MedThink 5+5 Forum in Algiers highlights the need for a common response to the challenges in Western Mediterranean countries
The Union for the Mediterranean designated Secretary General Nasser Kamel met with Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel
Algiers, 25-27 June 2018. Designated SG Nasser Kamel was received by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Abdelkader Messahel. He underlined the important role that Algeria plays within the Union for the Mediterranean and he affirmed that we cannot conceive regional cooperation in the Mediterranean without Algeria. Nasser Kamel added that the UfM is an important instrument in the hands of the member states to tackle the main regional challenges, such as security, migration, socio-economic development and climate change. The Minister reaffirmed the commitment of Algeria to the organization and reiterated that the wish of his country is to keep working on regional cooperation in the interest of all the member states.
Following this meeting, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and IEMed (European Institute of the Mediterranean), in collaboration with INESG (Institut National d’Etudes de Stratégie Globale) co-organized the 3rd MedThink 5+5 Forum in Algiers. Over 45 experts, representatives of governments and researchers of the Western Mediterranean countries carried out a collective reflection on the growing intraregional flows of people and resources, whose management can only be shared. The objective of this forum was to build an overall vision of the current state and prospects of regional cooperation in the Western Mediterranean with a special focus on human development.
The designated Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean highlighted that the answer to the challenges that the Western Mediterranean countries face can only have a common response. Representatives of the three organising institutions, the governments of Algerian and Spain and the Arab Maghreb Union agreed that the Western Mediterranean plays the role of an incubator where the innovative reflections and concrete solutions can be applied to the rest of Mediterranean countries.
During two days, the experts debated about the challenges of mobility in the region from the perspective of rethinking the security-development binomial. They exchanged and shared best practices from the point of view of youth and women, as they are central in the definition of short and long-term strategies to combat violent extremism and radicalisation. They also reflected on the root causes of the current challenges facing the region, including the water-energy-food security triangle in the 5+5 area as well as the role of the youth community in the Western Mediterranean, particularly with regard to education and employment concerns.
The forum was celebrated in the aftermath of the adoption of the Algiers Declaration on 21 January 2018, on the occasion of the 14th Ministerial Meeting on Foreign Affairs of the 5+5 Dialogue, which concentrated on the objective of promoting shared, sustainable and inclusive economic and social development regarding common challenges in the region.
The MedThink 5+5 is a network of over 30 think tanks from the Western Mediterranean countries (Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Libya and Tunisia) that fosters dialogue and research on the challenges that this subregion faces. It endeavours to contribute elements that can be useful when conceiving and making decisions in the framework of the intergovernmental cooperation platform known as 5+5 Dialogue.
More on the Medthink Forum: http://medthink5plus5.org/