Center for Strategic Decision Research

Paris '07 Workshop

The Moroccan View of Global Security

Morocco's Ambassador Menouar Alem (left)

Ambassador Menouar Alem
Ambassador of Morocco to the European Union

Morocco's Ambassador to EU Menouar Alem (left), with Egyptian Ambassador to the EU Mahmoud Karem, Algerian Ambassador to the UN Youcef Yousfi, and Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram (from left to right).

"the international community as a whole must engage in a frank, honest, and sincere dialogue
on security issues. In this way we will be able to reach a common perception of the threat
and to define an appropriate security agenda for all actors on the international stage."


To address, in a few minutes, the issue of global security and the challenges it represents for our world in the twenty-first century is a very ambitious exercise. This is a complex issue, and its root causes as well as its various expressions and the means for tackling it are all important. Therefore I will try to be as concise as possible by addressing the only the fundamentals of the topic. Over the course of the workshop we will certainly have an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion of one or more of its points.


            Security problems, which were for a long time addressed exclusively through political, military, and security establishments and were conceived entirely within national limits, are now much more complex, since they affect the complete spectrum of our daily lives—energy, transportation, telecommunications, health—and transcend national borders. This mingling of the national and international aspects of security is one of the main reasons that security is so complex at the start of the third millennium.

            With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a globalized society, national security as territorial defense is only one definition of the broader concept, which now includes political, military, economic, environmental, and human dimensions; and political threats, such as terrorism, the proliferation of WMD, so-called collapsed states, and the extension of gray zones, constitute only the visible part of the iceberg. Our collective security is actually now confronted by other risks that are far more devastating. Climate change, risks of pandemic diseases, natural disasters, the frantic world race to control natural resources, and the globalization of the economy, which are marginalizing large parts of the population, are threats that call for a new approach to solutions. This approach must go beyond merely controlling threats by security means to developing a sustainable collective security technique aimed at identifying the causes, roots, and forms of threat and to defining a dynamic approach to preventing future risks to stability.

            Such an approach is especially necessary because globalization, which carries so many promises and opportunities, also brings challenges and vulnerability, which can result from inequalities that can be generated by wealth redistribution and land reduction. Negative effects can already be seen in terrorist acts, desperate attempts to flee misery, and massive population displacements. Dark scenarios involving the disastrous effects of pandemic diseases such as bird flu and cyber-attacks on strategic sites increase our vulnerability and raise serious questions about our common future.

Four Challenges of the New Security Configuration

            To address the new security configuration and its challenges requires a global cooperative effort in which interdependence addresses globalization’s grave concerns. The four main challenges I see are:

            1. Enabling a fair, sustainable settlement of disputes that are permanent threats to regional and international security. I particularly refer to the conflict in the Middle East, which, as everyone knows, and given its emotional tenor, constitutes one of the most fertile grounds for recruitment and radicalization.

            2. Socio-economic development in the southern countries and the development of a fair economic order. The vicious cycle in which extreme poverty is closely linked to the propagation of pandemic disease, environmental degradation, and civil war can be tackled only through interdependent, common action by the international community.

            3. Stabilization and democratization of the states. A stable, democratic state whose sovereignty is respected and whose territorial integrity is preserved will support the security of its populations as well as that of its neighbors.

            4. Promoting an effective human and cultural rapprochement that moves away from ostracizing or being hostile toward a culture, a religion, or a civilization. Is it necessary to underline the proverb that states that a lie becomes reality when strongly repeated? Such is the case with the false prophecy of civilizations, which in my opinion should be fiercely fought because it is part of the set of arguments being used for radicalization and recruitment.


            Before closing my remarks, I would like to discuss two principal aspects of the new approach, namely, its cooperative and participative elements. To enable the approach to be effective, the international community as a whole must engage in a frank, honest, and sincere dialogue on security issues. In this way we will be able to reach a common perception of the threat and to define an appropriate security agenda for all actors on the international stage. And because security issues no longer pertain only to some specific countries, but rather are the core of all citizens’ concerns, we must all participate in and “own” the issues.

Citizen awareness is an essential component of any strategy on global security. All areas of civil society, including education, the media, and policy making, must be involved and participate.

Top of page | Home | ©2007 Center for Strategic Decision Research