Key challenges, political will top agenda as Crans Montana Forum begins

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Dakhla (Morocco), March 16 (IANS) With focus on key international challenges like urban global management, ocean economy, food and public health issues and the growing potential of Africa-Asia cooperation, the Crans Montana Forum began on Friday in this western town of Morocco.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Reverend Jesse Jackson, President and Founder of Rainbow Push Coalition, and leaders from several countries joined Jean-Paul Carteron, Honorary Chairman and Founder of the Crans Montana Forum, at the opening ceremony here.

The major focus of the Forum this year is on the Africa and South-South Cooperation.

In his address, Jesse Jackson, one of America’s foremost civil rights figures, stressed on the need to develop and mobilize political will to “end poverty, hunger, illiteracy and killer diseases in the world”.

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“Humans have limited but genuine freedom through our individual decisions and our collective politics to make a positive difference in the world. If we can develop and mobilize political will, we will find constructive ways for South-South Cooperation and end the divisions of North and South, rich and poor, powerful and disenfranchised,” Jackson said.

Organized under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, a royal message from the King was read at the Forum’s opening ceremony by Yanja El Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region, of which Dakhla is a part.

Various speakers at the opening ceremony highlighted the crucial role being played by Morocco to be a platform of gateway to Africa and to highlight the kep challenges being faced by African and other countries.

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The conference is being attended by over 3,500 delegates and leaders from various countries and 43 international organizations.

The Forum will discuss the crucial issue of urban global management in view of the increasing rural exodus and the urban planning challenges.

The Forum will also discuss extending the Silk Road to Africa and fostering Asia-Africa partnerships. It will also have sessions on women empowerment and youth empowerment and integration.

–IANS

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