The Sovereign said that "thanks to reforms undertaken by Morocco, and the positive reactivity of our country to the changes underway, we are now more confident and determined to continue the march constantly renewed" to strengthen the integrity of our country, strengthening the rule of law and institutions and entrench good governance in all regions of the Kingdom.
HM the King said that the Saharan provinces and their faithful inhabitants are at the top of these regions, "to which the new Constitution grants new substantial democratic gains", which establishes the "Hassani as one of the components of the Moroccan united cultural identity, and gives the State the responsibility to ensure its protection and development "and makes of advanced regionalization access road to good governance in these provinces."
With regard to human rights, the King added "in addition to the Advanced Charter and institutions complementing each other, to guarantee human rights and the protection of the dignity of man and freedoms, the new Constitution provides for the establishment of regional mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights, across the country, including in our Saharan provinces. "
"These major democratic advances that Morocco has been to carry out, within a context of unprecedented regional changes, helped strengthen the position of our country and the credibility of its autonomy initiative," said the Sovereign, ensuring that " Morocco’s commitment to implement its sovereign choices in all their dimensions, is matched by its determination to continue cooperation with the United Nations and all concerned parties in order to move forward in the negotiation process, according to innovative approaches put forward by the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN, and on the basis of our autonomy initiative. "
His Majesty also reiterated Morocco's commitment to "the full implementation of relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations to reach a final negotiated political solution for this regional artificial conflict, within the framework of national unity and the Kingdom’s territorial integrity".
Here follows the full text of the speech:
“Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Today, we are celebrating the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Green March, under a new Constitution which enhances not only the nation’s unity, but also our distinct democratic model of development.
The thorough reforms we have introduced in Morocco, coupled with our ability to interact in a constructive manner with the deep changes around us, have strengthened both our confidence and our resolve to carry on with our endeavors to safeguard our territorial integrity and promote the rule of law, the institution-based State and good governance in all of the Kingdom’s regions.
In this regard, our Saharan Provinces and the loyal Sahrawi population are the main beneficiaries. Indeed, the new Constitution offers them key democratic advantages, particularly as it stipulates that the Hassani culture is one of the components of the unified Moroccan cultural identity. Furthermore, the new Constitution entrusts the State with the mission of preserving and promoting this culture, and of ensuring that advanced regionalization serves as a tool whereby these provinces can achieve good governance.
Let me stress, in this regard, that the Moroccan Sahara will provide a model framework for broad regionalization to be achieved through, for example, the democratic election of regional institutions, the devolution of extensive powers and resources from central government to the regions, and the establishment of mechanisms conducive to regional and nation-wide solidarity, social improvement and human development.
As regards human rights, and in addition to the full-fledged human rights pact and complementary institutions provided for in the Constitution to promote respect for human rights, dignity and freedoms throughout the Kingdom - including the Saharan Provinces - regional human rights mechanisms have been set up to safeguard and promote those rights.
This major reform, which was introduced against a backdrop of unprecedented regional developments, has not only promoted our country’s standing in the world, but it has also lent further credibility to the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative.
In this respect, we are just as determined to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty as we are to continue cooperating with the United Nations Organization and the parties concerned, in order to pursue negotiations and to build on the innovative approaches proposed by the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, as well as on our Autonomy Initiative.
Morocco is keen to do all it can to ensure the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council so as to achieve a final, negotiated political solution to this artificial regional dispute, within the framework of the Kingdom’s national unity and territorial integrity.
The involvement of the true representatives of the population of our southern provinces in a serious, dynamic process is likely to put an end to the allegations of those who proclaim themselves the sole representatives of the population concerned, vainly seeking to obscure the fact that there is no legal basis or popular, democratic legitimacy upon which they can base their purported representativeness of the Sahrawi population.
The success of Morocco’s dynamic approach should make it possible for our fellow citizens in the Tindouf camps to enjoy the same opportunities and nurture the same hopes and aspirations as their brothers and sisters in Morocco’s southern provinces in a united, region-based, democratic and development-oriented country that welcomes all its sons.
Whereas Morocco is working in good faith to implement this dynamic, constructive, future-oriented vision, our fellow citizens who live in an isolated, sealed-off area in the Tindouf camps, are still being subjected to the worst forms of deprivation, repression and humiliation, in outright denial of human dignity and their basic, legitimate rights.
Once again, we condemn this humiliating situation as well as the disgraceful schemes of the enemies of our territorial integrity, who have been unashamedly ignoring the calls of the international community, including those of the Security Council and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, so that the latter may carry out a census that would safeguard the basic rights of our brothers in the Tindouf camps, and provide the legal protection to which they are entitled.
It is high time each party shouldered its responsibilities. Rather than perpetuating deadlock, divisions and separatism, some bold, inclusive, future-oriented decisions should be made. We also have to make the most of the new opportunities brought about by the profound changes in the Arab region and the Maghreb.
Morocco was one of the first countries to sympathize with the legitimate aspirations for democracy expressed by the peoples concerned. My country has shown solidarity with them and has also keenly sought to ensure their stability, national unity and territorial integrity are safeguarded.
In this regard, Morocco reiterates its readiness to combine efforts at the bilateral level - especially with the sister nation Algeria, in the framework of the current dynamic process - as well as at the regional level to fulfill the aspirations of current and future generations. Indeed, our peoples yearn for a new Maghreb order that transcends insularity and pointless disputes, and paves the way for dialogue, consultation, solidarity and the pursuit of development; an order in which the five countries of the Maghreb would be the driving force of Arab unity as well as a key player in the promotion of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, stability and security in the Sahel and Sahara region, as well as African integration.
This year’s commemoration of the Green March is taking place shortly before the launch of the next parliamentary election campaign. Two factors make this election particularly important: it is the first such election under the new Constitution, and it is a litmus test of the democratic implementation of the Constitution.
Hence, the various stakeholders concerned by the forthcoming election - political parties that provide guidance to the citizens, state supervisory authorities, efficient civil society organizations, professional media and responsible voters - are expected to rise to the occasion and to live up to the spirit of the new Constitution. They have to be guided by a keen sense of patriotism and responsible citizenship so that we may have efficient, credible legislative and executive institutions that serve as the engine of development, promote democracy, are worthy of the citizens’ trust and contribute to achieving reconciliation between the citizens and elected institutions.
National, across-the-board mobilization is the key to meeting the great challenge of ensuring free and fair elections, in which parties compete on the basis of clear social programs that fulfill the citizens’ legitimate aspirations.
Elections should produce a close-knit, harmonious government majority which can run public affairs efficiently, and be held to account by a constructive opposition that can itself make useful proposals. Being enshrined in the Constitution, parliamentary opposition should be in a position to play an active part, rather than being marginalized, confined to a minor role without any real impact, or simply having to wait for the next general election to submit an alternative program.
Our ultimate goal is to build a State based on efficient institutions, in which all stakeholders comply with the rule of law and with the provisions of the Constitution. They should commit to helping achieve the nation’s development and the well-being of citizens, and refrain from using institutions to serve personal or narrow interests.
As we reiterate our steadfast commitment to the everlasting oath of the Green March, we wish to pay tribute to the memory of the architect of this epic event, my revered father His Majesty King Hassan II - may he rest in peace - and the martyrs who gave their lives for the sake of our territorial integrity - blessed be their souls.
I would like to praise our Armed Forces, Gendarmerie, security and auxiliary forces, regional authorities and emergency services, particularly the armed forces stationed in our Saharan provinces. I commend their mobilization and vigilance in preserving the homeland’s security and stability and in defending our country’s territorial integrity.
Before closing, I should like to extend my best wishes to you on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, which epitomizes the values of sacrifice and social solidarity. As we invoke Almighty God’s great blessings of standing on Mount Arafat, we pray that He may grant us success in our endeavors to enhance stability in our beloved country, and to achieve further progress and prosperity.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.”