Husseini met with Ambassador Serge Telle, who is also the representative of France in the UfM Co-Presidency as well as the Mission for the UfM based in the Elysee and, involved in identifying and promoting relevant projects for the UfM. Following brief presentations, the Mission handed over 12 project proposals in the Environment and Water Sectors for review and processing by the Secretariat. Husseini indicated that all those (and other projects already received by the Secretariat will be thoroughly reviewed within the pipeline process as soon as possible it is endorsed by Senior Officials Meeting representing the 43 states/participants.
The visit was also the opportunity to discuss with officials from the Ministry of Ecology including Raymond Cointe (Director of European and International Affairs), Jean-Claude Vial (Deputy Director of Water and Biodiversity), Herve Boisguillaume (Assistant Director for International Affairs) and Sami Asali (in charge of Union for the Mediterranean in the Ministry) in the presence of Mr. Philippe Guittier, a Water expert in the Directorate of Water, the role of France in supporting the UfM Water Sector, including the seconding of an expert in Water sector by the French Government to the UfMS, which may come into effect in the next few months.
Husseini also met with Jeanette Pretot, head of Water Embassy NGO in France to discuss an innovative project of Young Water Ambassadors program. Ms. Pretot developed a youth advocacy group for innovative water projects in the Mediterranean. Involving NGOs is an important orientation of the Secretariat’s work, which aims at involving all the stakeholders in its projects and work, including civil society representatives “This initiative”, Dr. Husseini commented, “could be developed into a youth stakeholder forum, who would take part in the education and public awareness of young people about the water crisis we face in the south and east regions of the UfM and this partnership will be further discussed in the next months.”