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Opening of CCDH Regional Section in Ouarzazate

The Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH) opened on October 30, 2009 its regional administrative section in Ouarzazate. On this occasion, the CCDH organized on October 30-31, 2009 a meeting on political, civil, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, which was attended by stakeholders in this field.

At the opening session of the meeting, Mr. Mustapha Raissouni, CCDH member, highlighted the process of reconciliation which has been built in Morocco and which is part of transitional justice. Similarly, he focused on the objectives of the community reparation, namely the promotion of spaces, redressing of injuries and preservation of heritage and memory. Mr. Raissouni welcomed the results achieved following the establishment of CCDH regional offices and highlighted the objectives assigned to these offices, particularly making the services of the CCDH available to citizens, and creating a local momentum for the promotion and protection of human rights. The Ouarzazate office, which covers also the provinces of Zagora and Tinghir, comes after the offices in Laayoune, Oujda, Agadir and Midelt. Other regional offices will be open soon, says Raissouni, including those of Beni Mellal, Casablanca and Al Hoceima.

The director of the new office in Ouarzazate, Abdelatif Kacem, said that the opening of this office aims to achieve two major objectives namely: the final closing of the record of the victims of the past in the region and the promotion of political, civil, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

The governor of the province of Ouarzazate, Mr. Abdeslem Bekrate, said that opening a CCDH regional office in Ouarzazate is a sign that "our country is going in the right direction, since it considers human rights as a basis for creating a healthy society… human rights is a culture, a daily practice and recognition of the rights to dignity and security”.

The meeting, which was attended by several stakeholders (associations, government departments, researchers ...) was structured around a plenary to present international conventions and national institutions for the protection and promotion of human rights, and four workshops on “civil and political rights”, “social and economic rights”, “cultural rights” and “environmental rights”.

Following these workshops, participants made a series of recommendations and proposals to contribute to the promotion of political, civil, economic, cultural and environmental rights in the provinces of Ouarzazate, Zagora and Tinghir.

They thus emphasized the need to accelerate the process of justice reform, create an observatory of public freedoms and ensure that national laws are in compliance with international standards. They also stressed the importance of monitoring the implementation of the recommendations made by the Equity and Reconciliation Commission, mainly as regards community reparations and the preservation of collective memory, in addition to the role of CCDH regional administrative offices in resolving cases of individual rights.

They, likewise, recommended that an awareness program be developed on international charters, particularly for disadvantaged social groups and that different mechanisms and approaches that contribute to the strengthening of judicial independence and consolidation of the foundations of the rule of law be adopted. After highlighting the richness and diversity of cultural heritage in the provinces of Ouarzazate, Zagora and Tinghir, they emphasized the role of media in promoting this heritage, calling for creating centers of research, documentation and local museums and establishing partnerships with various agencies to protect this cultural heritage and ensure its sustainability.

They also advocated the integration of environmental culture in training programs and development plans, strengthening of communication to achieve convergence of programs and projects relating to environment, people’s involvement in the establishment of nature reserves and further implementation of oases preservation program and national program against desertification.