Archive for February, 2012

Secretary Clinton Praises the Work of the Local Advisory Boards for the U.S. in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria

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Fact SheetOffice of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

February 29, 2012

While in North Africa, Secretary Clinton met with the local advisory boards for the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) and praised the work being done by these private sector leaders and innovators.

NAPEO is a regional public-private network launched last year in Algeria by the U.S. Department of State jointly with the Aspen Institute to advance the goals of the flagship global partnership initiative, Partners for a New Beginning. NAPEO Local Advisory Boards exist in Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia, with one currently in formation in Libya. Members of NAPEO in these countries work with American and North African business and civil society leaders within the network to foster entrepreneurship, develop market-relevant skills training, and create opportunities for job matching and cross-border exchanges.

The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP), part of the Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, is scheduled to launch in Morocco and Tunisia this spring in partnership with USAID. It will lead entrepreneurship efforts in the Maghreb for the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity. The Department of State regularly engages public sector leaders in the Maghreb through bi-annual NAPEO Economic Ministers meetings to discuss the business-enabling policy environment in the region for entrepreneurship and youth employability. (more…)

Sahara : The Polisario divided in Manhasset

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Written by Khalid Ibrahim KhaledFriday, 24 February 2012 10:20

abdelaziz-polisario.jpg

The next round of negotiations on the Sahara divides the ranks of the Polisario because of the recent warming of the inter-Maghreb relationships. A situation which torments the Chief of the Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, less than three weeks before the meeting of 11 March in Manhasset, in the suburb of New York. From well informed sources in Tindouf, it is the recent Maghreb rapprochement which is at the origin of the disagreement between the main leaders of the separatist Front. The discords have appeared during the meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Maghreb countries, on February 18, in Morocco. For certain members from the Polisario leadership, the exchanges happening between the five UMA delegations are signs which do not deceive. Time is from now on for the rapprochement of the Maghreb countries and the Polisario cause is paying the cost of it. (more…)

Arab spring News : Feb 29, 2012

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Arab Spring tackles Russia’s winter
Adelaide Now
SPRING is in the Russian air but the civilian unrest in Moscow is unlikely to rival theArab spring, which saw a succession of governments toppled in the past year. After two presidential terms and a stint as prime minister, Vladimir Putin retains a
Arab spring inspires Burma’s 88 generation
The Nation
One of them admits that the events of “Arab Spring” prove that Burma will inevitably follow the path of democracy.”We are not afraid to be arrested again. It’s perhaps part of Burma’s political culture. Jail is our second home anyway,” said Mya Aye, (more…)

Morocco’s New Constitution Enables Woman Empowerment -Minister

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New York (UN) – Moroccan minister of solidarity, woman, family and social development Bassima Hakkaoui said, on Tuesday in New York, that Morocco’s new Constitution provides many opportunities for the empowerment of women.

Hakkaoui told the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which opened on Monday at the UN headquarters, that Morocco witnessed the democratic momentum triggered by the Arab Spring in accordance with its own specificity reflected by the broad political and national consensus, with the reform process crowned by a new Constitution which anchored a new democratic rights-based era.

Indeed, the Minister said, the new Constitution provides, from the preamble, for the fight against all forms of discrimination, noting, in this regard, that the government platform “is an action plan which reflects the provisions” of the Constitution. (more…)

Morocco Presents Candidacy To UNHRC For 2014-2016 Mandate

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Rabat – Morocco submitted, in Geneva on Tuesday, its candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 mandate, Minister of Justice Mustapha Ramid said.

Ramid made this announcement on the occasion of signing the third optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, at a ceremony organized by the UN on the sidelines of the High Level Segment of the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council held from February 27 to March 23.

The minister called, on this occasion, on brotherly and friendly countries to support the candidacy of Morocco.

He said that Morocco decided to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, recalling that the Kingdom used the provisions of this protocol in its experience of transitional justice.

MAGHREB UNION: POLEMIC ABOUT “ARAB”

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SOURCE: MAGHREB UNION: POLEMIC ABOUT “ARAB”

HASSAN MASIKY

Washington / Morocco Board News–The Moroccan Foreign Minister, Saad Eddine El Othmani, unexpected proposal to rename the “Arab Maghreb Union” as “”the Maghreb Union” is reinvigorating the debate over the social, linguistic and political status of the Amazigh people in “post-Arab Spring” North Africa. Activists from both sides of the debate view Mr. El Othmani’s suggestion to drop the word Arab form the appellation of the five-nation Arab Maghreb Union (known in French as the UMA) as thought provoking and controversial. The Tunisian and Algerian delegations rebuked immediately the Moroccan proposal.

El Othmani’s decision to remove of the word “Arab” from the UMA name was an attempt to make the union of five nations, where a sizable number of citizens are not of Arab descent, more inclusive. However, political and social realities in Algeria and Tunisia hampered this reasonable proposition. Even in Morocco where the idea enjoys some traction, few voices voiced displeasure with the “rebranding” of the UMA. (more…)

Morocco to create National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

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Prevention Web

Source(s):United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat – Regional Office for Arab States (UNISDR ROAS)

by Flickr user Daveybot / Dave Morris, Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/davemorris/5494270590/Geneva/Cairo – Morocco is taking steps to join 78 other nations whose governments have created National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction to support policies for building resilience to disasters.

“The future National Platform will help the work of all sectors to converge into one common objective, which is to construct a country that is safer for current and future generations,” said Mehdi Chalabi, Director of Surveillance and Prevention of Risk at the Department of Environment.

Morocco is one of the Arab region’s most hazard-prone countries and the economy is frequently affected by dry spells, floods, landslides and invasion by locusts. Parts of the country are also exposed to seismic risk; 12,000 people lost their lives in a massive earthquake in the coastal town of Agadir in 1960. Cities and rural communities alike face the danger of sea-level rise and desertification as a result of climate change. (more…)

EU-Morocco FTZ For Industrial Products Becomes Effective As Of March 1, 2012

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Rabat – The EU-Morocco free trade zone (FTZ) for industrial products will become effective as of March 1, 2012, the deadline by which the gradual dismantling of the customs services will come to an end, the European Delegation in Morocco said.

The FTZ will be reinforced in the future through the implementation of the advanced status and the different trade agreements notably the agriculture agreement which was adopted by the European Parliament, the agreement of services’ liberalization which is being negotiated, in addition to a possible free trade agreement that is detailed and comprehensive, the Delegation said Wednesday in a statement. (more…)

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