Director-General meets H.E. Hakima El Haite, Minister of the Environment of Morocco and Special Envoy of the Kingdom of Morocco for COP22

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met with Minister Hakima El Haite, Minister in charge of the Environment of Morocco, Member of the Bureau and Vice-President COP21, Special Envoy of the Kingdom of Morocco for COP22, to discuss the preparations of the COP22, which will be hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco from 7 to 18 November in Marrakech.

The Director-General welcomed the Minister assuring her that UNESCO's programmes are geared towards assisting Member States in reaching the goals as set out by the Climate Change Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

“The COP Agenda and the 2030 Agenda are intricately interrelated and cannot be seen as separate entities, they run along one and the same path”, stated Irina Bokova. 

The Director-General informed the Minister that UNESCO is ready and fully mobilized to assist Morocco and provide its technical expertise and professional networks, notably through the  UNESCO network of Institutes and Centres of scientific excellence, such as those in the areas of water sciences and management. She further emphasized the commitment of UNESCO’s National Office in Rabat and UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo in helping Morocco with local and regional assistance. 

The Minister presented the roadmap that Morocco is currently taking forward, referring to the close cooperation with the French authorities concerning the agenda of the COP 22 and plans to build further on the momentum that has been created by the Paris Agreement. The Moroccan authorities have determined several priority areas, and a set of ambitious but clear goals -- the first one being the establishment of a governance framework for the Intended National Determined Contributions (INDC’s). In the intention to assist member states with concrete tools, they will focus on concrete modalities for capacity building, with a particular attention for job creation. Another important goal is an agreement on a funding mechanism. 

“We have set an ambitious agenda, and the clock is ticking. That is why we reach out to local and international partners, and why we want to mobilize all partners, private sector, youth NGOs, and the civil society at large. As several of the themes we will focus on are completely in line with UNESCO’s mandate, we are interested to explore those areas where UNESCO can assist us, before and during the COP”, Minister El Haite said. 

In closing, the Director-General wished the Minister a fruitful meeting with UNESCO’s Climate Change Taskforce and assured her that she will closely follow up on the preparations of this important event. 

In February 2016, King Mohamed VI nominated a COP22 Committee, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Salaheddine Mezouar, and composed of seven eminent personalities. H.E. Minister El Haite has been designated as Special Envoy of the Kingdom of Morocco for COP22. 

The bilateral meeting with the Director-General was followed by a working group meeting of UNESCO’s Task Force for Climate Change, in which the Minister, experts of her cabinet as well as H.E. Ms. Zohour Alaoui, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Morocco to UNESCO, actively participated.