On the light of the Mediterranean meeting in Algiers, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, proposed hosting the “Ministerial 5+5 meeting for youth” in Morocco, this year. Such proposal was “welcomed” by the ten ministers attending this high-level meeting, MAP reported.
Bourita delivered an important speech at the meeting, for he focused on themes related to youth, migration, development, economic cooperation, extremism and terrorism.
In his speech, Bourita stated that more than 50% of young people aged 20 to 25 in the Maghreb have no income, while 70% have no professional qualifications; 48% of whom a very low level of education, not to mention the illiteracy rates that have reached 15% for boys and 45% for girls.
On the economic level, Bourita emphasized that the contrast in economic integration between the north and south of the western Mediterranean raises a lot of questions; since those in the north (185 million people) enjoy a much stronger economic integration reaching 70% of the population, while those, in the southern part of the Mediterranean, enjoy an economic integration rate of 5% only, for about 100 million people.
Migration, on the other hand, is a major issue for the Maghreb region as well, Bourita said, pointing that the Mediterranean has the highest death rate in the world, with over 60% dead or going missing, following immigration attempts. According to IOM stats, more than 15,000 migrants have died in this region since the beginning of the migration crisis in 2014; moreover, the number of migrants having perished in the Sahara desert would be twice that number, for it is believed to have exceeded 30,000 deaths.
Bourita has also discussed terrorism, stating that the 5+5 region in required to make huge efforts to show the world that the Maghreb was never, and will never be, the breeding ground for terrorist groups.
To conclude, Bourita wished to reiterate his deep conviction that the 5 + 5 dialogue framework will made significant progress in the region.