Presidential address

President Baldwin Lonsdale addresses Crans Montana Forum

President Baldwin Lonsdale has joined dignitaries of Africa-Caribbean-Pacific member countries to call for leadership reiterating the need for ACP and the global community, to commit themselves to implementing the decisions of several important agreements that were made in 2015; namely the adoption of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Agreement on Climate Change and 10th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference.

The Head of State urged the global community to identify a common platform for greater integration as he called on ACP leaders not to forget the resolutions taken by the 2016 COP22 organised at Marrakesh also in Morocco.

“Now the most urgent focus must be the implementation of these agreements.

“To achieve those goals, we need leadership, political will, partnerships, involvement of women, youth, civil society and private sector actors with the view to successfully address the needs of the people”, President Lonsdale said.

“We should not come back in 2030 and complain that we have not achieved the target to reduce extreme poverty, fostering food and nutrition security, protecting land, forests, oceans and seas and upgrading living conditions in slums and urban settlements and fight against climate change.

“The call is on us to make a tangible and concrete change to the livelihood of our people.”

In addition he said more than half of the 79 ACP member countries are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that are vulnerable to extreme weather patterns and climate change events coupled with natural disasters that have been affecting the SIDS.

He warned that according to world meteorological outlook, the severity of such extreme weather events will continue to increase.

All ACP leaders who spoke at the official opening of the third edition of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, emphasized the importance for leaders to make sure that they synergise their efforts on a common platform in order to tackle issues of similar nature that are affecting them.

According to the Vanuatu Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy who is also accredited to the Kingdom to Morocco, the invitation from Crans Montana to the Vanuatu Head of State to participate as a state guest speaker in the current session in Dakhla, is a “special manifestation of the high esteem” that both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Crans Montana Forum have for Vanuatu.

Vanuatu is the only Pacific ACP member state that enjoys the membership of both the English speaking Commonwealth Organisation and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

Vanuatu has been earmarked as an ideal interlocutor for Morocco geopolitical influence in the Pacific Region because of the closeness between the two countries in terms of diplomatic relations and also as being members of the OIF.

The official diplomatic relations between Port-Vila and Rabat was established in early 1997.

As a member of the COP 23 Troika (comprised of France, Fiji and Morocco), the Kingdom of Morocco wants to use the Crans Montana global leaders forum as a platform or vehicle to identify common positions and issues that can bring countries together in a united voice on global issues such as Climate Change, Gender and Youth and more.

The third edition of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla is organised this year in two parts: The first part of the programme from the official opening on March 16 to 18 at the Dakhla Congress Centre and the second part from March 19 to 21, 2017 aboard the Rhapsody Cruise ship — an eleven storey floating hotel while sailing for 2 days in the Atlantic Ocean from Dakhla to Casablanca.

The President’s visit to the Kingdom of Morocco and his participation in the Crans Montana Leaders Forum also confirms a promise by Vanuatu’s first non-resident Ambassador to Morocco, Roy Mickey Joy, to facilitate his first official visit to the North African Kingdom.

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