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King Mohammed of Morocco welcomes UN Secretary-General

King Mohammed VI of Morocco hosted the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres at Royal Palace in Rabat this week. Both of them, together with leaders from over one hundred and sixty countries, are in Marrakech as part of the intergovernmental conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regulated Migration which was adopted on Monday.

Human migration is something which is of global concern, whether it is just Moslems fleeing across the border from Burma into Bangladesh, or the longer migrations which have seen peoples from North Africa, the Gulf States and the Indian sub-continent making their way to Europe, or South Americans trying to reach the United States.

It is a matter of concern to the Secretary-General, and a subject he is well-versed in. Prior to taking up his role as Secretary-General, Antonio had been the UN High Commissioner for Refugees between 2005 and 2010. The subject of the dispute between Morocco and Algeria was also discussed, and the King reiterated his and Morocco’s support for the kind efforts of the Secretary-General and his envoy to broker a mutually acceptable political resolution in the light of the round-table discussions in Geneva in December.

The praise of Morocco by the United Nations was not only restricted to its humanitarian involvement over refugees. The country was also praised for its record on human rights and support of the 2030 agenda on sustainable development and climate change. But perhaps the greatest and well-deserved praise was with regards to the unwavering support that Morocco had given to the United Nations through its history with soldiers for peacekeeping duties.

Morocco is not a country that would necessarily spring to mind in this regard, but as Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita confirmed, last month since the inception of the United Nations. Morocco had assisted in seventeen operations around the world supplying sixty thousand troops.