LONDON: The international community must protect the multilateral system through “political will,” Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
The situation in Western Sahara is a key concern for Morocco, he said, highlighting the country’s commitment to finding a political solution.
Akhannouch called for talks on the issue, saying Algeria — which supports a pro-independence movement in Western Sahara — must approach discussions in a “well-intentioned” way in order to reach a lasting settlement.
He warned that a “crisis of values” is undermining cooperation and solidarity in the international system, and that the UN has a greater role to play than simply managing crises.
“Multilateral work was never a luxury, and the crisis we are witnessing today affirms this, and proves that the security and prosperity of some depends on the stability and prosperity of all,” he said.
Akhannouch added that Africa has been the most affected out of any continent by the series of geopolitical crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and global economic instability.
As a result, food and energy prices have surged, undermining important development goals in Africa — a priority of the UN.
Despite these setbacks, Akhannouch said the continent is determined to use its “human and natural resources” to “realize the ambitions of our people,” noting the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to economic progress.
However, he urged the UN and international community to ease Africa’s debt burden through a suite of measures to resist future economic shocks.
As well as economic concerns, Akhannouch highlighted fears of climate change, warning that “immediate solutions” are required.
Morocco is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030, he said, noting the country’s environmental strategy to pivot toward a green low-carbon economy by the middle of the century.
Migration also continues to be a key concern for governments and organizations worldwide, Akhannouch said, adding that Morocco will “show solidarity” in fighting human trafficking and protecting the rights of women.
Morocco continues to support the Palestinian cause and a two-state solution to end the conflict with Israel, he said, adding that Jerusalem’s “historical identity” as a place of coexistence and peace must be safeguarded.
Libya continues to be a concern for North African states, he said, adding that a solution to the crisis must be “Libyan-led without any interference or foreign agenda.”
Akhannouch praised the appointment of Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily.