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National Action Plan on Democracy and Human Rights: Steering Committee Visit to Spain

A delegation of the Steering Committee of the National Action Plan on Democracy and Human Rights (Plan) paid a working visit to Spain from November 15-18, 2009. The objective of this visit, which was led by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Mohamed Lididi and the Secretary General of the Advisory Council on Human Rights, Mr. Mahjoub El Haiba, is to compare the experiences of both countries as regards the development of a national plan for democracy and human rights. Spain developed its action plan in 2008 and created on June 15, 2009 an organ of execution and evaluation.

With 25 members, the delegation had meetings with Spanish officials involved in the development, monitoring or evaluation of the process of drawing up a national plan for democracy and human rights. Thus, a meeting was held on November 16 at the center of economic studies with members of the committee responsible for drafting the Spanish action plan, during which the Moroccan delegation highlighted the process of development of this plan, as well as the difficulties and constraints encountered. The delegation visited on November 17 the Spanish defensor del pueplo to investigate the relationship of this institution with the national action plan, and discuss its extension to different public policies. At the level of government sectors, the delegation made two working visits: the first to the office of human rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the second to the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Spanish Parliament. Parallel meetings, unilateral or bilateral, were also held on the sidelines of this working visit between members of the delegation and officials of the Spanish Monitoring Committee.

Following this visit, both sides expressed their wish to strengthen their cooperation in this area, particularly through their membership to the project on setting up a Euro-Mediterranean network of countries that have implemented action plans in the field of human rights, to exchange experiences and strengthen capacity in this area.

The work of this visit was crowned by a press conference at the residence of the Ambassador of Morocco to Madrid, attended by representatives of the Spanish press, who put a number of questions including the path of human rights in Morocco and experience of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission, as a crucial process of transitional justice.