“Morocco is at the forefront of all debates on migration,” said the minister, speaking at an international conference on development and migration chaired by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
“HM King Mohammed VI is the AU’s leader on migration,” said Bourita, noting that the monarch’s vision on migration is contained in the African Agenda for Migration and embodied in the creation of the African Migration Observatory.
As a moral guarantor of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Marrakech Pact), Morocco places the human being at the center of the migration equation, the Minister said, noting that the Kingdom’s vision considers that “a humane approach is not incompatible with rational governance.”
Morocco’s vision is also focused on Africa, he continued, noting that it consists in rejecting the discrepancy between the perception of migration and its importance.
African migration takes place first and foremost in Africa, he said, calling for migration to be seen for what it is. According to Bourita, “migration is neither an unbearable burden nor an absolute wealth, but can be a catalyst for development.”
He also stressed the need “not to give in to the passions and temptations of simplistic, stereotyped and summary discourses.”
In this sense, “Morocco believes that the all-security approach is an error of judgment. Migration cannot be regulated without support to ensure legal channels for human mobility and a determined fight against networks trafficking in human beings and migrants, without confusing the criminals with the victims,” Bourita added.
The Minister thus expressed Morocco’s willingness to contribute to the Rome Process, and called for an examination of the reasons for the ineffectiveness of existing partnerships before embarking on a new initiative.
The real weakness of past partnerships is that they have not been sufficiently applied, he said, noting that “we need to reach a clear understanding on the place of our multilateral commitments, in particular our commitments related to the Marrakesh Pact, adopted within the framework of the United Nations.”
“We must resist the temptation to place a disproportionate burden of responsibility on Africa, when 80% of migratory flows take place in Africa itself,” said Bourita. “No country can do its part alone,” he stressed, warning against outsourcing migration management and borders.
Transit countries should not be unfairly singled out, he said. “Placing this burden on these countries would be the antithesis of shared responsibility,” he stressed, noting that “shared responsibility also consists of balanced partnerships that promote equal treatment, because Africa is not looking for aid, it is looking for partners.”
“We also regret that everyone is in a hurry to find solutions to irregular migration, but that no one is thinking of strengthening regular migration,” he said, noting that there are “concepts whose meaning and practical methods of implementation seem to us to be inadequate and counterproductive in relation to the cooperative nature that this process seeks to build.”
Morocco is ready to contribute to this process, in accordance with its national legislation and its international and regional commitments, provided that the Rome Process can complement other existing regional processes and bring added value that takes into account the needs and specificities of each country,” said the Minister, stressing that the Rome Process can be part of the overall framework of existing references on migration, in particular the Marrakech Pact.
Bourita also argued that the link between international migration and development should be rethought on the basis of potential rather than risk, sending a message of solidarity, shared responsibility and humanity.
The event, organized on the initiative of the Italian government, brought together the Heads of State and Government of the countries on the southern shore of the enlarged Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf, as well as the new Member States of the European Union and a number of countries from the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and the heads of European institutions and international financial institutions.
According to the Italian Council of Ministers, the objectives of the conference include launching an international roadmap for the implementation of concrete measures for growth and development throughout the Mediterranean and Africa, addressing the root causes of irregular migratory flows in order to combat the criminal activities of human traffickers, and finding solutions to protect the environment and meet the challenges of energy diversification and climate change.