Barcelona, 20 June 2014. Today UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi and UfM Deputy Secretary General for Social and Civil Affairs Delphine Borione participated in the conference “Beyond borders: Euro-Mediterranean partnerships by those who make them”, held in Paris under the high patronage of the President of France.
Launched by the former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and former EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the event was organised by the International Forum for Peace, headed by Ofer Bronchtein, in partnership with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The aim of the meeting was to invite key Mediterranean actors to analyse the current situation and challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean region, cultivating further cooperation by putting a spotlight on completed and ongoing projects.
UfM Deputy Secretary General Borione chaired the session “Networks of the future: Energy, Infrastructure, Entrepreneurship”. She explained the role of the UfM Secretariat as an operational platform to promote regional cooperation by fostering coordination efforts and drawing on the synergies with and between governments, institutions, stakeholders and other cooperation schemes in the region. She pointed out the current Mediterranean challenges with respect to renewable energy, urban development, business development and unemployment, and underlined the importance of initiatives that provide added value in terms of effective coordination and concrete outcomes. In this regard, she presented the latest developments of specific projects and programmes promoted by the UfM Secretariat, namely the Urban Project Finance Initiative, the Imbaba Urban Upgrading Project, the Tafila Wind Farm Project in Jordan and the Young Women as Job Creators Project.
Stressing the need for regional economic integration as a priority in the Mediterranean agenda, she made special mention of the funding agreements and projects launched during the conference titled “Women’s Socio-Economic Empowerment: Projects for Progress”, organised by the Secretariat last March as an operational result from the Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in the Society (Paris, 11 September 2013).
Furthermore, the UfM-labelled project Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector was presented by its promoter, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).