The Marrakech declaration closes the Middle East and North Africa regional conference in Morocco

Published: 19 May 2006

After three days of deliberation, the 5TH Conference of Middle East and North Africa Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies closed on 18 May with the proclamation of the Marrakech Declaration.

The document refers to the humanitarian challenges that National Societies face, such as poverty, precarity, migration, conflicts, terrorism and pandemics. It reiterates the absolute necessity for the Societies to adhere, in all cases, to the Fundamental Principles of the Movement, in order, among other things, to ensure access to vulnerable populations, which is particularly important in times of conflict.

In the Declaration, the participants reiterate their determination to stay close to vulnerable communities. They also commit to disseminating messages of tolerance, non-violence, peace, friendship and respect for diversity.

The necessity for strengthened regional coordination was a major topic of discussion and the National Societies, for their part, have committed to support each other, to ensure more efficient collaboration.

Annexed to the Declaration is a “clear and realistic” plan of action, containing concrete recommendations in the fields of disaster and risk management, of HIV/AIDS, blood programmes, partnerships, of youth and volunteers, and gender.

In the document, the participants emphasize the importance of implementing disaster management programmes, in a region prone to natural disasters and conflict. The fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS has been declared a regional priority, and they have also called for measures to ensure better recruitment, motivation, training and protection in their work for volunteers.

Under the theme “Future humanitarian challenges”, the 5TH Conference of Middle East and North Africa Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies brought together some 150 participants, including representatives of the 18 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the region, a dozen other National Societies, the International Federation Secretariat, the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations, as well as private sector partners.

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