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THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2ND SPECIALIZED TRAINING CYCLE FOR AU ELECTORAL OBSERVERS

MFA NASSER BOURITA CO-CHAIRS THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2ND SPECIALIZED TRAINING CYCLE FOR AU ELECTORAL OBSERVERS

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita co-chaired on May 23, 2023 in Rabat, with the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mr. Bankole Adeoye, the opening ceremony of the 2nd specialized training cycle for AU electoral observers

In a speech, Mr. Bourita said that Morocco is committed to building institutional resilience in Africa

“From words to deeds, our work in the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) since 2022 has focused on highlighting the interdependencies between institutional resilience, stability and prosperity of Africa”, added Mr. Bourita

This 2nd cycle reflects one of the most important aspects of cooperation with the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security at the AU, said the minister, noting that since its return to the African Union, Morocco has been working in partnership with Commissioner Bankolé who heads this department, on a number of topics such as the nexus peace and climate change and this training of election observers

He added that this 2nd training cycle also coincides with Africa Day which will be celebrated in two days

“We are in the process of being included in the department’s priorities and trying to support the actions of this ministry in the framework of a constructive partnership so that Africa, through the AU and this department, can rely on the member states,” he said

“This willingness stems from the Very High Guidelines given by HM King Mohammed VI, to contribute with all Africans who wish to the emergence of an Africa that takes in hand its own electoral processes and has, for that, solid and credible institutional capacity to validate them,” said Mr. Bourita

He also welcomed “seeing the number of participants this year, which is almost double that of the previous year, which means that this exercise has proved relevant also for the participants and for the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security

“This second cycle is taking place in a rather particular African context, first the context of multiple crises that Africa, like the rest of the world, is facing, security, health, political and economic crisis,” he added

This cycle also takes place in an election year par excellence in Africa with at least 16 elections taking place during this year, he noted, adding that “elections and good governance in Africa are sometimes positive, sometimes ambiguous, some important progress is made in some countries, while questions are also noted in other countries

Morocco has consistently warned about the governance/security nexus, the minister said, noting that “there is no better way to ‘silence the guns’ than to let democracy speak through free elections. This is the ‘tipping point’ to a sustainable and robust governance program

There is no doubt that all African states, without exception, are principally committed to the universal values of democracy and good governance, he noted

“Political responsibility does not stop at values, but starts with them: to better implement them,” the minister said, explaining that this has led Morocco to carry out several initiatives aimed at strengthening the AU’s institutional capacity, but also that of its member states

“If the AU’s axiom is – rightly – to prevent ‘unconstitutional change’, then each member state must create the conditions for it, within its own internal order – political, constitutional and legal. Only in this way can principles and values have internal force and international authority,” he continued

Morocco’s commitment has given equal importance to mechanisms and processes of capacity building in good governance and especially in the areas of elections, said Mr. Bourita, stressing that the organization of this cycle is “a concrete demonstration of Morocco’s commitment

In addition, Mr. Bourita presented, during his speech, the electoral process of the Kingdom, which for decades, has chosen to build a model of democratic and modern society, based on the rule of law, the participation of all citizens in political life, the separation of powers, the decentralization of power and the establishment of control mechanisms and good governance

For his part, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union (AU), Mr. Bankolé Adeoye commended, in his speech, Morocco’s unwavering commitment to democracy promotion

Mr. Adeoye also stressed that “the Kingdom has shown a resourceful leadership to support democratic elections on our continent,” noting that the African continent has made “steady progress” in promoting democracy

Mr. Adeoye also hailed the leadership and support provided by the Kingdom of Morocco to the AU’s Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department

To address the various problems faced, whether political, social or economic ones, democracy is the best solution to all these problems, he added

This democratic solution can only be achieved if all components of African society, namely women, youth, civil society and others work together for Africa’s development, he said

He added that this also requires the respect of all human rights, including the right to peace

This 2nd cycle comes in this sense to strengthen democracy in Africa, through training competent and impartial election observers who are dedicated to establishing free and democratic elections, said Mr. Adeoye, calling for continued investment in training initiatives such as this

The Kingdom of Morocco is hosting the second training cycle for African election observers from May 23 to 26, an important step in consolidating the Morocco-African Union partnership in support of political governance in Africa

Following the success of its first edition, this second cycle is also marked by an increase in the number of beneficiaries, from 32 to 61, including 41 observers from the five regions of the continent to which will be added 10 young Moroccan observers

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