Morocco Calls for Concrete, Concerted Actions against Transnational Crimes

Morocco Calls for Concrete, Concerted Actions against Transnational Crimes


Morocco called, on the 12th of October 2020 in Vienna, for concrete, concerted and coordinated actions on the ground, through the various channels of regional and international cooperation, for an effective fight against transnational organized crime in all its forms and manifestations.

"The fight against organized crime could only be won through a continuous awareness of the dangers of crime, in all its forms and manifestations on humanity, and a deep conviction of the importance of taking concerted, coordinated and oriented actions within the framework of a reinforced and sustained cooperation for which Morocco has been calling for years", said the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom to international organizations in Vienna, Azzeddine Farhane.

Speaking at the opening of the work of the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which is held from 12 to 16 October in Vienna, the Moroccan diplomat stressed that cooperation and the principle of shared regional and international responsibility must constitute the backbone of any concrete action based on a common, realistic, lasting and constructive vision.

"It is certain that the emergence of new forms of crime, the ease of travel and international trade, instant access to information, cutting-edge technologies and the massive use of encrypted communications are the fertile ground on which modern transnational crime thrives," he explained.

In terms of the management of the migration issue, he recalled that Morocco, which has opted for a humanist and responsible approach in dealing with this issue, has adopted, since 2013, a "National Strategy for immigration and asylum" which has led to a vast program of regularization and integration of migrants and refugees within the Moroccan society.

As part of the fight against irregular migration, Morocco continues to make huge efforts, particularly in terms of dismantling migrant smuggling networks and aborting irregular migration attempts, he added.

In 2019, Morocco thwarted nearly 74,000 irregular migration attempts and dismantled 208 trafficking networks, while prevention and assistance efforts led to the rescue at sea of 19,554 irregular migrants, he pointed out.

At the African level, he said, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in his capacity as "Leader of the African Union on the issue of migration", was behind the initiative of the development of "The African Agenda for Migration", including the creation of an "African Migration Observatory", which will be based in Rabat, and whose statutes were adopted during the 33rd AU Summit, held in February 2020.

This African Migration Observatory, as a AU body, will be articulated around a "triple function, of understanding, anticipation and action", so that the activities, of a technical and operational nature, can generate better knowledge of the migration phenomenon, provide information and promote the harmonization of efficient migration policies.

Mr. Farhane recalled that Morocco adopted, in 2016, a law on human trafficking and, last September, chaired the 10th session of the Working Group on Human Trafficking.

He said terrorist acts have increased by 31% since 2011, reaching 4,100 attacks in the first half of the current year, as the death toll from terrorism jumped 26% in a one year (12,507 against 9,944 in the first six months of 2019).

The Sahel region, a place of renewed violence and a breeding ground for terrorist groups, continues to suffer from terrorist acts which have multiplied by seven since mid-2017 in the Sahelo-Saharan space, he noted, adding that these figures underline that Africa needs more than ever an "immediate and determined" action to stabilize the continent, consolidate its security, and promote its sustainable development.

It is in this regard that Morocco and the United Nations (UN) signed, last week, an agreement for the establishment in Morocco of a Program Office for Counter-Terrorism and Training in Africa of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), he said.

Regarding Morocco's contribution to global action in the fight against terrorism, Morocco has co-chaired, since 2016, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), of which it is a founding member.

During its 17th meeting of the Coordination Committee, held on September 29, 2020, the Forum adopted a Ministerial Declaration carrying a message of unity and commitment in the face of the constant threat posed by terrorism, he said.

The Forum has also adopted two documents on the areas of prevention and fight against violent extremism that can lead to terrorism as well as on the fight against the link that may exist between terrorism and transnational organized crime.