17 June 2024

Conclusions of the 2024 Paris Peace Forum Spring Meeting

Rebooting global governance: leaders meet in Morocco to launch new African agriculture and transition minerals initiatives

Benguerir, Morocco – June 10, 2024: At the Spring Meeting of the Paris Peace Forum, hosted by the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) in its Campus in Benguerir, Morocco, global leaders gathered to unveil new global initiatives to tackle two of the world’s biggest challenges: how to turn Africa into an agricultural superpower, and how to ensure responsible management and supply/sourcing of the minerals we need to fuel the green transition.

The gathering brought together over 300 personalities from around the world, including: Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah; non-profit leader Mo Ibrahim; former OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría; former WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy; former UNIDO Director-General Kandeh Yumkella; former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn; former Niger Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki; former French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem; former Guinea-Bissau Health Minister Magda Robalo; and Rémy Rioux, CEO of the French Development Agency (AFD).

The day of debates, roundtables and discussions looked at how the consequences of climate change, COVID and global geopolitics have combined into a complex crisis, which have affected the most vulnerable countries and exacerbated the fault lines between rich and poor countries. Focusing on the need to foster “fair transitions” to improve the governance of a green and inclusive transition for all, key sessions included:

  • A green energy transition that meets the needs of developing countries and is paired with imperatives of poverty reduction.
  • Solutions to make agriculture and agri-food systems more resilient and to adapt production to both climate change and global demographic needs.
  • Drawing lessons from the unequal distribution of Covid vaccines to ensure that negotiations on the future Pandemic Treaty include the notion of fair benefit-sharing.

"There will be no global energy transition or agri-food transition if the North does not take into account the views and interests of the South. That’s what we mean when we talk about fair transitions, the theme of this year’s Spring Meeting," said Justin Vaïsse, Director General of the Paris Peace Forum. "I can think of no better place to host a gathering focusing on North-South cooperation than Morocco, a nation that straddles Africa, the Arab world and the Mediterranean space.”

“"By hosting the 2024 edition of the Paris Peace Forum, University Mohamed VI Polytechnic is affirming its commitment to tackling African challenges in terms of responsible agriculture, climate, energy and demographics. This collaboration goes beyond simply organizing the spring meeting; it also integrates the university into the Forum's governance as a new member of the General Assembly. Through this initiative, UM6P is strengthening international cooperation, promoting dialogue between economic and institutional players, and contributing to the construction of multilateral solutions to major global issues."”, said Hicham El Habti, President of UM6P.

Climate Impulse: the first hydrogen flight around the world, spurring the call for climate action

The Spring Meeting of the Paris Peace Forum was an opportunity to host Bertrand Piccard – explorer, pilot and climate activist, founder of the Solar Impulse Foundation – and for him to present his latest daring project: Climate Impulse, the first non-stop hydrogen-powered flight around the world.

With an aim to take flight in 2028, Piccard presented the groundbreaking technology on the campus of UM6P, which is partnering with OCP to support the Climate Impulse initiative. The project aims to show the world how innovative solutions and the spirit of exploration can help solve the climate challenge.

Transforming African agriculture

African food security is key in the face of a rapidly growing population and the ever-growing threat of climate change: 60% of Africans face food insecurity, 61% of the African population lives on wages below $2/day and 2/3 of arable land is at risk of desertification. In Benguerir, the Paris Peace Forum has brought together governments, universities, research bodies, civil society and the private sector to launch the Agricultural Transitions Lab for African Solutions (ATLAS), a permanent platform for policy dialogue and collaboration between the Global North on the one hand and Africa and the Global South on the other. ATLAS will advocate for a globally shared vision on a sustainable African agricultural transformation, based on a better understanding of African needs, breaking away from North and South divides, and seeing agriculture and climate as partners rather than adversaries.

Responsible governance for transition minerals

As we move towards net zero, the demand for minerals essential for solar panels, wind turbines, electric batteries and other key green transition tools is set to quadruple by 2040. Yet there is a lack of global governance of the mining sector and responsible use of these materials. The Paris Peace Forum has brought together high-level experts from both the Global North and the Global South as well as from a diversity of sectors to found the Global Council for Responsible Transition Minerals, including: former EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard; former Chile Mines Minister Jobet Juan Carlos; and former Botswana Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Kenewendo Bogolo.

On the road to the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit

As a partner and member of the Governance Committee of the “Nutrition for Growth” Summit, the Paris Peace Forum launched on June 10 a group of independent and internationally recognized experts, chaired by Shawn Baker of Hellen Keller International, and a platform for open dialogue with the private sector. These two groups will work up to the N4G Summit, scheduled for the end of March 2025, and deliver recommendations and commitments to combat all forms of malnutrition.

A global forum for governance

Since its inception in 2018, the Paris Peace Forum has been a pivotal platform for global governance solutions, convening states and non-state actors to address pressing global challenges. The June 10th program featured live-streamed sessions with renowned experts and thematic closed-door meetings, including some event sessions organized in collaboration with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

UM6P's collaboration with the Paris Peace Forum goes beyond hosting its Spring Meeting, as the university is also joining the Forum's governance as a new member of its General Assembly. This partnership further solidifies the commitment of both organizations to promoting cooperation and dialogue, necessary for driving positive change on the African continent and beyond.

For more information and updates, visit Paris Peace Forum and University Mohammed VI Polytechnic.

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