Here follows the full text of the royal speech:
Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon
the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
My loyal subjects,
Today, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of my accession to the throne. This landmark event is an opportunity for us to undertake an objective assessment of the state of the nation, and to explore avenues for future action.
We all agree that the significant progress Morocco has made in terms of promoting democracy and development constitutes a turning point in the nation’s history.
Yet, I must say that there are obstacles which have, at times, impeded our country’s progress. They should be tackled, and any imbalances redressed, in order to build a Maghreb Union based on unity and democracy, and to modernize our country so as to enable it to rise to the challenges of a global environment marked by various constraints and profound changes.
To achieve this objective, we need to speed up the implementation of major development projects and to introduce new reforms to bolster them through good governance.
The fact that the path forward will be both long and arduous only strengthens our resolve to carry on with our efforts to achieve progress, while remaining deeply committed to our immutable national values to which I have been giving fresh momentum.
One of our chief national values is the unified Sunni Maliki rite. In my capacity as Amir Al Muminin (Commander of the Faithful), it is my duty to revamp this rite’s institutions and scope of action. The aim is to shield the moderation and tolerance that characterize the Maliki rite against extremism and isolationism, and to promote coexistence between the pristine Islamic faith and other religions and cultures.
I am also just as determined to enhance the integrated Moroccan identity and to turn the rehabilitation of its varied constituents into a source of richness and strength for our national unity.
In order to reinforce the nation’s consensus on the need to preserve our territorial integrity, I have suggested a statute of autonomy, an initiative based on intrinsic democratic values and a Maghreb vision.
As to the monarchy, which is the cornerstone of the nation’s defining values, I have enhanced it with the characteristic features of responsible citizenship, thus promoting the rule of law, participatory democracy, good governance, closeness to citizens as well as fairness to women and to underprivileged regions and populations.
I have also sought to ensure the monarchy is closely bound to all of the nation’s constituents, that it remains above arguments and sectarian considerations, and that it is fully committed to discharging royal obligations by tending to the best interests of the nation and of citizens, and by focussing on achieving the country’s progress.
To that end, I have seen to it that the citizen is both the engine for and the ultimate objective of all the initiatives launched, as well as of reforms and development projects.
This is the reason why I have launched the National Initiative for Human Development. My satisfaction with the initial results is second only to my resolve to make sure the difficulties or hurdles that may be impeding this major project are tackled effectively.
I have therefore decided to give strong impetus to this ongoing project in the following ways:
First, by seeking further efficiency and achievements. To that end, I urge all stakeholders, when they are preparing projects, to take into account the nature of those projects, their permanence as well as their consistence with sectoral schemes and community development plans;
Second, by making sure that projects undergo proper assessment and monitoring, and that the recommendations of the Initiative’s National Observatory are taken into consideration;
Third, by focusing on small projects which create jobs and provide steady income, particularly in light of the current difficult economic situation.
My loyal subjects,
Comprehensive development, as I see it, is based on the close link between higher growth rates and fair distribution of the dividends of progress. I consider it to be a process which makes social cohesion the ultimate objective of human development and of economic efficiency.
In view of the above, I have sought to provide the country with the basic infrastructure needed for progress, launch mega-projects and apply ambitious strategies in sectors which will play a key role in the future of our economy, such as tourism, industry, housing, energy, water resources and the all-important agricultural sector, in which I have recently launched Morocco’s Green Plan.
I wish, once again, to praise Almighty God for blessing us with a good agricultural yield which has helped alleviate the impact of the economic downturn, particularly in rural areas.
Thanks to the pertinence of our choices, the efficiency of our reform programs and the promotion of social and sector-based solidarity, our country has, to a certain extent, managed to withstand the effects of a severe global financial crisis.
This, however, should conceal neither the major imbalances this unprecedented crisis has exposed, nor the severe impact some of them have had.
I therefore call on all public authorities and stakeholders concerned to rise to the challenge of the current economic situation, take the necessary corrective measures, display strong resolve and seek bold, innovative solutions, instead of adopting wait-and-see attitudes or opting for stopgap measures.
In this regard, I urge the government to strive harder in order to devise bold, anticipatory plans to boost the economy and promote social protection programs.
Just as I am keen to preserve the nation’s sacred religious and national values, I shall see to it that everyone is committed to economic and social standards which are essential for good governance in the area of development. Whatever the circumstances - and particularly in critical situations - we must continue to uphold those standards.
At the economic level, we have to be ever vigilant when facing international economic changes and when seeking to preserve basic economic balances which are the result of structural reforms and of collective national efforts. What we have achieved in this regard must not be cancelled out, whatever the constraints.
Similarly, the most effective methods should be used to promote economic and social development, enhance coordination and ensure constant monitoring of government policies, taking into account the changes occurring in the world and the importance of adopting a constructive attitude towards globalization.
Rather than lead to isolationism, the crisis, however serious it is, should serve as an incentive for hard work and for making the most of the opportunities that could result from it. Hence, bold economic plans should be developed to enhance Morocco’s regional and international economic standing.
I therefore call for positive interplay between different plans in order to improve the quality and competitiveness of Moroccan products, increase exports, preserve our external balance and make the most of the country’s trade exchange relations.
To further improve the environment for investment and development, we have to ensure good governance in public services, raise moral standards in public life, prevent the squandering of public funds, and fight rent-seeking and illegal privileges.
Though Morocco, like all developing countries, is facing some crucial development challenges, it is aware of the need to protect the environment and, to this end, to adopt a gradual, comprehensive policy that includes economic measures as well as outreach activities, with the help of our regional and international partners.
I therefore ask the government to draft a comprehensive, national environmental charter with the aim of protecting the country’s natural resources and nature reserves as part of a sustainable development policy. The charter should also aim to safeguard historical and cultural sites and monuments since the environment is the common heritage of the nation. It implies a collective duty to preserve it for the sake of current and future generations.
Government authorities must take environmental protection into consideration in all tender specifications for the implementation of development projects.
An efficient reform of the education and training system is the key to meeting the challenge of development. We must realize that what is at stake here is not a mere sectoral reform. This is a critical battle in a vital domain, and to win it, we must encourage scientific research and innovation, invest in human capital which is our greatest asset as well as our gateway to equal opportunity, build a knowledge-based society and economy, and create productive jobs for our youth.
Just like the economic sector, the social environment is a key element in the development projects I am overseeing across the Kingdom.
Since I attach special importance to the promotion of social justice in my system of governance, I ask the government to confirm this keen interest by enabling the most impoverished regions and segments of the population to benefit, on a priority basis, from government social policy programs.
This means there must be a review of the policies applied so far, as well as of their mechanisms and scope of implementation. When this is being done, the requirements of fairness and efficiency have to be taken into account. Innovative solutions should also be devised, in a spirit of commitment and responsibility, without any populist manipulation or political instrumentalisation.
To achieve our social policy objectives in a serene environment, I call for the adoption of a new social charter. It is necessary, to this end, to set up the Economic and Social Council as an institutional forum for dialogue, and as a powerhouse of proposals for the formulation of the aforementioned charter. This will not only promote the country’s development and help us pursue our reform programs, but it will also increase Morocco’s capability to face difficult situations, preserve our partners’ trust and help us attract more investments and skills.
To support both social and sector-based solidarity, I call on the government to develop a flexible strategy aimed at raising the living standards of mountain populations and promoting their economic, cultural and environmental assets.
I am convinced all Moroccans embrace the model of the balanced, solidarity-based society we are seeking to build by relying on civic values, hard work and self-confidence.
In this respect, I wish to pay tribute to our citizens abroad for their enduring commitment to the homeland, whatever the circumstances.
Notwithstanding the repercussions of the global economic crisis, their attachment to their country remains strong. This is confirmed by the growing numbers of Moroccans who come home regularly to visit their families and relatives.
I call on the government to continue to pay close attention to their needs, here as well as abroad.
My loyal subjects,
Good governance is the key to democracy and development. Thanks to the recent municipal elections, our country has ushered in a new phase in the consolidation of democratic practice, particularly by increasing women's representation in community councils. What is most important, however, is for Morocco to succeed in rising to the challenge of local development. The achievement of this particular objective hinges on the availability of qualified local leaders.
I therefore call on elected local officials to face up to their responsibilities and meet the urgent, everyday needs of citizens through realistic programs. This means they have to be close to their community, run citizens’ affairs effectively and serve the public good. They also have to work hand in hand with businesses, community organizations and public authorities. As for the rule of law, it must be respected by everyone, and any breach or violation of the law must be dealt with effectively.
To promote good territorial governance, I have decided to launch a major reform project by developing an advanced regionalization scheme. I want this to be a qualitative leap forward in promoting local democracy. To that end, I shall soon be setting up the Advisory Council on Regionalization.
I expect the council to submit to me, within the next few months, the broad lines for an advanced Moroccan regionalization scheme to be implemented by democratic councils on the basis of a well-ordered distribution of powers between the central government and regional authorities.
I also ask the council to think carefully about how we can make our southern provinces a model of advanced regionalization, improve the democratic management of local affairs and enable these provinces to exercise broader powers.
At the same time, I urge the government to speed up the preparation of an administrative devolution charter. Such a tool is indispensable for efficient regionalization. Needless to say, rigid, central-government mentalities must change.
To me, the achievement of advanced regionalization and broader devolution constitute a litmus test of our efforts as we pursue the reform and modernization of state institutions.
I firmly believe there can be no genuine good governance without an in-depth reform of the judiciary. Therefore, I shall soon inform you of the launch of this reform, once I have received the conclusions of the extensive consultations being conducted in this regard.
My loyal subjects,
I have sought, with a resolute determination, to give strong impetus to our diplomacy, by ensuring that a firm commitment to principles, realism, effective mechanisms and concrete results constitute the pillars of our diplomatic action.
Our chief objective is to remain mobilized to defend the sacred cause of the Kingdom’s territorial integrity as well as the nation’s best interests. Another goal is to enhance Morocco’s influence at regional and international levels, and to promote development through economic diplomacy.
I have also sought to inject new vigour into our diplomacy by bringing national policies in line with international agendas, and by putting a new focus on six main areas.
The first and most important area concerns our unwavering commitment to building a stable, integrated and prosperous Maghreb Union. In order to bring about conditions that are conducive to promoting Maghreb joint action as a strategic option designed to fulfil the aspirations of all five peoples for integrated development, and to respond to the requirements of regional partnership in this era of international blocs, I stress my sincere desire for a normalization of Moroccan-Algerian relations, in keeping with a forward-looking approach which transcends obsolete stances that are contrary to the spirit of openness marking this 21st century, especially that of the Algerian authorities, who maintain their unilateral decision to close the land border.
This regrettable attitude is incompatible with the basic right of two neighbouring peoples to exercise their individual and collective rights to freedom of movement and to human and economic exchange. True to the Maghreb spirit, I shall continue to work untiringly and support the United Nations’ constructive efforts to reach a lasting, mutually acceptable political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccanness of the Sahara.
In this respect, I wish to stress my commitment to the bold autonomy initiative because of its serious, credible character that has been recognized by the international community, because of the human rights guarantees it provides, because of the reconciliation and reunification of all the sons of the Moroccan Sahara it seeks to achieve, and because of its constructive vision of the Maghreb and of the region, which is designed to help our region rise to the challenges of development, and guarantee progress and prosperity for all its populations.
With the same resolve, I shall pursue my efforts to strengthen the bonds of Arab and Islamic brotherhood by promoting concrete economic and development projects, and by continuing to support the just causes of our Ummah, particularly in my capacity as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee. I shall continue to do my utmost to preserve the character of Al-Quds as the future capital of an independent, fully sovereign Palestinian state. I wish to emphasize that Morocco adheres to the international consensus regarding a two-state solution and welcomes the commitment of the United States Administration to a just solution, with all that this implies in terms of requirements and consensual agreements.
The third area concerns the concrete manifestation of the Kingdom’s solidarity and cooperation with sister African nations, especially neighbouring Sahel countries. We must work untiringly to establish genuine partnerships with these African countries, both to serve our common interests and to achieve sustainable development.
Moroccan know-how and expertise should be used to develop model South-South cooperation mechanisms, and implement structural and human development projects.
To optimize the advanced status enjoyed by Morocco in its partnership with the European Union, I call on all the national stakeholders concerned to make concerted efforts to rise to this challenge, and use the opportunities this status offers in various sectors as best they can.
Concurrently, we should continue to be effectively involved in what is at stake in our region by, for example, helping to get the promising Union for the Mediterranean under way.
Similarly, we should pursue the diversification of our partnerships, and build fruitful relations in all parts of the world.
To shore up the comprehensive mandate of our diplomatic service, we have to be effectively involved in multilateral issues and in resolving global problems.
My loyal subjects,
On this historic occasion, I pledge, once again, to pursue my mission as leader of the nation, in accordance with the mutual act of allegiance binding us.
I hereby undertake, with the same resolve, sincerity, sense of purpose and clear-sightedness that have always characterized my action, to strive doubly hard to pursue our development action as efficiently as possible.
Our most valuable assets, in this regard, are the solid bond between the throne and the people, and the full mobilization of our energies and resources to rise to challenges through hard work and confidence in the future. We, thus, remain faithful to the memory of my venerable grandfather, His Majesty King Mohammed V, and to that of my revered father, His Majesty King Hassan II. May the Almighty bless their souls.
I wish to express my consideration for the Royal Armed Forces, the territorial authorities, the Royal Gendarmerie, the National Police Force, the Auxiliary Forces and the emergency and rescue units, and commend them for preserving the nation’s security and stability.
I also ask Almighty God to protect all Moroccans, wherever they are, and to continue to shower His blessings upon this land.
I implore the Almighty to grant every Moroccan man and woman - at home and abroad - success and happiness and to fulfil their aspirations. May He support our joint endeavours for the unity, stability, progress and prosperity of our beloved nation. He is our Protector; the best to protect, and the best to help.
“Say: this is my way: I do invite unto Allah, on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes, I and whoever follows me”. True is the Word of God.
Wassalmau alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.