Morocco’s immigration and asylum policy, based on a comprehensive and humanistic approach, enshrines the Kingdom’s constitutional fundamentals and its international commitments, Morocco’s Permanent Representative Ambassador Omar Zniber said Wednesday in Geneva. In addition to reflecting the importance of the individual responsibility of States, this policy extends the excellent cooperation between Morocco and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), whose ties date back to 1959, Zniber said in the Kingdom’s statement to the 73rd Session of the UNHCR Executive Committee. Concerned about the efficient management of the flow of refugees seeking asylum in Morocco, the Kingdom was the first country in Africa to host a UNHCR team, the diplomat said. ”Morocco’s action in favor of people under the UNHCR mandate is neither circumstantial nor random. It embodies a natural symbiosis between principles and projection,” he said, adding that the operationalization of the national strategy on immigration and asylum has enabled refugees and asylum seekers to benefit from access to education, health care, vocational training and employment. “The underlying idea is that the shift from financial assistance to economic empowerment of refugees is beneficial,” Zniber said, noting that the rights of refugees are not only respected in Morocco, but truly promoted. Moreover, Morocco has included migrants and refugees in the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, he said, adding that “a consideration is being given to how to expand and generalize access for foreigners in Morocco to the ambitious project of generalizing social protection”. The Moroccan official assured that as guardian of the international refugee protection regime, UNHCR’s work embodies our collective responsibility to promote sustainable solutions, within a strictly humanitarian vision driven by the obligation to serve and protect. The High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, reacted positively to Morocco’s statement, agreeing with the overall analysis of the situation made by the Kingdom’s delegation, in particular on the need to work with development actors. He also appreciated the Moroccan national approach to migration, while welcoming the excellent collaboration with the government of Morocco on these issues, which he hopes to continue.
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