Madrid, 18th October 2012. UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi took part in the opening session of the Mediterranean Focal Points Meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations together with the UN High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, President Jorge Sampaio, and the Spanish Secretary State of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gonzalo de Benito.
During his intervention, the Secretary General praised the important role played by the Alliance and the fundamental task developed by President Sampaio. He stressed on the importance of culture for the future of the Mediterranean cooperation, for its great impact on economic development and economic growth. He also pointed out the need for greater coordination of the different initiatives in the Mediterranean and expressed the Secretariat’s readiness to undertake common actions with the Alliance and with the Anna Lindh Foundation, which also plays a fundamental role in developing greater cultural exchange in the region.
The UfM Secretary General also highlighted the importance of the Vienna Forum that will be organized next year by the Alliance, and the Forum of Marseille, to be organized by the Anna Lindh Foundation next April 2013, as two important moments to enhance mutual understanding and civil society exchanges.
The meeting of the focal points, hosted by Spain, reviewed the Mediterranean Strategy of the the Aliiance of Civilisations. As a Member of the Group of Friends of the Alliance, the UfM Secretariat took part in the meeting and is now discussing concrete ways of future collaboration to improve intercultural dialogue and cooperation between diverse nations and communities, specifically on the Mediterranean region.