactive policy that reinforces the public-private partnership.
In keeping with my vision regarding sustainable development, efforts are currently being made to ensure Morocco becomes a producer of renewable energy. The implementation of the solar energy program and the launching of the An-Nour Complex in Ouarzazate are part of this endeavor, just like the targets we set in the area of wind energy production. In addition to being environment-friendly, these projects will reduce our dependence on imported energy. They require an effective training policy to improve the national skills base - an objective that should also contribute to the implementation of the National Charter for the Environment.
In spite of the global financial crisis, the tourism sector in Morocco has managed to ward off the adverse effects of the international economic downturn thanks to the efforts made and to the initiatives I have been keen to see implemented in recent years. This should encourage the sector’s partners and stakeholders to achieve the 2020 Vision.
The adoption of an advanced agriculture strategy reflects my firm belief in the importance of this vital sector. I thank God for blessing us with a good amount of rainfall this year and with abundant crops.
The "Morocco Green Plan" has been adopted to modernize the farming sector, and particular attention has been devoted to smallholders with a view to improving their living conditions.
As part of my concern for the well-being of this segment of the population, they will continue to benefit from the tax exemption scheme which, for large-scale farmers, will end this year. Medium and small-scale farmers will therefore continue to benefit from tax exemption.
I call on the government to set up a special agency that makes sure the agriculture strategy is suited to local environments, particularly in mountainous areas which are lagging behind in terms of land use, making sure action in this respect is fully compatible with regional development programs.
I have also sought to promote the fisheries sector through the Halieutis Plan, the results of which are promising and therefore need to be further consolidated.
The main goal of economic growth remains the achievement of social justice, which is the bedrock of social cohesion.
Seen from this perspective, the National Initiative for Human Development should be perceived as a constantly developing project. In fact, it is a road map for the achievement of comprehensive, proactive development. As such, it is not restricted to meeting the needs of the poor and of deprived families. It includes all development-oriented projects and endeavors that seek to reduce social and spatial disparities. In this regard, the Initiative’s current programs should be supported by other mechanisms that give priority to income-generating projects.
I should like to take this opportunity to commend the unprecedented results obtained under the national literacy programs, especially those initiated in mosques in 2004.
This year, one and a half million people will benefit from this program; they will thus be empowered to take part in the overall development of their country.
As the achievement of human development hinges on moral and material considerations, I am keen to ensure culture receives all the attention it deserves. Not only is it the bedrock of cohesion within the nation, but it also reflects our identity as well as our traditional values.
Since Morocco boasts a rich identity built around a variety of specific linguistic and ethnic features, and given our country’s outstanding cultural and artistic heritage, the cultural sector should seek to illustrate this diversity and to encourage all forms of creativity, be it in connection with our time-honored heritage or with contemporary trends, thereby reflecting a harmonious blend between traditional values and modern creativity.
The preservation of our identity and its protection against the risks of reclusiveness and distortion hinge upon the proper understanding of our religion. Hence, ever since my accession to the throne, and in my capacity as Commander of the Faithful and protector of the faith and of the community of believers, I have sought to safeguard the Islamic identity of the Moroccan people. Indeed, ours is a typically Moroccan approach to the practice of Islam, which is based on the homogeneity of the Maliki rite, as well as on temperance and moderation. In keeping with this approach, I launched a strategy for the promotion of religious affairs, which was later reinforced by the adoption of an “Ulema charter”, whose foremost goals include the achievement of the Kingdom’s spiritual security and the preservation of the Moroccan Islamic identity.
Ever since I was entrusted with the sacred mission of leading the nation, the reform, moralization and modernization of the judicial system have been one of my main concerns. The aim is not only to ensure that justice is served and grievances are dealt with properly, but also to foster a climate of trust which is conducive to development and investment. In this respect, I am pleased that an agreement has been reached regarding a blueprint for the reform of the judicial system for which the right conditions have been met. Now, we must all be mobilized to ensure this important reform is fully implemented.
However important the said reform may be, and regardless of the regulatory texts drafted and the effective mechanisms set up, it is the actual conscience of the actors involved which is going to be the real test, not only for the planned reform, but more broadly for the efficiency of the judicial system.
As well as referring to all that has been achieved through the development and reform process I am spearheading, I would like to say how proud I am when I see the patriotic spirit displayed by the members of our community abroad and their unwavering attachment to their home country. Despite the impact of the global economic crisis on their financial situation this year, they have once again undertaken a difficult journey - some travelling for very long distances through Europe - to visit their homeland and renew bonds with their relatives. I appreciate their sense of patriotism and wish to welcome them home and to assure them of my solicitude.
We have gained more backing for our foremost cause from the international community thanks to a better understanding of the circumstances and considerations underpinning the issue of our territorial integrity. As a result, there is growing support for our judicious autonomy initiative.
In this regard, we note that the latest Security Council resolution clearly confirms the criteria that must be observed to reach a realistic and consensual political settlement. More specifically, the resolution highlights the regional dimension of the dispute, as well as the responsibility of Algeria, which is involved at the political, legal and humanitarian levels, given the deteriorating situation in the Tindouf camps.
In accordance with the same resolution, the human rights issue should only be addressed through national mechanisms, namely the National Human Rights Council, which enjoys international credibility and which carries out significant action on its own initiative, positively interacting with the United Nations procedures.
In the face of the stubborn positions adopted by the other parties, who seek to maintain the status quo as well as their misleading campaigns, Morocco will pursue the dynamic process initiated at the domestic level, which is aimed, in the first place, at achieving more economic and social good governance, through a regional development model that is being prepared by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council. I look forward to ensuring that this model is fully and effectively implemented.
Secondly, this dynamic process is designed to enhance territorial and institutional governance, through the optimization of opportunities offered by advanced regionalization.
Thirdly, this process will seek to improve political and security governance, in order to protect the individual and collective freedoms of our citizens as well as their property, while fully respecting legal provisions and guarantees.
This process, which is both pertinent and equitable in terms of its nature and implications, requires total mobilization on the part of all of the nation’s driving forces, who will have to be in step with the efforts undertaken by public authorities in this regard.
Since my accession to the throne, there has been a steady and remarkable evolution in Morocco’s foreign relations, which is in total harmony with our domestic policies.
In this context, we have been keen to pursue a balanced multidirectional foreign policy. Accordingly, we have managed to strengthen considerably our relations with our traditional partners and open up promising opportunities with new partners.
In this respect, we continue to look forward to the emergence of a new Maghreb order that would enable its five Member Countries to build a common future based on integration and complementarity mechanisms, as well as on the free movement of people, goods and capital; an order that transcends artificial obstacles and imposed conditions, thus enabling us to be in tune with the ongoing regional changes.
The same conviction underlies Morocco's vision for the Arab world as it seeks to develop a new approach for Arab joint action, in coordination with the countries of the region.
In this respect, during my visit to the Gulf Cooperation Council States, it was decided to lay the foundations for a strategic partnership between the Kingdom and this coherent, promising regional grouping. The first positive results of this
partnership are a source of great satisfaction to us.
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to my distinguished brothers: the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his successor, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, for their decision to back Morocco financially, with an annual donation of $1billion for the next five years, and for implementing that decision.
I have also continued my efforts as Chairman of the Al Quds Committee to uphold the just cause of the brotherly Palestinian people, so they may live in an independent state, established on Palestinian land, on the basis of the Arab peace initiative.
I also remain committed to ensuring that the cultural and religious identity of the holy city of Al Quds is safeguarded, particularly through the Al Quds Committee and its affiliate body in the field, namely Bayt Mal Al Quds. The latter is conducting a number of tangible projects, but could undoubtedly do more for the benefit of all, should it receive financial support from Islamic States, in accordance with the commitments they made when this specialized agency was set up.
Deeply convinced of the virtues of South-South cooperation, Morocco has pursued its solidarity policy with regard to sister African nations.
In this connection, I visited three African countries earlier this year in order to further strengthen Morocco’s ties with the continent. This gave me the opportunity to take note of these countries’ requests for Moroccan investment and expertise and I therefore invite Moroccan stakeholders to respond to this request in order to achieve more economic integration, rapprochement and complementarity.
The Kingdom has also pursued its strategy of openness, based on positive interaction with its European partners. Morocco was thus keen to strengthen its bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Spain and the French Republic, on the occasion of the visits paid to our country by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain and the French President, His Excellency Mr. François Hollande. Mutual efforts to take relations with the European Union to a higher level are also on the right path, within the framework of the Advanced Status granted to Morocco, the aim being to open up further promising prospects for our bilateral cooperation.
Similar outstanding diplomatic action has been carried out in all the other continents in order to build stronger relations with international actors there. As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Morocco has also sought to make sure the voices of Africa and the Arab world are heard.
In this regard and on behalf of Morocco, I would like to confirm our solidarity with the Syrian people, who are caught up in a tragic, bloody and destructive conflict, and to voice our support for the crucial choices they make as well as for their territorial integrity. I also express our support for the Republic of Mali in its endeavors to protect the unity of its territory and its national identity against radicalism and terrorism.
Our action will continue to be guided by these diplomatic orientations, which are based on renewed cooperation mechanisms and on policies that are adapted to changes in the world around us.
On this glorious national day, which coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, I solemnly remember the pioneers of our independence and the architects of modern Morocco, my grandfather and father, Their Majesties King Mohammed V and King Hassan II - may they rest in peace - as well as all the martyrs of the resistance and liberation, who gave their lives for our country’s territorial integrity. May the Almighty reward them for all they did.
I would also like to pay tribute to our Royal Armed Forces, Royal Gendarmerie, National Security Forces, Auxiliary Forces, local authorities and Emergency Services for their dedication as they defend, under my leadership, the security and stability of the nation.
I will remain, as I have always been, the devoted leader of your march towards democracy and development, in order to make Morocco stronger, unified, advanced and prosperous. I pray that the Almighty strengthen the bond between you and me.
This bond has always been our main asset whenever we have had to rise to challenges and have sought to achieve lofty goals. May God accept your fasting and prayers and grant you happiness, now and forever.
"Our Lord, accept [this] from us, for You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing”.