"Madame France Marquet, SAF Representative to UNESCO, Attends AI Conferences at UNESCO Maghreb Bureau's Salon"

Rabat Morocco - 24th May 2024

Rabat, Morocco — The 29th edition of the International Book and Publishing Fair (SIEL 2024) is currently underway in Rabat from May 9 to May 19. This prestigious event, held under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch. The fair features a diverse array of cultural and literary activities, solidifying its status as a key event on the Moroccan cultural calendar​​.

UNESCO as Guest of Honor
This year's fair has UNESCO as its guest of honor, underscoring the organization's significant contributions to science, communication, information, and the preservation of World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO pavilion is hosting over 20 conferences focusing on critical contemporary topics such as artificial intelligence and youth engagement​​​​.

Eric Falt, Director of UNESCO's Regional Office for the Maghreb, highlighted the importance of this collaboration, stating that it reflects the strong ties between UNESCO and Morocco. Visitors to the UNESCO pavilion can explore various initiatives and projects, including those related to biosphere reserves and World Heritage Sites​​ ​.

Commemoration of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission
The National Human Rights Council is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission at SIEL 2024. The CNDH pavilion is a hub for intellectual engagement, featuring 13 seminars and 17 literary discussions that delve into themes such as transitional justice, memory preservation, and current human rights issues​​​​.

Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, emphasized that the pavilion's theme, “Commemorating Truth, Equity, and Reconciliation...a Milestone and a Process,” aims to reflect on Morocco’s journey in transitional justice. The pavilion serves as an inclusive space for dialogue and reflection among writers, civil society, youth, and children, highlighting significant legislative and constitutional reforms achieved over the past two decades​​​.

Diverse Cultural and Literary Activities
The fair is bustling with a variety of activities that cater to diverse interests. These include book presentations, literary discussions, and workshops. A highlight of this year’s program is a speculative fiction panel, where Moroccan and Dutch authors discuss the genre's role in their respective literary traditions. This panel, held in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute in Morocco, explores how folktales and other literary legacies influence speculative fiction.

Another notable event is a sci-fi writing workshop aimed at young emerging writers, facilitated by Moroccan author Hicham Laasri and Dutch writer Max Urai. This workshop provides a platform for budding writers to develop their skills and engage with established authors​.

Engagement and Participation
The fair is designed to be inclusive and engaging, offering numerous opportunities for attendees to participate in discussions and workshops. The CNDH pavilion, for instance, is not only a space for commemorating past achievements but also a venue for young people from across Morocco to engage in meaningful activities. Over the ten days, the pavilion will host various seminars and literary discussions featuring 76 national and international speakers​.

Left to Right Mme France Marquet, Principal Trustee MSF; Mr Eric Falt, Director of Unesco Bureau for the Maghreb Region; Ms Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences

Left to Right Mme France Marquet, Principal Trustee MSF; Mr Eric Falt, Director of Unesco Bureau for the Maghreb Region at the SIEL event in Rabat

Source: SIEL event in Rabat