Speaking in a videoconference during this meeting devoted to examining the means to counter the pandemic, Bourita recalled the visionary call that HM the King had launched during the 14th Summit of the Movement, in 2006.
"We need to put in place mechanisms for reflection, proposition and consultation, to master the stakes and address the challenges to which we are confronted due to wars, domestic conflicts, poverty, pandemics, and terrorist threats," said Bourita, noting that the Royal call to the second largest grouping of states after the United Nations resonates even more in the wake of a global health crisis unlike any.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, he added, the international community is not only under a stress test; it is also at a key inflection point, stressing that global challenges have always inspired up-to-scale responses. For him, Covid-19 is yet another defining moment in history: a human crisis that calls on humanity to show resilience; to give the best of itself, while remaining committed to multilateralism.
Bourita also delivered a three-point analysis of the consequences of the pandemic:
First, the health crisis will most probably last for the foreseeable future. Encouraged by the rapid advances in pharmaceutical research, Morocco believes that ensuring universal access to a future vaccine, at affordable prices, is instrumental to global health. It is a cause for the Non-Aligned Movement to defend.
Second, mitigating the socio-economic repercussions of the pandemic is as important as flattering the pandemic curve. Covid-19 has put the globe under lockdown, forcing entire sectors to shut down and plunging millions of people into unemployment. “We need to redouble efforts to preserve the progress made so far in fighting precariousness and poverty,” Bourita said.
Third, the Moroccan minister noted that these challenges are nowhere as strong as they are in Africa, where 85.5% of workers are employed in the informal sector. The African Union called on bilateral and multilateral donors to speed up their financial and technical support and reduce the debt of Africans. Morocco considers that this call must be heeded within the Non-Aligned Movement.
On the experience of the Kingdom, Bourita clarified that the Moroccan response was based on 5 principles set by His Majesty the King: solidarity; anticipation; prevention; a holistic approach and prioritizing citizens - especially the most vulnerable.
He said that at the national level, the kingdom has worked, under the leadership of HM the King, to upgrade its health system and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis, by presenting to the Summit Morocco's strategy to fight the Covid, which was among the first countries to close its airspace.
As soon as the very first cases were detected in the country, Morocco proclaimed a State of Health Emergency, Bouita underlined.
In the same vein, he recalled that Morocco has channeled the available domestic resources to the Covid-19 Special Fund, created at the initiative of HM the King and worth so far more than 3.5 billion US dollars. Thanks to the fund, 5.1 million households – several of which operate in the informal sector - have benefited from direct financial subsidies, he noted.
Bourita recalled that Morocco has also mobilized national industry to produce Personal Protective Equipment, namely millions of locally produced masks.
With regard to the response at the level of the African continent, Bourita indicated that in line with the spirit of solidarity and Afro-optimism, HM King Mohammed VI has launched an Initiative designed to create an operational framework to work together with African countries in addressing the pandemic. It is a pragmatic and action-oriented initiative, dedicated to sharing experiences and best practices to deal with the health, economic and social impact of the pandemic.