HM King Mohammed VI Addresses Message to Participants in World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings

His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may Allah assist Him, addressed on October 13, a message to the participants in the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), underway in Marrakech until October 15.

Here follows a translation of the Royal Message, which was delivered by His Majesty’s Advisor, Omar Kabbaj:

“Praise be to Allah,

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

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Morocco and to Marrakech, a city with a thousand years of history and a distinctive cultural heritage.

Marrakech is not just a world-class tourist destination; it has also been the venue for major international events, some of which have shaped our modern history. These include the GATT Summit in 1994, which was marked by the establishment of the World Trade Organization, and more recently, the COP22, in 2016.

Undoubtedly, the same is valid for the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

In this regard, We would like to express our gratitude for the friendship and confidence you have shown us through your presence today in Marrakech, in the wake of the devastating earthquake which struck Our country. 

We would also like to extend Our warmest regards to the States and Organizations that expressed their readiness to assist Morocco, particularly in the reconstruction phase in earthquake-affected areas.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, following a two-year postponement due to the pandemic, We are delighted to be holding this prestigious forum, particularly back here on the African Continent, half a century later, and in the MENA region, 20 years after the ones held in Dubai (in 2003).

It goes without saying that, given the exceptional circumstances the world is facing today, and the geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges we have experienced in recent years, high expectations are pinned on these Annual Meetings.

At a time when our planet is facing climate change, which the data continues to corroborate on a daily basis, the world is sinking into problems that we thought had been largely resolved thanks to the rules and multilateral institutions established in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Today, geo-economic fragmentation and the rise of a sovereignty-driven sentiment, driven in part by a desire to readjust the balance of both economic and political powers at the global level, are jeopardizing the significant progress multilateralism has enabled us to make over the last few decades.

Globalization, which has prevailed since the 1980s, and which has helped reduce production costs and expand global trade, has contributed, in part, to mitigating inflation. Today, inflation is eroding household purchasing power across the world, despite aggressive monetary policies that are largely synchronized, but not without consequences on economic activity.

Globalization has certainly led to tangible improvements in living standards, enabling large swathes of the world’s population to escape poverty. However, globalization also has collateral effects, especially in terms of growing inequalities.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The economic, social, and political developments of recent years call for a reform of the institutions and rules governing multilateralism. Yet, the basic principles of multilateralism ought to be consolidated, and the spirit that drives it, rekindled. These principles remain essential to preserving global stability and peace and fostering synergies to meet the common challenges our planet and our people are facing.

However, as we all know, global challenges call for global solutions, and these can only be devised within a framework of unity and mutual respect.

To achieve this, it is essential to integrate a framework in which diversity is a valued component, a source of wealth rather than conflict, and in which the intrinsic characteristics of each state and each region are duly taken into account.

Similarly, it is important to review and improve the global financial architecture to make it more equitable and inclusive. In this regard, these Annual Meetings are the ideal forum for dialogue and constructive debate on this overhaul.

As it is Our common destiny to live on this planet, the futures of all countries are inseparable.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is in this spirit that we guide our perception of development in Morocco. Our assets are based on our history, which goes back thousands of years, its status as a land of peace, a civilizational melting pot and cohabitation of religions and cultures, and a geographical position at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

Our approach favors economic openness and cooperation. Moreover, We are committed to the various global agendas in terms of economic development, the fight against climate change, countering terrorism, money laundering, and the growing cyber security threat brought about by the digital revolution.

Particularly, We have made South-South cooperation our priority in our open door policy and are pursuing an approach based on co-development with our brotherly and friendly countries on the Continent.

At the domestic level, and since the early 2000s, We have implemented major social and economic reforms, as well as a large-scale infrastructure program. Concurrently with this, We have made sure to preserve macroeconomic equilibrium, which we consider as the guarantor of economic sovereignty and resilience.

It is a balanced approach in which our economic policy serves human development, which We have made an absolute priority since Our Accession to the Throne, and which We have reinforced since the COVID-19 pandemic. Within this framework, We have also launched an unprecedented project to generalize social protection in Our country.

The benefits of this policy are already palpable: the national economy has shown remarkable resilience in this complex, uncertain global environment, marked by a succession of inconceivable shocks in recent years.

Our country has also strengthened its position as a haven of peace, security and stability, and as a credible partner and a regional and continental economic and financial hub.

Therefore, We consider the holding of your Annual Meetings in Morocco the result of a longstanding partnership with the Bretton Woods institutions. It also testifies to Our confidence in the solidity of Our institutional framework, our infrastructure, and Our commitment to strengthening international relations.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As an African nation, Morocco sincerely hopes that the Continent, whose voice is now audible within the G20 through the African Union, can find its rightful place in other international bodies and subsequently implement its economic and social agendas.

As you know, the countries of the Continent are among the nations most affected by climate change, even though their activities contribute the least to global warming.

The rules and frameworks governing debt should be readjusted to take account of the constraints that affect the ability of the most indebted low-income nations to cope with climate change. 

By 2050, Africa will be home to a quarter of the world’s population. It should benefit, today, from conditions that will enable it to broaden its room for maneuver and harness its potential to address the needs of its populations, in an increasingly uncertain world, marked by profound paradigm shifts. 

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, along with the international agencies and institutions forming the pillars of the global multilateral system, demonstrated great diligence and responsiveness. Their support for the efforts of several member countries was crucial in trying to mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic.

We are convinced that the World Bank and the IMF will spare no effort to ensure these Annual Meetings achieve tangible, concrete progress. We hope that differences between major economies can be narrowed and that efforts and synergies can be further mobilized to serve global peace and prosperity, in solidarity with the most vulnerable countries.

Through honest, constructive, and balanced dialogue, we can reconcile economic and financial issues on the one hand, and human challenges on the other. This way, we can build together, for the planet, the future that each of us hopes for our children.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.”

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