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06RABAT642 2006-04-10 16:43:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Rabat
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1. (SBU) A/Polcouns met April 10 with MFA Director of
International Organizations and UN Affairs Nasser Bourita to
deliver reftel message that the U.S. will not run for a seat
on the new UN Human Rights Council this year. Bourita
responded with a request for the U.S. to support Morocco's
bid to be elected to the Council in the May 9 elections.
Indeed, Bourita said, the GOM had been "reserving a seat" to
support the U.S., but would now give its vote to Canada
instead. Morocco - as an Arab, Muslim, African, developing
country - would have much to contribute to the new Council
and would appreciate "public" USG support for its candidacy.
A/Polcouns told Bourita she would convey the GOM request for
USG support to Washington.

2. (SBU) While he said he understood the reasons why the U.S.
would not present a candidate this year, Bourita urged the
USG to closely follow the Council's development. "The first
three years are critical," for the Council. It would be a
bad precedent if the new organization were merely the old
Commission with a new name, Bourita emphasized. Strong
leadership was necessary to ensure that this new Council not
fall into the same traps as the old Commission. As the USG
was a major proponent of the reforms and the new Council, the
U.S. "needs to be present and have its vision reflected," at
the beginning of the new process, said Bourita.

3. (SBU) While Bourita said that the GOM largely agreed with
the USG on modalities for the new Council, he described the
"nuance" of difference with U.S. policy indicating the
Moroccan desire to "bring countries into the fold," instead
of excluding them, to ensure that they comply with
international standards for human rights. When asked for
clarification, Bourita, who just returned from a visit to
China with Minister Delegate Fassi Fihri, responded that the
Moroccans had pledged "reciprocity" with China on being
elected to the new Council. It is important that countries
such as China have their place on the Council, explained
Bourita, to emphasize economic and social rights in addition
to such rights as freedom of expression.

4. (SBU) Bourita also noted Morocco's intent to oppose the
inclusion of the Western Sahara on any Council agenda because
such discussion would not have anything to do with the
mandate of the new body. It is not appropriate to "bring a
resolution from New York to have it adopted in Geneva," said
Bourita. It is not efficient to have the same discussions in
both locales and Bourita emphasized that the GOM would work
to ensure that the new Council not rehash issues already
being discussed in the UN Third and Fourth Committees.
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