Madrid – Minister delegate for foreign affairs Mbarka Bouaida reiterated, on Wednesday in Madrid, Morocco’s dynamic commitment to international and regional efforts to find a solution to the Libyan crisis as part of a global approach. Speaking at the ministerial conference on Libya’s stability and development, Bouaida underlined Morocco’s resolve to integrate itself “with dynamism” in efforts meant to find a solution to the Libyan crisis as part of a global approach which brings together the security, political, humanitarian and development dimensions as a means to ensure stability and progress in the country.The official also expressed Morocco’s will to assist Libya in addressing its challenges to turn the country into a reconciled, strong, democratic State that is capable of contributing to Maghreb integration and achieve the aspirations of peoples in the five Maghreb countries for union and development. Bouaida underlined the need to respect Libya’s territorial unity and national sovereignty and emphasized the importance of adopting dialogue between the Libyan actors as a means to settle political differences and promote understanding over the new constitution which guarantees the building of State institutions and protects its resources.She noted that division and deterioration of the security situation as well as the worsening of violence in Libya threaten democratic transition and might drag the country into violence that will impact its Maghreb, Mediterranean and African environment.The Conference is attended by UNSG representative for Libya, representatives of Euro-Mediterranean Countries Group “Med 7”, of “5+5 Forum” and the Group of neighboring countries. It is also attended by representatives of Tunisia, Mauritania, Algeria, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan, France, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Malta, the EU, the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM), the Arab League and the UN.
A memorandum of understanding with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) came into effect last Friday immediately after the agreement was signed by 15 countries attending an intergovernmental meeting in Lomé, Togo.The new instrument, which contains two action plans to conserve marine species, is aimed at protecting more than 30 small cetacean species – or aquatic mammals – in an area stretching from the waters off Morocco to South Africa.The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), under whose aegis the CMS was concluded, has welcomed the agreement, calling it a permanent legacy of the Year of the Dolphin, which was celebrated last year and then extended to run through 2008.“It helps to facilitate transboundary cooperation by providing an international platform to negotiate and coordinate research and conservation measures,” UNEP said in a press release issued today.Robert Hepworth, Executive Secretary of the CMS, said the latest pact is the fourth in a network of regional agreements that aim to conserve migratory cetaceans in key areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.This agreement officially refers to West Africa and the region known as Macaronesia, which includes Cape Verde and other mid-Atlantic island chains, such as the Azores and the Canary Islands.Mr. Hepworth said “now we need to encourage Portugal, Spain and the remaining Western African Range States to sign the memorandum of understanding” so that it applies to an even broader area.The countries which signed the agreement are Angola, Benin, Cape Verde, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Togo. 7 October 2008Dolphins, small whales and manatees living in the waters off West Africa or islands in the mid-Atlantic Ocean will now receive greater protection after 15 countries signed an agreement under a United Nations-backed treaty that aims to conserve wildlife and habitats.