Young Moroccans participating in the Morocco National Debate Forum 2020

Sunday, 24 January, 2021

December 2020, Rabat – Young Mediterranean Voices programme, co-organized by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the British Council and co-funded by the European Union, has launched a two-month-long, region-wide National Debate Forums between October and November 2020 across eight South Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia). This year, it is true that the global pandemic has forced us to limit our face-to-face interaction; however, the technology has given us unprecedented opportunities for learning, dialogues, and connectiveness.

The National Debate Forums (NDFs) are youth-led debate tournaments enhanced to include debate motions directly linked to national and regional policy agendas, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Morocco, the NDF took place virtually on 21 November and continued between 27 and 30 November 2020.

The Morocco NDF was built on a five-day event, following a virtual approach, involving teams from four different national debate hubs, bringing over 90 young debaters, 40 debate trainers and hubs coordinators from across cities and villages of Morocco. 24 virtual debates were organized throughout the Forum; 12 debates were run in Arabic in parallel with 12 debates in English.

The motions of the debates were based on themes linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among which: SDG 3 ‘Good Health & Well Being’, SDG 4 ‘Quality Education’, SDG 8 ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’, SDG 10 ‘Reduce Inequality within and among countries’ , SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’, and SDG 16 ‘Peace Justice and Strong Institutions’.

Each debate featured teams of young debaters who participated in a series of virtual cascade trainings aimed at enhancing their dialogue and debate skills. The trainings were delivered by the programme validated facilitators, and organized virtually by four debate hubs, namely: Association Atlas for Development, Association Espoir Tiznit, Youth Centre for Research and Development, and Association Confiance de Développement Féminin, involving over 400 young people who represent the 12 regions of Morocco.

The Young Mediterranean Voices is the flagship debate and dialogue programme connecting civil society, educational institutions, and policymakers across the Southern Mediterranean and Europe, aimed to promote the culture of dialogue amongst youth and create a shared understanding with their peers across the Mediterranean. The programme is coordinated by the Anna Lindh Foundation, co-founded by the British Council, and developed in partnership with the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Friends of Europe, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, MEDAC and Soliya. The programme is funded by the European Commission (DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations) and co-funded by the Government of Finland, World Bank Group and the British Council.