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Royal speeches

Royal Message to 15th Francophonie Summit

HM King Mohammed VI addressed, this Sunday, a message to the 15th Francophonie Summit, held in Dakar on November 29-30.

Here follows the full text of the Royal message read out by Foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar:

Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon 

His Prophets and Messengers

Mr. President of the Republic of Senegal,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Mr. Secretary General of the International Organization

of La Francophonie,

Distinguished Ministers and Personal Representatives,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted that the Francophonie Summit is, once again, being held in Dakar, a city in which our Senegalese brothers have always offered us a warm welcome and generous hospitality and been outstanding conference organizers.

I should like to congratulate His Excellency President Joseph Kabila for the interest he has kindly shown in our work since the successful Kinshasa Summit. I also wish my brother President Macky Sall every success for the next two years as we embark on major Francophonie projects.

With mixed feelings of emotion and gratitude, I wish to commend the work accomplished by His Excellency Mr. Abdou Diouf at the helm of our Organization. Thanks to his wisdom and vast experience, he managed to promote the values of peace, tolerance and sharing. During his three terms of office, he paved the way for a more firmly established Francophonie, which is now confidently embraced.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The late President Leopold Sedar Senghor saw in La Francophonie the hope of “fraternity based on mutual respect and dialogue between cultures”.

Today, who better than young people and women to convey this hope and turn it into reality?

That is why I commend the choice of this Summit’s theme “Women and Youth : Vectors of Peace and Actors in Development”, which serves as the basis for our discussions that will, no doubt, be fruitful.

As part of its resolute, humanist and universalist approach, my country has placed Moroccan youth and women at the heart of the overall development issue.

Major efforts have been made to ensure their access to the various services and benefits to which they are entitled, and which should not only give them a sense of empowerment, but also enable them to play an active part in the development of their society.

Enhancing guarantees of their freedom and of respect for their rights has been an inherent feature of our approach. Indeed, no social advancement is possible without personal fulfilment. I know, in this respect, that we can rely on our active civil society, which is doing a superb job to support and help improve public policy in various sectors.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Like individuals and communities, languages have lived and evolved through the centuries, bringing new words into our lives and dropping obsolete ones.

Just as the French language has brought much to Africa and Asia, the populations of these two continents have actively contributed to the vibrancy and enrichment of French as a language.

As in medieval times, when the Arab world’s contribution to human civilization helped to enrich the Greek heritage for the good of humanity, Africa’s contribution today is making it possible for La Francophonie to develop and flourish, not in opposition to globalization, but through it.

Within the world of La Francophonie, we are one large family committed to solidarity, in which everyone is expected to support and respect others, and be there for them.

The agreements signed by Morocco with African sister nations are in keeping with this philosophy: to share experiences, to work together and to rely on ourselves to find the means for our own development.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In today’s troubled times, our young people, who are torn between traditional models of socialization, on the one hand, and globalized patterns on the other, are the target of a violent discourse that seeks to convince them that hating others somehow reinforces their own identity. Such an extremist discourse also forces women into an inferior status in society.

It is during testing times such as these that it is important to remember the values of La Francophonie that we have in common, and to take whatever measures are needed to defend - together - our vision of society, which is based on openness, tolerance, freedom, diversity and sharing.

I therefore wish to make a call, from this podium, for unfailing solidarity with the countries of the Sahel, which are suffering from the scourge of blind transnational terrorism and insecurity. Our Organization has a crucial role to play in upholding culture and knowledge in the face of barbarism, the sheer ignorance of the Words of the Almighty and the distortion of the Messages of Faith.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We need to match action with words, to launch ambitious sector-specific cooperation and to transcend the narrow-minded logic of aid for development.

Cultures and languages are also parameters for competition between nations - just like energy costs or the quality of the business environment. They are structural factors of a nation’s intangible assets.

We, in Morocco, are proud of our remarkable historic legacy. It is the fruit of our openness on the world, which has, over the last centuries, been a reflection of the fusion of different cultures, together with the accumulation of various pieces of knowledge and the expansion of trade. The increasing number of our citizens who speak foreign languages, such as French, Spanish and English, is a real asset, as shown by the offshoring sector, which has expanded significantly over the last few years.

Wherever you go in Africa, the French language serves as a valuable tool for mobility and I would like to take this opportunity to commend the special role played by the network of francophone institutions in the world.

I therefore call on the Organization to keep up and reinforce its cultural and educational programs, and I wish to reaffirm Morocco’s commitment in this regard.

However, this will still be short of our objective unless these measures are backed up by the resources to be harnessed by our communities with a view to improving the living conditions of our populations. It is with this pressing need in mind that we are endeavoring within international organizations, especially with support from UNESCO, to prepare the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

French is spoken by some 274 million people worldwide. This figure is expected to increase three-fold by 2050.

It is up to us to turn the current demographic dynamism in francophone communities into cultural, economic and political clout.

The francophone space we share must be carefully nurtured as an outstanding asset in a world where economic and political integration is increasingly based on regional groupings where partners share the same set of values and affinities.

In this context, La Francophonie is a real opportunity to mitigate the harshness of globalization and to foster tangible, sustainable change through cooperation. The assets of our grouping have grown more and more substantial thanks to the development of information technology, which brings us closer together.

Francophone countries are therefore bound together by a natural relationship which transcends continents, most of the time with no need to transit by the North. The dynamism of francophone media groups, in the field of broadcasting and the press for example, shows the multifarious, mutually beneficial dimensions potentially inherent in South-South cooperation.

The existence of a francophone bridge is not just a chance to use a language, but rather an opportunity for each one of our respective nations to exert its influence; it is also a tool for the advancement of our peoples.

I strongly believe the Dakar Summit, through its positive initiatives such as “The Francophonie Village” and the high-level “Francophonie Economic Forum”, will foster productive exchange and reach relevant operational conclusions.

Thank you for your attention.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

MAP  30/11/2014