The Senior adviser to the Moroccan King Mohammed VI was the long-awaited guest lecturer on the last day of the International Summer Academy in Pravets. Graduated Journalism, Economics and International Relations in Paris, Andre Azoulay, who plays an important role in reforming the Moroccan economy through private sector development, spoke about the challenges that the Euro-Mediterranean region is facing. “In 1995, the Barcelona Process began with the desire of Europe and its partners in the Southern Mediterranean to connect with each other and to change the rules of the game, to deal with migration and people on both sides of the sea to get to know each other”, said Andre Azoulay in front of 21 young political and civic leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Bulgaria. Today the trust between us has reached a tragic level. We have spoiled so many opportunities. In order to move forward, first we must tell the truth. If the Barcelona Declaration was fully implemented, things would not be the same today. “
Morocco’s Senior Adviser to the king stressed that he still believes in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. According to him, it should return to the top of the region’s agenda.
“We share the same rules of the game, the definition of dignity is the same on both sides of the Mediterranean. But we have to admit the truth. We have to be aware that being a Muslim or not being a Muslim, being a European, or being a Moroccan is not the same as 22 years ago, “said Andre Azoulay, adding that there is still a chance for change if we have the courage to tell the truth.
The only titled as King’s “Senior Advisor” and member of the High Level Group of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Azoulay has presented himself in front of the participants as a citizen of Moroccan citizen, Berber, Arab, Jewish person, European in culture and proximity thanks to Gibraltar, that separates Europe and Morocco for only 15 km. In his words, the Mediterranean has become today a place of migration, a place of tragic events, and it is not any more a region of mutual respect where people live together and where democracy and equality are born and implemented.
“Gender Equality: a needed asset for democracy” was the topic of Boriana Jonsson, Executive Director of the Euro-Med Feminist Initiative and a human rights lawyer with many years of experience.
Ms. Johnson reminded young leaders that in the new Global Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN, gender equality is recognized to be important in eradicating hunger, poverty and disease. At the same time, however, only 10 of the UN member states have women as a head of state.
“Discussing the topic of gender equality should start from looking at concepts such as democracy, human rights, citizenship from the point of view of women and their access to “resources” such as health, education, labor, power”, Johnson said.