King Mohammed VI on Saturday delivered a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Sovereign’s accession to the throne of his glorious ancestors.
Here follows the full text of the royal speech:
“Praise be to God,
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
The celebration of the anniversary of my accession to the throne which, this year, coincides with the beginning of the new Hegira Year, is an annual opportunity to renew the mutual bonds of the Bei’a between the people and the King.
I thank Almighty God for having blessed us with such close cohesion throughout history, through good times and bad.
This year’s commemoration of an event which is dear to the heart of all Moroccans is taking place in an unstable environment marked by the continuing impacts of the COVID19 crisis and the effects of major international developments on the national and the global economy.
Hence, it would hardly be possible for us to rise to domestic and external challenges without combining the spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience to shore up social stability with the need to enhance the status of women and the family and boost the national economy.
Building the kind of country we yearn for – one that is committed to progress and dignity – is possible only with the participation of all Moroccans – men and women alike – in the development process.
Therefore, I insist, once again, on the need to ensure the full participation of Moroccan women in all sectors.
Ever since my accession to the throne, I have been keen to improve the status of women, open up prospects for their advancement and enable them to hold their rightful place in society.
The main reforms we have introduced in this regard include the adoption of the Family Law and the 2011 Constitution, which enshrines equality between men and women in terms of rights and obligations and provides for the principle of parity as a goal to be pursued by the state.
The question here is not about giving women unwarranted privileges; rather, it is about giving them their legal and legitimate rights. Today, in Morocco, women cannot be deprived of their rights.
In this regard, we need to make sure the constitutional institutions concerned with the rights of the family and women are operational, and to update the relevant mechanisms and regulations for the promotion of the status of women and the family.
The Family Law was a major step forward. However, it is no longer sufficient. Experience has shown there are many hurdles which stand in the way of completing this process and achieving its objectives.
Among them is the inadequate enforcement of the Family Law for various sociological reasons, the more so as a category of employees and justice practitioners still believe the said law is strictly for women.
In fact, the Family Law does not concern men only, nor is it specific to women: it is a law for the entire family.
This law is based on fairness, since it gives women their rights just as it gives men theirs; it also takes into consideration the interests of children.
I therefore insist on the need for everyone to commit to the proper and full implementation of the provisions of the Family Law.
Moreover, we need to address the deficiencies and negative aspects noted from experience, just as we should revisit – where necessary – some of the law’s provisions where deviations from the original goals have been noted.
As the Commander of the Faithful, I pointed out before Parliament in 2003, when introducing the Moudouwana, or Family Law, that I shall not make licit that which the Almighty has forbidden, nor shall I forbid that which He has authorized, particularly when it comes to matters governed by unequivocal Quranic prescriptions.
Therefore, whatever decisions are made in this regard, I am keen to ensure they are in keeping with the stipulations of the Islamic Sharia and the particularities of the Moroccan society, building, to that end, on a moderate, balanced approach, on open-minded interpretation as well as on consultation, dialogue and the engagement of all stakeholders concerned.
In the same vein, I call for family courts to be set up throughout the country, and for providing them with the qualified human resources and means they need for the proper conduct of their mission.
Everyone should understand that giving women their rights does not mean it will be at the expense of men, nor does it mean it will be at the expense of women.
Progress in Morocco hinges on women’s status in society and their effective participation in all development sectors.
As you know, the situation in recent years has been affected by the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on various socioeconomic sectors.
Many people, especially from vulnerable and poor segments of society, have been deeply affected socially and economically.
However, and by the grace of the Almighty, we have managed that difficult phase successfully and in a unique way, thanks to the concerted efforts of the citizens and the authorities.
The state has exerted tremendous efforts, devoting significant financial resources to tackling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided direct material assistance to needy families as well as support to the sectors affected by the pandemic.
The state also made sure basic goods were available on a continuous basis and in sufficient quantities throughout the country.
Similarly, everyone agrees that Morocco was one of the first countries which managed to purchase the vaccine needed, providing it, free of charge, not just to its citizens, but also to foreign residents, despite the exceedingly high costs.
In the same circumstances, we started implementing the major project aimed at achieving universal social protection coverage as well as the upgrading of our national health system.
In the same vein, I launched a number of projects with a view to achieving sovereignty in the health sector and making sure our citizens are safe and secure.
Thus, in less than a year, the number of subscribers to the compulsory medical insurance scheme exceeded six million non-salaried people and their dependents.
Moreover, mandatory health coverage will be completed by the end of this year, once it has been extended to the beneficiaries of the subsidized health insurance regime – RAMED.
And, by the grace of Almighty God, I am determined to ensure the gradual implementation of the family allowance scheme as of the end of 2023, in accordance with the program set to this end.
Close to seven million children – mostly from poor or vulnerable families – will benefit from this solidarity-based national program, in addition to three million households with no school-age children.
To this end, I call for the finalization of the unified social register to be speeded up, since it will be the main tool for granting assistance and making sure this endeavor is efficient.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the state and the public and private sectors, our national economy has proven to be resilient in the face of crises and fluctuations. Thus, positive results have been achieved in all productive sectors.
However, the recovery phase has been short-lived due to the current global circumstances.
These external factors, coupled with a modest agricultural season, have caused the prices of some commodities to soar. This is an issue plaguing all countries around the world.
Realizing the impact of this situation on the livelihoods of many segments of the population, I have launched a national program to mitigate the effects of drought on farmers and rural populations.
I have also instructed the government to allocate substantial funds to subsidize some basic goods and ensure they are available on the market.
Moroccans deserve no less!
In this regard, the budget of the compensation fund has been doubled, exceeding 32 billion dirhams for 2022.
Parallel to this, we need to boost national solidarity mechanisms, and speculation and market manipulation must be tackled resolutely and responsibly.
Despite the fluctuations noted at global level, we must remain optimistic and focus on our strengths.
We must also seek to leverage the opportunities and possibilities created by the profound changes underway, especially when it comes to attracting investment, boosting export incentives and promoting national products.
In this regard, I urge the government as well as political and economic stakeholders to facilitate the mission of foreign investors who choose to come to our country in the current global circumstances, and to remove any hurdles they may be facing.
Indeed, the greatest peril for the country’s development and the promotion of investment are the obstacles intentionally created by those who seek personal gain. These practices must be combatted.
My commitment to improving socioeconomic conditions is second only to my keen desire to address Morocco’s priorities at the regional and international levels.
In this regard, I wish to insist, once again, that the borders separating the two brotherly Moroccan and Algerian peoples, will never stand in the way of the interaction and understanding between the two peoples.
In fact, we want these borders to serve as bridges for building a common future for Morocco and Algeria, and thus set the example for other peoples in the Maghreb.
I therefore call upon Moroccans to continue to adhere to the principles of brotherhood, solidarity, and good-neighborliness binding us with our Algerian brothers and sisters. I want to assure Algerians that Morocco and the Moroccans will always be on their side, no matter what and in all circumstances.
As for the allegations accusing Moroccans of insulting Algeria and Algerians, those who irresponsibly make them want to ignite the flame of strife between the two brotherly peoples.
What is being said about the Moroccan-Algerian relations is both unreasonable and deeply distressing. We do not and shall not allow anyone to adversely affect our brothers and neighbors.
As Moroccans, we are keen to find a way out of the current situation and to promote closer ties, interaction and understanding between the two peoples.
I look forward to cooperating with the Algerian presidency so that Morocco and Algeria may work hand in hand and enjoy normal relations between the two brotherly peoples, who are bound by historical and human ties as well as a common destiny.
The history of Morocco is replete with lessons and achievements which confirm that we always overcome crises, thanks to the everlasting cohesion between the throne and the people, and the sacrifices made by valiant Moroccans.
Today, I cannot but thank you and tell you how much I appreciate your love for your homeland – whatever the circumstances – and your commitment to your national unity and territorial integrity as well as to the defense of your symbols and sacred values.
I should like to take this glorious opportunity to salute our Royal Armed Forces, the Royal Gendarmerie, the National Security Forces, the Auxiliary Forces and the Emergency Services for being mobilized, at all times, under my leadership, to defend the nation’s unity, its security and stability.
I also wish to pay tribute, with all due deference, to the nation’s valiant martyrs, particularly my revered grandfather and father, Their Majesties King Mohammed V and King Hassan II – may they rest in peace.
I can think of no better way to close this address than the following Words of the Almighty:
“So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: verily with every difficulty there is relief. Therefore, when you are free (from your immediate task), still labor hard, and to your Lord turn (all) your attention”.
True is the Word of God.