Royal speeches

Full Text of HM the King's Message to 30th AU Summit

HM King Mohammed VI addressed a message on Monday 29 January 2018, to the 30th African Union Summit, held in Addis Ababa.

Here follows the full text of the Royal message that was read out by head of government, Saad Eddine El Othmani.

“Praise be to God

May peace and blessings be upon The Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Your Excellency, President Paul Kagame, President of the African Union,

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Heads of State and Government,

Your Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A year ago, the Kingdom of Morocco regained its natural place within its African institutional family. Since then, my country has been pleased to contribute to the actions undertaken, the projects launched and the meetings held under the aegis of our organization. Morocco will continue to endorse the lofty causes of the Continent and will work untiringly towards the promotion of peace, stability and development in the Continent.

I should like to take this opportunity to praise the Pan-African commitment shown by President Alpha Condé during his term of office at the head of our organization. Thanks to his far-sightedness and his firm convictions, he has managed to give good visibility to African joint action.

There is no doubt in my mind that under the leadership of our Brother, President Paul Kagame, the new AU President for 2018, the great efforts to reform our organization will be maintained, and Africa's voice will be heard in the international arena. I wish to assure him of the Kingdom of Morocco’s full support.

I should also like to thank His Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, for his tireless efforts to inject new dynamism into the work of our organization.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the 28th AU Summit, you graciously appointed me Leader of the African Union on the Question of Migration. I feel honored by this expression of esteem on the part of my Brothers and Sisters.

In July 2017, I submitted a blueprint for a common African vision on migration, through the Preliminary Note presented to my Brother, President Alpha Condé.

Today, I am submitting to you a document introducing the "African Agenda on Migration". It was drawn up using an inclusive, participatory approach:

· It is the outcome of the regular consultation I had with many Heads of State on the occasion of various meetings and contacts.

· It enjoys broad ownership thanks, notably, to the convening of two important meetings: the Regional Meeting of 2 November 2017, at Skhirat, which brought together more than 120 decision-makers, representatives of international organizations, researchers and members of civil society, and the Ministerial Conference, held in Rabat on 9 January 2018, which was attended by approximately twenty ministers, representing the continent’s five sub-regions, the AU Commission and the Regional Economic Communities.

· The document therefore includes the ideas, proposals and thoughts shared by official institutions, civil society organizations and researchers from Africa.

· It is a flexible, scalable and legally non-binding document. More than anything else, it should serve to inspire our future action regarding this question.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you can see, the African Agenda on Migration is based on the idea that we need to know the full range of dimensions involved in the migration phenomenon in order to understand it properly. In this regard, I think the time has come to deconstruct, one by one, the myths associated with migration:

1. There is no massive influx of migrants, since the latter account for only 3.4 per cent of the world population.

2. African migration is essentially intra-African. Worldwide, migration accounts for less than 14 per cent of the population. As far as Africa is concerned, 4 out of 5 African migrants remain in the Continent.

3. Migration does not impoverish host countries since 85% of migrants' incomes remain in those countries.

4. Migration is a natural phenomenon which is part of the solution, not of the problem. We should adopt a positive stance on the issue of migration by highlighting the humanistic rationale of shared responsibility and solidarity.

I am sure you will agree with me, dear Brothers and Sisters, that when one sees migration for what it really is, shedding the myths that convey a shockingly distorted image of the phenomenon, one realizes that this is a global issue – one that is crucial for our continent. It deserves a fresh, Africa-centered approach combining realism, tolerance and a commitment to make reason prevail over fear.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As regards migration management, the African Agenda on Migration proposes an approach based on national policies, sub-regional coordination, a continental vision and international partnership.

This presupposes a paradigm shift, an introspective and positive redefinition of migration as well as genuine political will on the part of States, which all have a vested interest in making sure migration is safe, legal and orderly, seeing to it that human rights are respected.

This Agenda should seek to make migration a lever for co-development, a pillar of South-South Cooperation and an instrument of solidarity.

To this end, it is suggested that we:

 set up an African Migration Observatory whose terms of reference would be the triad Understand, Anticipate, Act. Its mission would be to develop observation and the exchange of information between African countries in order to promote controlled management of migration flows. My country proposes that this Observatory be based in Morocco.

 create a post of AU Special Envoy for Migration, who would be tasked with coordinating AU policies in this area.

The African Agenda on Migration can inform the process of developing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Morocco, which will be hosting the Intergovernmental Conference, that is to adopt the Global Compact, and the Global Forum for Migration and Development, in December 2018, pledges to make these multilateral meetings a platform for Africa.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since 2015, more than 6,200 African migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean. To ensure that the deaths of women, children and men in Lampedusa and that the infamous practices in Libya will not remain without consequences, we are, indeed, duty-bound to act!

How many more migration-related tragedies do we still have to witness before our societies change the way they perceive migration?

More than ever, our continent needs to address migration in a spirit of unremitting solidarity. Our collective wisdom will be our main asset as we seek to implement the African Agenda on Migration. Unity is the key to success; inter-African cooperation is the pathway to it.

Thank you.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."