The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Government of the United States of America on the occasion of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) African Political Meeting and Outreach event.
The Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America co-hosted a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Africa Political Meeting and Outreach Event in Marrakesh, Morocco on January 31 – February 2, 2024. This meeting was co-chaired by the Director of the United Nations and International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Redouane Houssaini, and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins.
This meeting fulfilled a commitment made by Morocco at the PSI 20th Anniversary High-Level Political Meeting (HLPM) held in Jeju, Republic of Korea on May 30, 2023.
The Marrakesh event featured senior representatives of 35 countries from the international community, including 25 African States and 10 countries from the PSI Operational Experts Group.
Opening remarks were addressed by His Excellency Mr. Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, highlighting the pivotal role of the African dimension in international cooperation efforts to face the challenges posed by global security which should be given significant consideration within the framework of the PSI vision and commitment of Morocco to continue its support to the PSI and cooperate with the U.S. to encourage more African states to endorse this initiative.
Under Secretary Jenkins also addressed the changing international security environment and new challenges to counterproliferation norms and activities.
This event presented an opportunity for the PSI-endorsing states to reiterate their commitment to countering of the proliferation of WMDs, their delivery systems, and related materials, and to commit to further working together within the PSI in order to effectively address these issues.
A large number of participants from African countries welcomed the meeting and showed interest in the Initiative and committed to report back and assess with all national stakeholders to consider endorsing the PSI.
One of the primary objectives of the event was to underscore the significance of South-South cooperation as a focal point, showcasing how nations within this framework can leverage their unique strengths and resources to address common challenges.
This meeting represented another opportunity to highlight the close strategic partnership between the United States and Morocco, within the strategic dialogue initiated in 2013, and accentuate the depth of this historic long-standing friendship while exploring ways to broaden its horizons towards a triangular cooperation, involving Africa, in matters of security.
The PSI-endorsing states and participating states:
Highlighted the benefits of PSI endorsement and provided an understanding of PSI frameworks and Critical Capabilities and Practices.
Acknowledged the security challenges inherent in the current context, encompassing both Africa and the global landscape.
Provided an overview of proliferation threats and trends, both globally and within Africa through briefings and panel presentations received by the attendees.
Acknowledged the importance of the PSI as a voluntary mechanism and flexible framework, compliant with international law and mechanisms, to effectively address this threat.
Explored the paramount significance of national capacity building and interdepartmental coordination in addressing complex challenges related to the detection and interception of nuclear and radiological materials.
The new endorsers of the PSI: Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Togo, and Zambia, announced their formal endorsement of the PSI and the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles.
Recognizing the gravity of the global security landscape, underscored the imperative for collaborative efforts on an international scale.
Demonstrated a shared commitment to fostering alliances, information-sharing, and coordinated actions to effectively address the complex challenges posed by the spread of WMDs.
- States that endorsed the PSI statement of Interdiction Principles at this meeting showed interest in participating in follow-up regional and sub-regional African events for new endorsers at a date and location to be determined.
- The co-chairs suggested establishing a plan of action (workshops, training, operational cooperation) that will allow the new endorsing countries to reinforce their national capabilities to counter the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. PSI-endorsing states committed to assisting new endorsers with additional training, education, and sharing best practices.
- Morocco and the United States will continue to work closely with participating states to promote PSI in Africa.