The King pleads for an inter-civilizational, inter-generational and inter-continental dialogue

King Mohammed VI pleaded for dialogue which “is always a positive promise: if not of settled disputes, at least of enhanced mutual knowledge”.

In a message to participants in the 9th forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), which opened on Tuesday in Fez, the Sovereign underlined that “it is from dialogue that salvation will come, provided however that it either inter-civilizational, inter-generational and inter-continental”.

It is in this sense that “Morocco is structured around a model of openness, harmony and synergy which has seen the convergence of Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharo-Hassian components, and which, simultaneously, has been enriched by African, Andalusian tributaries , Hebrew and Mediterranean »indicates the message read out by André Azoulay, King’s Advisor.

It should be noted that this forum, in which eminent personalities take part, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, is held around the theme “Towards an alliance of peace: Living together as one humanity”.

Here is the full text of the royal message:

“Praise be to God, Prayer and Greetings be upon the Prophet, His family and His companions.

Mr Secretary General of the United Nations,

Mr. High Representative of the United Nations for the Alliance of Civilizations,

Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is holding, today, the 9th edition of its world forum, on African soil. It thus gives a strong signal of continuity and universality. It unites around a shared purpose: to move towards “an alliance of peace” and a common objective: to respond to the imperative of “living together” in the name of a “single humanity”.

That the Alliance of Civilizations meets in Fez is a natural occurrence. Didn’t Morocco have the privilege and honor of being among the founding members of the Alliance? Isn’t Fez the spiritual capital of a thousand-year-old Kingdom? Isn’t its Al Quaraouiyine University the oldest university home in the world – the place where Muslim scholars, Jews and even a sovereign pontiff completed their knowledge? Isn’t its Euro-Mediterranean University building, today, a space for academic and intercultural dialogue between the two shores? Fez is thus, obviously, the very incarnation of a fruitful alliance between civilizations.

That the Alliance of Civilizations meets in Fez is also a privilege that goes without saying. After New York, Baku, Bali, Vienna, Doha, Rio, Istanbul and Madrid, the world forum of the Alliance of Civilizations should be held on African soil. Isn’t Africa the cradle of humanity, the crucible of civilizations, the reservoir of youth and the promise of the future?

For all these reasons – and many others, We wanted the place that welcomes you today to symbolize the double meaning of the meeting: as much in its essence – embodied by Fez as in its scope – reflected by the Africa. We are committed to ensuring that this forum leads to concrete results. It cannot be otherwise, given the importance of the subject and the awareness of its urgency.

This is also the meaning of the Message that We address to this 9th Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. It marks Our confidence that this meeting brings the added value expected by Ourselves and by the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Antonio Guterres, and it testifies to Our common determination to materialize the excellent cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Nations.

Today, we are extending the path opened up by all those who have worked for the influence and relevance of the Alliance of Civilizations. In this regard, we salute the determination and commitment of the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos.

The valiant minds who conceived the Alliance of Civilizations knew how to think of a forum for the future. Today, we have a thought for all those, particularly in Spain and Turkey, who have contributed to the sustainability of this organization and its institutionalization as a benchmark for understanding, trust and dialogue between cultures, religions and civilizations. The ideals of peace that animated us in 2004 are the very ones that guide us in this Forum.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The current context is marked by the resurgence of the causes that were at the very origin of the creation of the Alliance of Civilizations:

– Never has our civilization been so exposed, never has living together been so threatened on a daily basis;

– Rarely has the Other been so associated with suspicion or used to stir up fear and foment hatred;

– The extremes saturate the debate and disqualify moderate speeches; religions are too often exploited, when they are not stigmatized;

– Populism agitates societies, inventing questions without answering them, brandishing migration like a scarecrow in the context of elections and setting up the migrant as a scapegoat;

– Continents that have broken with war are returning to arms and violence, in all its forms;

– Covid-19 has marked the return of withdrawal into oneself, even though it could have crystallized the awareness of a shared destiny;

– While the planet produces enough to feed all of humanity, food insecurity threatens the world;

– Terrorism feeds on separatism and lurks where political instability slows down socio-economic development;

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is always a good time to talk about peace – about peace beyond the absence of conflict; peace as a vision of the world; of peace as a relationship to the other. And the Alliance is, in this respect, a powerful vehicle for peace.

Indeed, unlike wars – of which we know the beginning, but never the end – dialogue is essentially a success. Faced with the resurgence of conflict, dialogue is always a positive promise: if not of settled disputes, at least of enhanced mutual understanding.

The dialogue carried out by the Alliance must have a voice in the matter and must build the conditions for success. Salvation will come from dialogue, provided however:

– That this dialogue be inter-civilizational: that is to say, inclusive and concerned with humanity in all its components, to apprehend the world in its plurality, to act through non-vertical multilateralism and to embody the universal in the first sense ;

– That this dialogue be inter-generational: that is to say that it involves young people and combines the future with the present. Young people are not only the generations we must save from the scourge of war and hate speech; they are those who already make peace;

– That this dialogue be inter-continental: that is to say not ethnocentric. I can speak of Africa and for Africa, of the place which rightfully belongs to it and not in a backyard; the treatment to which she is entitled: neither assisted nor left behind; that it has the partners it deserves and who deserve it and that it be considered for what it is: that is to say, the demographic lung of the world and its economic reservoir, with its hopes and assets .

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A founding member of the Alliance of Civilizations, the Kingdom of Morocco has been involved in all of the organization’s battles:

– Firstly, for reasons consubstantial with its identity: Morocco is structured around a model of openness, harmony and synergy which has seen the Arabo-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharo-Hassian components converge, and which , simultaneously, was enriched by African, Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean tributaries.

– And also for reasons inherent in its commitments: the values ​​of the Alliance, the ideals it upholds and the paradigm it promotes are also the values ​​of Morocco, its ideals and its paradigm.

From the outset, Morocco has been committed to this avant-garde and has remained there with constancy:

First, it is committed to promoting openness as a culture of peace:

– Our Grandfather, the late His Majesty King Mohammed V, protected compatriots of the Jewish faith against Nazi barbarism and the brutal and segregative practices of the Vichy regime;

– Our father, the late His Majesty King Hassan II, cultivated during His Reign, the spirit of brotherhood between Jews and Muslims of Morocco, all over the world;

– For more than two decades, We have personally taken care to enhance and safeguard the Moroccan Jewish heritage and to cultivate this spirit of sincere communion between Jews and Muslims, in the land of Islam; this link makes Morocco unique.

– And, with irrefutable constancy, We make, in the Kingdom of Morocco, the constantly renewed choice to remain a land of tolerance, coexistence and openness.

Secondly, Morocco is committed, by living religion as an instrument of peace:

– As Commander of the Faithful – of all Believers, We guarantee the free exercise of worship throughout the Kingdom of Morocco;

– We consider that religion should be a bulwark against extremism and not its pretext, and We advocate this conviction, everywhere, through the worship diplomacy of the Kingdom. The Mohammed VI Foundation of African Ulemas and the Mohammed VI Institute for the training of Imams Mourchidines and Mourchidates are intended to thwart the radicalism that is rampant at the gates of Africa and to promote an Islam of moderation, of the happy medium.

– Aware of this role, Morocco had the United Nations General Assembly adopt resolution A/73/328 on “Combating hate speech: promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance”. Co-sponsored by 90 countries, this resolution highlights the Fez Plan of Action on combating hate speech and promoting inter-religious dialogue.

– We welcomed His Holiness Pope Francis to Morocco, on the occasion of a historic visit during which We underlined the importance of seeing the three Abrahamic religions “open to each other”, with respect for otherness and knowledge of others.

– With Pope Francis, We signed the Al-Quds Appeal, which pleads for the preservation of the Holy City as a meeting place for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions and a symbol of peaceful coexistence, dialogue and mutual respect.

Third, Morocco is committed, working for development, in the broad sense, as a pillar of peace:

– Morocco is an essential ally in the fight against terrorism; a reliable partner in the fight against climate change; an actor responsible for managing migration;

– Morocco is involved in all areas of the Alliance’s actions – whether it be strengthening multilateralism, promoting and empowering youth or empowering women and highlighting their role as actors of peace and security.

Mr Secretary General of the United Nations,

Mr. High Representative of the United Nations for the Alliance of Civilizations,

Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Politics speaks to citizens, religion speaks to their souls, dialogue speaks to their civilizations. In all languages, we must speak to peace. This injunction emanates from the gaze of past generations and future generations.

At this very special moment in history, when we are fighting against climate change, when we are fighting terrorism, when we are working in favor of sustainable development, water, energy and food security, development in general, it is we have to get back to basics, that is to say living together.

There is no point in carrying out major projects if we do not manage to go beyond this first link of living together, in the name of a single humanity which places the human being at its heart.

Wassalamou alaikoum warahmatoullahi wabarakatouh”.

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