Foreign Ministers of the Western Mediterranean called for reinforced regional collaboration to face pressing challenges and commitment to a shared vision of a sustainable future
- Nasser Kamel, the Secretary General of the Union of the Mediterranean, participated in the 15th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 5+5 Dialogue in Valletta (Malta).
- Ministers agreed on the need to continue enhancing cooperation in a number of areas including sustainable development and migration, while placing a particular emphasis on youth, the biggest potential for a better future and a net benefit to our common region.
- Ministers welcomed the upcoming Summit of Heads of State and Government (“Summit of the Two Shores”), which will take place in Marseille on 24 June 2019. The UfM will be a key partner of the Summit.
Valletta, 18 January 2019. The 15th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the 5+5 Dialogue of the Western Mediterranean was held in Valletta (Malta) on 17-18 January under the title “Working Together: A Sustainable Future for the Western Mediterranean”. The meeting was co-presided by Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta and Abdelkader Messahel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria. Ministers discussed current pressing regional challenges such as migration, the fight against terrorism, sustainable development and youth empowerment, together with regional political issues such as the situation in Libya, Syria, Sahel and the Middle East Peace Process.
They recognized that attention should be given to young people, as they remain at the heart of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and are an asset and a solution to development challenges in the region. UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel expressed his sincere gratitude to the co-presidents of the 5+5 for organizing this Ministerial with a timely agenda. He stated: “We must continue to act together to truly deliver on our commitments and amplify our results. For our future generations, let’s be more imaginative and more daring. I invite all of us, in this sense, to combine the efforts of the 5 + 5 Dialogue with broader regional efforts, in order to make the Mediterranean, as it had been called before, ‘the largest laboratory in the world of co-development’, where development is decided and orchestrated collectively”.
Ministers highlighted the interconnection of regional issues such as sustainable development, migration and terrorism. The magnitude of these challenges calls for a common understanding of their nature and origin in order to effectively address its root causes. They called for “the deepening of dialogue and consultation on all matters of common interest with a view to greater cohesion of positions in regional and international fora”, as stated in the official declaration. They also recalled the importance of fighting terrorism and its connections with transnational organized crime and encouraged the exchange of experiences and best practices in the prevention of radicalization.
They underlined “the importance that the UfM Secretariat continues to promote concrete projects which have a positive impact on the citizens”. On the 10th anniversary of the UfM, Ministers renewed their appreciation for the organisation’s model of governance, which has increased ownership, encouraged political dialogue, optimized multi-stakeholder approach thus facilitating partnerships and synergies, and reinforced practical cooperation and regional integration.
Ministers welcomed the upcoming Sommet des Deux Rives (Summit of the Two Shores), which will be held in Marseille on 24 June 2019, hosted by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron. The Summit will consist of both a meeting of country representatives, and a regional dialogue with prominent civil society representatives. This initiative seeks to foster a pragmatic regional socio-political exchange in order to showcase and launch specific projects in the region. The UfM will be a key partner of the Summit in its role of platform for regional cooperation, bringing together all the European Union and Mediterranean countries.
Today, 60% of the Euro-Mediterranean population is under the age of 30 and the number of young people under 15 should increase by more than 18% by 2020. The Action-oriented Roadmap of the Union for the Mediterranean is centred on young people’s potential to promote stability and development. Over 15 regional cooperation projects are endorsed by the UfM to empower youth, targeting directly more than 100,000 young men and women in the region.
The Western Mediterranean Forum, commonly known as 5+5 Dialogue, is an informal political dialogue that brings together ten countries in the Western Mediterranean region, namely Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. Launched in 1990, it seeks to reinforce and enrich political, economic and cultural dialogue between both sides of the Mediterranean.
- 12- 13 November 2018: “Mediterranean of the Future”: UfM Secretary General participates in the conference on youth in Marseille
- 8 April 2019: The UfM participates in Algiers in the first thematic forum leading to the Summit of the Two Shores
- 25 April, 2019: Investing in a Mediterranean Generation: UfM participates in the Malta Forum on Youth, Education and Mobility
- 29 April 2019: Mediterranean Economy and Competitiveness Forum: Developing tangible initiatives to address the economic, competitiveness and innovation challenges
- 2 May 2019: “Creating new cultural momentum in the Western Mediterranean”: UfM participates in the Montpellier Forum on Culture, Media and Tourism Forum
- 22-23 May 2019: The UfM organised a Regional Dialogue to gather insights from youth and civil society to further strengthens its roadmap for actions and participates in the Summit of the Two Shores
- 12 June 2019: 100 civil society personalities present key development projects for the region