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Don't impose Western prescriptions on the world: Moroccan king at UN
Friday September 26, 2014 5:01 PM, IANS

In a significant statement from the floor of the world forum, Morocco's King Muhammad VI has said the West should not impose its "ready-made prescriptions" on other nations, particularly in Africa, and "what applies to the West should not be used as the sole criterion for determining efficiency of other development models".

King Muhammad

He said each country should be allowed to build its own development model based on its historical development, cultural heritage and human and natural resources among other issues.

“I am here to make an appeal for developing countries to be treated fairly, especially in Africa, and for the development issue to be addressed in an objective manner,” he said in his speech read out Thursday by Morocco's Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to him, sustainable development is not something which can be achieved through decisions and ready-made prescriptions and nor is there a single model in this area.

“Each country follows a path of its own, having taken into consideration its historical development, cultural heritage, human and natural resources, specific political circumstances, as well as its economic choices and the obstacles and challenges facing it,” said the Moroccan ruler, who has been in charge of his North African country for 15 years and has taken it on a steady growth path.

“What applies to the West should not be used as the sole criterion for determining efficiency of other development models; nor should one make comparisons between countries - however similar their circumstances may be - even when these countries belong to the same geographical area.”

He appealed to the world to respect the characteristic values and principles of each country as it builds its own development model.

“This is particularly true for developing countries which are still suffering from the consequences of colonialism,” King Muhammad VI said.

Stating that colonialism caused severe damage to colonised countries, the king said: “For many years, it hindered their development process, exploited their resources as well as the energies of their sons and daughters, brought about profound change in the customs and cultures of the peoples concerned, and sowed the seeds not only of division between members of the same community, but also of conflict and discord between neighboring countries.”

Though many years have passed, he said, the colonial powers should bear historic responsibility for the tough circumstances experienced by some countries of the South, particularly in Africa.

He said that “former colonial powers have no right to ask the countries of the South to introduce radical change rapidly, on the basis of a frame of reference with which they are unfamiliar, be it in terms of their culture, their principles or their values”.

“It is as if no development were possible other than through a single model: that of the West,” the king said while appealing to the international community to deal with developing countries with more realism and wisdom.

“There should also be greater consideration for their (developing countries) circumstances and the paths they choose to achieve democracy and development,” he asserted.

He said that while there can be no stability without development, at the same time, development could not be achieved without stability.

“Both hinge on respect for the sovereignty of states, their territorial integrity, culture and customs, as well as on a dignified life for their citizens,” King Muhmmad said.

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