UfM Deputy Secretary General Delphine Borione stressed that investing in youth and women, two of the UfM’s priorities, was central to fostering intercultural dialogue. “By reinforcing people’s skills and tools to promote interfaith accord within communities, we will be providing the most efficient response to increasingly complex challenges such as migration and cultural- and religious-based tensions,” she argued.
Borione took part in the opening session of the Committee together with Marina Sereni, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, and Khalid Chaouki, Chair of the Committee on Improving Quality of Life, Exchanges between Civil Societies and Culture.
During the session she stressed the importance of these meetings and exchanges to build broader coherence and efficiency to tackle cross-cutting aspects of regional actions to prevent extremism and violence. To that end, the UfM is focusing its activity and projects in the fields of education and mobility for young people. One UfM flagship project that serves as an example of this effort is the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (EMUF) which will deliver specific courses on Mediterranean History, Civilisations and Heritage among other topics.
Furthermore, the Parliamentary Assembly gave Ambassador Borione the opportunity to present to the UfM parliamentarians the outcomes of the High-Level Meeting on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue held at the UfM premises in Barcelona last July and which brought together Euro-Mediterranean stakeholders working on intercultural and interreligious issues.
The UfM has a pragmatic and project-oriented approach aimed at creating the necessary links between policy dialogue and concrete action in order to build bridges between North, South and Eastern Mediterranean countries and between all peoples and faiths.
The UfM Secretariat attaches major importance to parliamentary activity; it hosted three Committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the UfM at the beginning of the year, participated in several European Parliament plenary sessions in Strasbourg, and took part in the UfM Speakers Summit and PA-UfM Plenary Session held last May in Lisbon.