Morocco Holds Strong Cities Conference in the MENA Region

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, Rabat, the capital city, held a conference for the Regional Center of the Robust Cities Network in the Middle East and North Africa. Mrs. Asmaa Galalo, Mayor of Rabat, participated in the opening workshop, and Mr. Abdel-Wahhab Al-Jabri, responsible for cooperation and documentation at the Ministry of Interior, was present. Others in attendance included Mr. Ismail Chakouri, Comprehensive Issues Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates; Mr. Mounir Lemouri, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Community Councils; Mr. Eric Rosand, Executive Director of the Robust Cities Network; and Ms. Florence Lieu, Representative of the President of the European Commission to the Kingdom of Morocco. Over 70 local leaders, influencers, and experts from inside and outside Morocco also attended the event.

In her opening session speech, the Mayor of Rabat emphasized the role of territorial communities and civil society in building and promoting social cohesion, and the exchange of experiences and best practices between cities for citizenship participation and human development while strengthening ties between countries and cities through targeted bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Mr. Husien Ben Atia, a prominent participant from Libya, noted that the conference emphasized empowering local authorities and leaders to fully utilize their capabilities in preventing violence, hate, polarization, and fostering collaboration. The event facilitated national, regional, and international endeavors to create resilient and unified communities by exchanging experiences and knowledge. The gathering highlighted preventive measures undertaken by certain local authorities, pinpointed shared challenges and barriers they encountered in bolstering the role of local authorities, and emphasized the need for all community members to participate in preventing and combatting violent extremism. This collective effort aims to establish a civil state supported by well-regulated and professionally trained security services.

Mr. Abd al-Salam al-Bakari, from Morocco, stated in a speech that the gathering offered a significant prospect to enlarge Morocco’s overall experience and Rabat’s in particular. This would enable initiatives focused on youth, individuals with limited income, and special needs, as well as an all-inclusive program aimed at fighting violence against women, girls, and children to be presented.

The meeting lasted for two days and resulted in increased regional cooperation among member cities. It also established a platform for exchanging experiences and improving prevention and response efforts in the Middle East and North Africa regarding extremism and hatred.

Back to top button