HM the King Addresses Message to Participants at International Symposium to Mark 75th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, addressed a message to participants at the International Symposium held in Rabat to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on the theme "30 commitments to human dignity: is the universal humanist ideal unfulfilled?".

Here follows the full text of the Royal Message, read out by president of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Amina Bouayach.

"Praise be to God,

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

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I should like to say how pleased I am to welcome the participants in this international symposium which is being held in Rabat, our capital city, as part of the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly.

Like the rest of the world, Morocco is celebrating this crucially important event and milestone in the history of mankind. It is testimony to my special interest and to the great importance I attach to the promotion of human rights in our country from all perspectives, both in practical terms and as a culture.

I commend the convening of this symposium at the invitation of the National Council for Human Rights to celebrate the Universal Declaration, given the principles included in it, the decisions made to protect rights and freedoms, and the universal values and rights inherent in human nature, which are enshrined in the Declaration. A founding charter, the Declaration continues to embody the loftiest ideals of mankind. It also represents a universal frame of reference when it comes to achieving peoples' aspirations for freedom, dignity, equality, security and the enjoyment of stability.

The in-depth discussions and debates, and the diversity of backgrounds represented, will surely enable you to address some fundamental questions. They will hopefully contribute to developing new ideas and proposing answers to revitalize the commitment to human rights, together with action at the multilateral level.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Given the special importance of your symposium, the successive tensions affecting the world and the repeated breaches of the lofty principles and values underpinning the Declaration, we cannot but underscore, once again, the need to renew the universal pledge to protecting the rights of individuals and groups, especially those living in precarious conditions.

This celebration is also an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved in this domain, to pinpoint the inadequacies and shortcomings noted in upholding the accomplishments made, and to identify the challenges the international community is still grappling with to make sure all human rights are fully respected.

In light of the above challenges, Morocco opted for a remarkable and unique approach to human rights. This approach, which is still evolving, has contributed to shaping the experience of the international community in this regard.

The Kingdom of Morocco’s commitment to promoting human rights at the national level did not stop at enshrining those rights in the Constitution. Our commitment to human rights has become a defining element of public policy and a basic determinant of the strategic decisions we make, be it in the economic, social, cultural or environmental sectors.

My firm commitment to defending and upholding human rights is second only to my keen desire to continue bolstering the rule of law and strengthening the nation’s institutions. This is a sovereign, proactive policy designed to build on achievements, while continuing to deal constructively with emerging rights issues, whether at domestic level or within the international system of human rights.

Notwithstanding the accomplishments made in this regard and our ongoing action, the particular significance of this issue and the seriousness it requires mean that we must be more effectively committed to addressing current pressing issues and anticipating what might lie ahead, keeping in mind our particularities as well as our immutable national values. We must also realize that for political and civil rights to take on their full meaning, they have to go hand in hand with economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

With that in mind, some time ago, Morocco launched a fresh set of structural reforms, which I wanted to be a top priority in our public policies. They include universal health coverage, social protection and support for vulnerable groups. This is a societal project designed to guarantee effective access to social and health services, while strengthening the pillars of our national solidarity system.

Moreover, I have called for broad-based consultations to revisit the Family Code, two decades into its implementation. The aim is to safeguard the rights of women and children and to uphold the interests of the family - the beating heart of society. This exercise is to be based on the principles of justice, equality, solidarity and harmony, all of which stem from our pristine Islamic faith. It should also build on constructive ijtihad to make sure human rights developments and the relevant universal values are duly taken into account.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The world has had to deal with a number of issues in connection with the concept of universality, including the multiple positions stemming from the culture and particularities of each country, against the backdrop of the universal nature of human rights. The international debate in this regard concluded that the diversity of cultures has to be valued as an inherent human right, and that upholding cultural specificity does not preclude the enjoyment of basic rights.

As a result, and in keeping with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community managed to come up with conventions and protocols - some binding and others not - in an effort to find universal common ground to prevent a recurrence of the tragedies of war, strife, aggression and displacement.

However, resolving current cross-border challenges can hardly be envisaged without the effective participation of the countries of the South in the formulation of approaches to the implementation of the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the provisions of the two international Covenants and any relevant international agreements. Such an active involvement would make it possible to uphold rights and propose creative solutions to guarantee genuine respect for human rights. This is precisely what the Kingdom of Morocco seeks to do through advocacy work and actual proposals, be it through conflict-resolution efforts, or its action to find new pathways for the promotion of cooperation and solidarity to preserve peace and enhance security and stability.

Your esteemed gathering today to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the midst of tensions and risks to the security, stability and prosperity of peoples, provides a suitable opportunity to draw attention to the fact that the international community has yet to succeed in upholding all the principles enshrined in the Declaration. It shows there is a critical and urgent need to continue reflecting on the most effective ways to implement it.

I wish your conference every success.

Thank you.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."

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