I am pleased to greet this seventeenth plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the seventeenth plenary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, in Rabat today: The rule of law is anchored in a bedrock principle: All people, institutions, and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable before the law. The rule of law protects the vulnerable, prevents discrimination, bolsters trust and supports fair, inclusive economies and societies. It is the basis of international cooperation and multilateralism. You meet in the face of a mountain of complex and interconnected challenges unlike any in our lifetimes. Our world is confronted with conflict, economic turmoil, climate catastrophe, social unrest and so much more. We can only address these tests by joining forces and working together. Yet instead of the rule of law, we face a rising risk of what I call the rule of lawlessness. In the Mediterranean — like other regions of the world — civilians pay the price. The rule of law is fundamental to finding solutions. We must ensure that the people you serve are at the heart of our efforts, and that we leave no one behind. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to advance the rule of law and build a more stable and secure world for all. Parliamentarians are pivotal and uniquely placed to address these common threats. You connect policies to people’s lives through constructive and inclusive dialogue. I thank you for your focus today on strengthening the rule of law. As lawmakers, you understand the centrality of the rule of law to our shared efforts for peace, human rights and sustainable development.