Search

 

Cablegate: Mepi Update for Morocco

VZCZCXRO1082
RR RUEHTRO
DE RUEHRB #1201/01 2051604
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241604Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7024
INFO RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 3247
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 9340
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 4481
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0190
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2120
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0490
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 3494
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1900

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 RABAT 001201

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/MAG, NEA/PI AND PDAS CARPENTER

SIPDIS

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV KMPI MO
SUBJECT: MEPI UPDATE FOR MOROCCO

REF: A) Rabat 0399, B) 06 Rabat 2509

1. Summary: This cable highlights MEPI programs and initiatives in
Morocco from April 1-June 30. New activities included visits by
representatives from MEPI Washington and the approval of two small
grant proposals. Highlights from existing programs included the
launch of the MEPI Alumni Network, a workshop on the right to access
information, two new written guides to promote women's rights, a
showcase of women candidates' campaign plans, a training program for
women's business and legal skills, and a visit by the Vice President
of Scholastic Inc. Implementers continue to partner with local NGOs
at the grassroots level to support numerous programs committed to
reform in the four MEPI pillars. End Summary.

-------------
MEPI VISITORS
-------------

2. NEA's PDAS Scott Carpenter visited Morocco June 4-7 to meet with
GOM officials, civil society leaders and several MEPI recipients.
Morocco's upcoming elections and the issue of press freedom
dominated discussions which also included judicial reform, the
importance of civil society organizations and youth programs. He
had a wide-ranging meeting with the MFA's Director of Bilateral
Affairs Yousef Amrani; reviewed election issues with prominent
female leaders, MEPI recipients and civil society advocates;
discussed the issue of press freedom with the Minister of
Communications Nabil Benabdellah and prominent journalists; met with
the American Bar Association; and visited a youth center in an under
privileged neighborhood of Rabat to discuss a number of issues
affecting the lives of its members. It was a successful visit that
featured extensively in a FACT DVC between Washington and Mission
Morocco on June 28.

3. MEPI's Senior Grant Officer Anna Mary Portz visited Rabat from
March 13-17. She conducted monitoring activities with MEPI
implementers MTDS-Tanmia and Demos Consulting and met with the
International Financial Corporation. She also discussed MEPI
programs and ways to improve coordination and communication between
posts, MEPI regional offices and Washington.

4. Chad Bettes from NEA/PI visited Morocco from May 15-18 to
officially launch the MEPI Alumni Network. He met with members of
the Network's steering committee and MEPI alumni to review the
network's goals and to discuss next steps and work coordination. He
also met with the Alumni Coordinator and the Director of the
America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST).
The MEPI Alumni Network will include quarterly activities, an online
hub with information about financial opportunities, and provide
opportunities to remain in contact with other MEPI alumni in the
region.

-------------------------
TWO NEW MEPI SMALL GRANTS
-------------------------

5. In May, post approved two new MEPI small grants to NGOs totaling
$45,349. Both pertain to the political pillar. The first
recipient, Al Akhawayn University, will conduct a survey to assess
public opinion towards political institutions, and economic and
social conditions in Morocco. The second, Association Action
Jeunesse, seeks to increase awareness of the importance of political
participation among Moroccan youth, especially in light of the
country's upcoming elections.

-----------------------
THE MEPI ALUMNI NETWORK
-----------------------

6. On April 6, the MEPI Alumni Network was established in Morocco as
well as in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Yemen. The MEPI Alumni
Network facilitated by AMIDEAST, is designed to accelerate the
momentum of organizations working to advance reforms and bring
increased peace and prosperity to the people of the Middle East and
North Africa. A steering committee was formed to provide leadership
and vision for the Alumni Network. The members represent the
diversity of MEPI pillars; they are business CEOs, women's rights
activists, student leaders, political candidates and community
reformers. Ambassador Riley participated in a July 13 event that
launched the steering committee's work plan.

-------------------------------
THE RIGHT TO ACCESS INFORMATION

RABAT 00001201 002 OF 003


-------------------------------

7. The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) funded a
workshop in Marrakech on May 26-27 entitled "Media, Administration
and the Right to Access Information in Morocco." The event,
organized by the MEPI-funded Moroccan association Adala (Justice),
attracted 26 participants including: two MPs, a representative from
the Ministry of Public Sector Modernization, lawyers, journalists,
civil society members and human rights leaders. A member of
parliament from the USFP (socialist party), Fatima Belmoudden,
presented a proposal for a draft law promoting access to
information. Participants offered feedback on how to improve the
proposal before presenting it to parliament.

------------------------------------
NEW GUIDES TO PROMOTE WOMEN'S RIGHTS
------------------------------------

8. The Moroccan legal landscape was enriched by the introduction of
two new practical guides designed to promote women's rights.
MEPI-funded Global Rights, working with local NGOs, recently
completed two publications titled "Promoting Access to Justice for
Women in Morocco" and "Building Networks for Women's Rights."
Published in Arabic to help ensure a wider distribution, the two
publications support women's rights by building the capacity of
local associations to identify and interpret laws relating to women
in society.

--------------------------------
WOMEN CANDIDATES' CAMPAIGN PLANS
--------------------------------

9. Against the backdrop of upcoming elections in Algeria and
Morocco, more than 60 women, including several potential candidates,
participated in the fifth Women's Regional Campaign Academy entitled
"Partners in Participation" from April 15-19 in Marrakech.
Organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), this unique
event provided participants with an opportunity to showcase their
achievements while supporting and encouraging others who aspire to
become more politically active. The Academy also offered women from
across the region a chance to meet and develop a network of
colleagues, not only from the Middle East and North Africa, but also
from around the world, who, are also dedicated politicians and
activists. This important program featured more than a dozen
international campaign experts and several distinguished guests,
including Ambassador Riley, Congresswoman Jane Harman,
Parliamentarian Milouda Hazeb, the Minister-Delegate for Moroccans
Living Abroad, and the Mayor of Marrakech.

------------------------------------------
WOMEN'S BUSINESS AND LEGAL SKILLS TRAINING
------------------------------------------

10. Thirty-six women from the Middle East and North Africa are in
the United States to participate in a six-month MEPI-sponsored Legal
and Business Fellowship Program intended to develop their
educational and leadership skills. The fellows were selected from
more than 500 applicants, based on their leadership potential and
commitment to professional growth in the business and legal sectors
of their countries. Starting in March, they studied for one month
at either the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of
Business or Law School, followed by five-month internships working
with leading U.S. corporations and law firms.

------------------------------------------
SCHOLASTIC'S VICE PRESIDENT VISITS MOROCCO
------------------------------------------

11. Dr. Carol Sakoian, Vice President of MEPI implementer Scholastic
Inc., visited Rabat from June 13-17 for meetings with GOM officials
and for site visits related to the "My Arabic Library" (MAL)
program. On June 15, Sakoian met with the Ministry Education's
Secretary General El Abida to discuss the evolution of the program

SIPDIS
and later met with Minister of Education Habib El Maliki (who
expressed his thanks for the project), Minister of Culture Mohammed
Achaari, and Director of Books, Libraries and Archives at the
Ministry of Culture Mounya Nejjar. On June 16, Sakoian visited
schools in the rural region of Khemisset that participate in the MAL
program and met with post's Public Diplomacy staff to discuss the
positive feedback on MAL.

12. A detailed description of MEPI programs in Morocco can be found
on the Mission unclassified internet web page at www.usembassy.ma.

RABAT 00001201 003 OF 003

BUSH

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:

Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:


Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: