10 July 2021, Dubrovnik. The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Nasser Kamel, participated on the 9th and 10th of July in the 14th edition of the Dubrovnik Forum, held under the title « (Post)-Pandemic Geopolitics – Together in a World Apart”. The Forum was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, alongside the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandroković. The high-level event brought together around 200 participants in physical format, among others many Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the region, as well as representatives of international and regional organisations, media professionals and think tanks.
This year’s edition focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the geopolitical relations and global economy. It was a timely opportunity to address and exchange views at the highest level on the effects the pandemic had on security, global partnerships, connectivity, economic challenges, as well as on green development and digitalization. The different high level participants from the region identified the priorities and guidelines for the future post-pandemic recovery.
The UfM Secretary General took part of the first panel on “Unmasking the Geopolitics of a Post-Pandemic World”, together with the Deputy Prime Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia, who holds the current presidency of the EU, and the Vice-President of the European Commission. The Secretary General Kamel highlighted during his intervention the great challenges posed by the pandemic, whether political, socio-economic, or security-related. He stressed that – from a regional perspective – public-private partnerships as well as reconfigured and re-shored supply chains are needed to ensure the flow of critical equipment and medicines, insisting that increased solidarity is a must to face these challenges together, and to build back better.
“At this pivotal moment, with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still a challenge, geopolitical tensions rising, and the cry for social and climate justice ever more urgent, we have a responsibility, together, to address the legitimate aspirations of our citizens.”, highlighted the Secretary General of the UfM, Nasser Kamel, adding that « Empowering the UfM will be an important factor to remedy inequalities between and within our societies, and for the region to play an active role and occupy the place it deserves on the global scene.”
On the margins of the conference, the Secretary General and his delegation held meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Greece, Malta, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, as well as the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the permanent secretary of the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meetings were an opportunity to discuss different ways to reinforce cooperation and synergies between the UfM Secretariat and the Member States, and to inform the Ministers of the recent activities the UfM has undergone, especially towards dealing with the effects of the pandemic.
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