13 October 2022, Dead Sea – Jordan. For their third meeting of 2022, UfM Senior Officials convened at the Dead Sea in Jordan, which holds the Co-Presidency of the organisation since 2012. Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom greeted the UfM member states’ representatives and shared with them his views on the evolution of Euro-Mediterranean challenges and relations in the past decade, and the role the UfM can and must have in this framework.
“The Union for the Mediterranean is one of the few fora that gives Euro-Mediterranean countries the opportunity to come together. It’s a success story that we need to preserve”, he added.
On the basis of these exchanges, the Senior Officials Meeting focused on the preparations of the upcoming 7th UfM Regional Forum, which will take place on 24 November in Barcelona. The Forum will gather the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the UfM Member States to take stock of achievements and to provide guidance on how to take the work forward. The European Union-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial Meeting will also take place in Barcelona on the same date, back-to-back with the UfM Regional Forum.
Furthermore, Senior Officials agreed on convening in 2023 the first UfM Ministerial Meeting on Higher Education, as well as the 12th UfM Ministerial Meeting on Trade.
The results of the flagship UfM-labelled initative UPFI (Urban Projects Finance Initiative) were also presented, to showcase concrete results of UfM activities: the launching of UPFI was indeed a direct response to the 1st UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, held in Strasbourg in 2011, to contribute in addressing the global challenges of population growth, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change in the Mediterranean area. With the creation of the UPFI, the UfM launched an innovative coordination platform enabling several financial institutions to jointly provide technical and financial support to respond to urban challenges in the region. Since 2014, UPFI enlarged its geographical scope from MENA countries to the Western Balkans, identifying more than 39 projects for 3bn of potential global investments. In light of its successful results, a third phase of the initiative is already under preparation.