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Cablegate: Senior Usg Participation Requested for the 2009

VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRB #0787/01 2611606
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADB40067 MSI4701-695)
P 181606Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0675
INFO RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 4719

UNCLAS RABAT 000787

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
STATE FOR NEA/MAG, EEB/TPP/BTA - EGAN AND S/P - BEHRMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECIN PREL ETRD EINV PTER XI MO
SUBJECT: SENIOR USG PARTICIPATION REQUESTED FOR THE 2009
MENA-OECD MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

1. (U) This is an action request; please see paragraph 7.

2. (SBU) Summary: The Middle East and North Africa
initiative of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (MENA-OECD) is holding a Ministerial Conference
at the Palmeraie Convention Center in Marrakesh on November
23. CDA and EconOff attended a briefing for Ambassadors and
senior Government of Morocco(GOM) officials to discuss the
upcoming event. Presided by the Minister of Economic and
General Affairs Nizar Baraka and the Minister of
Modernization of Public Sectors Mohammed Abbou, along with
OECD representatives, the briefing provided a general
overview of plans for the Ministerial Conference and included
a call for participation at senior political levels. The
Moroccan Prime Minister, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs
and Egyptian Minister of Investment, among others, have
confirmed attendance. The goal of the Conference is to bring
together MENA and OECD Ministers, along with representatives
from business and civil society, to seek solutions to the
challenges of creating economic growth during a time of
financial crisis. Working group meetings
on governance, investment and public sector integrity are
scheduled within the next few weeks in preparation for the
conference in Paris and Cairo. A Business Forum and Women,s
Leadership Summit and a Governance Forum have also been
organized by MENA-OECD for November 22. Post recommends
high-level participation, as this conference underscores the
importance and utility of strengthening regional dialogue.
End Summary.

---------------------
MENA-OECD Ministerial
---------------------

3. (SBU) The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) initiative
of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) will hold its 2009 Ministerial Conference entitled
"Beyond the Crisis: Business and Citizens at the Center of
Policy Responses" in Marrakesh on November 23. The
Conference will bring together Ministers charged with
investment and public governance policies to exchange
solutions for the ongoing economic crisis. The outcome of
the gathering, highlighted Minister Baraka at a September 16
Ambassadorial briefing, will be the "Marrakesh Declaration."
This Declaration, he continued, will show the strong
commitment of MENA and OECD countries to pursuing priority
public governance and business climate reforms to mitigate
the negative effects of the crisis on growth, employment and
public services. The Ministerial will be the first time
ministers of investment policy and public governance affairs
will meet to provide strategic responses to the current
economic global context, noted OECD Chief of Public Sector
Management Martin Forst at the briefing.

4. (SBU) The program will be presided by Prime Minister
Abbas El Fassi who will accept handover of the MENA-OECD
initiative chairmanship from Egypt to Morocco. The Secretary
General of OECD Angel Gurria, Egyptian Minister of Investment
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the Spanish Minister of Foreign
Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos and UNDP Administrator Helen
Clark are all scheduled to take part in the event. Topics
will include "responses beyond the crisis," "regional reform
achievements," and the adoption of the Ministerial
"Marrakesh" Declaration. Working group meetings in
preparation for the Ministerial are planned for the end of
September and early October in Egypt and France on investment
policy and promotion and entrepreneurship and human capital
development.

5. (SBU) Two separate forums are scheduled for November 22
in addition to the Ministerial Conference. The MENA-OECD
Business Forum and Women Business Leaders Summit will be an
opportunity for business representatives and entrepreneurs to
develop action-oriented strategies to face the economic
future of the MENA region with a strong reform agenda in
place, said OECD Chief of Private Sector Development
Alexander Bohmer. Participants will be able to debate issues
of critical importance to the region, Bohmer added, such as
tapping the potential of women's entrepreneurship and
fostering responsible business conduct. Alongside the
Business Forum on November 22 will be a Governance Forum,
which will promote debate on the governance pre-conditions
for economic recovery and sustainable growth, taking into
consideration the needs of citizens, the demands of society,
and environmental challenges.

6. (U) Logistical details for the Ministerial and Forums can
be found online at www.oecd.org/ministerial2009.

------------------------------
REQUEST FOR USG REPRESENTATION
------------------------------

7. (SBU) Comment and Action Request: Post highly recommends
senior USG participation in the Ministerial Conference on
November 23, which will be a unique opportunity for dialogue
among MENA and OECD Ministers on the importance of regional
cooperation in confronting today's socio-economic challenges.
Post requests NEA/MAG and EEB provide a list of USG
participants as soon as possible. Post also suggests USG
participation in the November 22 Business and Governance
Forums. End Comment and Action Request.


*****************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Moro cco
*****************************************

Millard

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