Barcelona, 10 September 2019. In accordance with the unanimous decision by the 43 Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean, Marisa Farrugia (Malta), Isidro Antonio González Afonso (Spain) and Grammenos Mastrojeni (Italy) have taken office as Deputy Secretary Generals of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
- Marisa Farrugia takes the position of Deputy Secretary General for Social and Civil Affairs
Marisa Farrugia is a Maltese diplomat who has held over the years senior positions at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion and abroad. Prior to her secondment as Special Envoy and Ambassador to the Union for the Mediterranean at the Union’s Secretariat in August 2017, she was responsible for External Relations, Mediterranean Affairs, and the MENA Region.
Marisa Farrugia holds a PhD in Arabic and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Leeds and a Master’s Degree from the University of Toronto, Canada, majoring in international relations and the socio-political aspects of the Arab world.
- Isidro González Afonso takes the position of Deputy Secretary General for Water, Environment and Blue economy
Isidro González Afonso is a Spanish career diplomat who has served the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation for the past eighteen years, holding positions as Counsellor and Senior Adviser in several Foreign Affairs Minister´s Cabinets in Madrid, and, lately, as Counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in Rabat, Morocco.
He has also been a member of the Spanish OSCE Chairmanship Team in 2007 at the Permanent Mission of Spain to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna; Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Spain in Nicosia; and working for the Spanish diplomatic service in the Republic of Cyprus, Jerusalem and also Mauritania.
Isidro González Afonso has a wide experience in the Mediterranean region, with a special focus on regional integration and negotiations for conflict management and resolution. He holds a degree in Political Science and Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid and in Law from the UNED and a an Executive Master on Conflict Management and Resolution with the Department of Negotiations for Conflicts of Harvard University.
- Grammenos Mastrojeni takes the position of Deputy Secretary General for Energy and Climate Action
Grammenos Mastrojeni is an Italian diplomat, professor and writer who has focused for the past 25 years on the societal, geo-strategic and economic impacts of environmental degradation, as well as on topics related to environmental protection, human cohesion, peace and security. He has taught sustainability and conflict resolution in various universities in Italy and abroad, and in 2009, the Ottawa University in Canada entrusted him with the first class by a University on the issue of Environment, resources and geostrategy.
Formerly, until August 2019, he was the Coordinator for the Environment and Head of the Science-Policy Interface at the Italian Development Cooperation, heading Italian delegations on lands, water and oceans and joining negotiations on climate and biodiversity. Chair of the UN Mountain Partnership, and Co-Chair of the Global Islands Partnership, he is President of the largest Italian association for sustainable development education “Isola della Sostenibilità” and member of the Scientific Boards of numerous university courses and entities.
Author of numerous articles and official reports on the environment, he published 8 books including “Greenhouse effect, war effect”, written together with the climatologist Antonello Pasini (Chiarelettere, 2017), and “The Ark of Noah – Saving together our Common Home” that ranked as best-selling essays. Among his publications there are also “The indissoluble cycle. Peace, environment, development and freedom in the global balance” (Vita e Pensiero, 2002); “The necessary eco-revolution” (Italian Scientific Editions, 2008); “Now or never. A decade, and not beyond, to save ourselves and the Earth” (Amazon, 2016).
The UfM Secretary General, Nasser Kamel, has expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Deputy Secretary Generals, Jorge Borrego (Energy and Climate Action), Miguel García-Herraiz (Water, Environment and Blue Economy) and Laurence Païs (Civil and Social Affairs) for the commitment, remarkable work and leadership that have brought them to achieve significant results for the region in their respective areas of work.
The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean is assisted by six Deputy Secretary Generals in charge of six operational divisions: Social and Civil Affairs; Business Development; Energy and Climate Action; Transport and Urban Development; Water, Environment and Blue Economy; and Higher Education and Research. Three Deputy Secretary Generals are nominated by UfM-EU countries and three by UfM Southern and Eastern countries. Their appointment is agreed upon by consensus by all the Member States for a three-years term, renewable once.