Barcelona, 30 May 2016. The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Fathallah Sijilmassi, participated in the 3rd Summit of Presidents of Parliament and the 12th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the UfM, which took place in Tangiers, Morocco, on 28-29 May.
The Plenary of the PA-UfM expressed their “satisfaction with the progress made by the UfM to carry the regional agenda forward, consolidate the regional political dialogue by facilitating the implementation of several projects that have a direct impact on the population, and to interact with all actors involved in cooperation in the region”.
Parliamentarians also called on “governments to increase their political and financial support to the UfM and its Secretariat to increase impact and contribute more effectively to regional socio-economic and human development”.
PA-UfM members acknowledged the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), called for the pursue of “further complementarities and synergies between the ENP and UfM activities” and encouraged the ENP to “increase its support for UfM’s regional cooperation efforts”. In this regard, a UfM Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation and Planning is taking place this week at the Dead Sea, Jordan (2 June).
UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi presented the activities of the UfM Secretariat and the 41 labelled projects, highlighting the growing number of beneficiaries and the positive impact that these can have in promoting human development, stability and integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region. He recalled the strong political support given by the UfM Ministers of Foreign Affairs in their informal meeting of November 2015, where they called for unity and collective work to face the challenges of the Mediterranean region and stressed the importance of the UfM as the regional framework for political dialogue and cooperation initiatives.
The Secretary General stressed the Secretariat’s will to work in close cooperation with the members of the Parliamentary Assembly, namely with the newly elected Bureau and its Committees. In this regard, Sijilmassi welcomed the election of Italy as the new Presidency of the PA-UfM and reaffirmed the Secretariat’s commitment to continue building synergies and complementarities between the two institutions.
Reminding the many challenges and difficulties of the region, and the collective answers that must be given to problems like uncontrolled migration or violent extremism, the Secretary General reiterated the full commitment of the UfM in promoting human and socio-economic development initiatives that can help tackling the root-causes that feed them.