26-27 February 2019, Seville. The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Nasser Kamel, participated in the 10th Plenary Session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly, which took place in Seville on the 26th and 27th February.
The annual gathering of the Assembly of regional and local authorities of the Euro-Mediterranean region (ARLEM) focused its debates on two main topics, “Governance and Transparency” and “Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean”, with the presentation and approval of two reports on those important subjects.
UfM Secretary General, Nasser Kamel, presented the members of ARLEM with an overview of the activities, initiatives and projects developed and supported by the UfM in many areas relevant to the municipal and regional authorities, like sustainable urban development policies, water management or energy transition. He pointed out that some UfM activities are particularly directed at the territorial dimension of cooperation, highlighting the “UfM Peer to Peer Dialogue for Local Authorities’ efforts in Energy Transition”, launched in 2018, and the upcoming “UfM’s Business Forum on Energy and Climate Action”, whose next edition, taking place in Lisbon later this year, will be specifically dedicated to local and regional authorities.
Co-President of ARLEM and President of the European Committee of Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, commended the work developed by the UfM and reiterated the strong commitment of regional and local authorities in the Euro-Mediterranean region to continue to support UfM’s efforts to promote dialogue and cooperation in areas that contribute to the well being and the improvement of life conditions of our citizens.
The 10th Plenary session of ARLEM was also an occasion for the Secretary General to maintain working meetings with some relevant stakeholders of the Euro-Mediterranean region, namely the Co-President of ARLEM and President of the European Committee of Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Luca Jahier, and the President of the MedCities network, Mohamed Idaomar, with whom he discussed the perspectives of future cooperation and joint initiatives.
The Secretary General further participated in the ceremony of the first ARLEM Local Entrepreneurship Award, to which the UfM Secretariat is associated, to support young innovative entrepreneurs in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The jury, that also included the UfM Secretariat, chose an inspiring new business, a fashion design company “Zimni Jdeed”, launched in Tripoli by young Libyan entrepreneurs, Ali and Najwa Najway Shukri.
Taking advantage of his presence in Seville, the Secretary General had also the opportunity to visit the “Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation”, where he was received by Managing Director Jose Manuel Cervera, and had the opportunity to appreciate the relevant work developed by the Foundation in supporting a culture of tolerance and the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue in the region.
The Union for the Mediterranean’s mission is to enhance regional cooperation, dialogue and the implementation of projects and initiatives with tangible impact on our citizens, with an emphasis on young people and women, in order to address the three strategic objectives of the region: stability, human development and integration. Regional dialogue and cooperation are key elements for Regional Security.