Algiers, 21 January 2018 – The 14th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the “5+5 Dialogue” in the Western Mediterranean was held in Algiers on 21 January 2018, under the Co-Presidency of Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, and Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic.
The Union for the Mediterranean took part in this meeting as a partner of the “5 + 5 Dialogue”, and was represented by its Secretary General, Mr Fathallah Sijilmassi. During the conference, “the Ministers welcomed the leading role of the UfM, stressing the importance for the General Secretariat to continue promoting practical and structural projects”. The Ministers are committed to advocating an enhanced role for the UfM, in improving governance, increasing political dialogue within it, and in reinforcing the synergies with the “5+5 Dialogue”, as well as with other Euro-Mediterranean bodies.
At this 14th meeting, the tasks were focused on the key themes in the Mediterranean, in particular the promotion of inclusive and shared development, youth and employment, migration and sustainable development. On this occasion, the Ministers as well as their strategic partners shared their desire for exchange and cooperation in order to provide practical answers to issues connected with economic, social and sustainable development in the region, by highlighting the need to create jobs for young people.
The UfM Secretary General, Mr Fathallah Sijilmassi, stressed the need to combine vision and ambition with the action and mobilisation of all regional cooperation actors to maximise the outcomes. In recent years, the Union for the Mediterranean has approved over 50 practical regional cooperation projects, including “The Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs) ” seeks to improve the employability of young people and women, by bridging the current gap between labour supply and demand and by promoting a culture of private sector entrepreneurship and development.
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The Western Mediterranean Forum, commonly known as “5+5 Dialogue”, is an informal political dialogue which joins together ten countries in the Western Mediterranean region: Algeria, Spain, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia. Launched in 1990, it seeks to reinforce and enrich political, economic and cultural dialogue between both sides of the Mediterranean.