Barcelona, 20th September 2012. During his working visit to the UfM Secretariat, Jonathan Walters, Director of Regional Programs and Partnerships responsible for the Middle East and North African Region (MENA) at the World Bank, held talks with Secretary General Sijilmassi and representatives from the UfM sectorial divisions. The aim of the visit was to look into the new opportunities that can come out as a result of concrete ways of cooperation between the two institutions.
The working sessions focused on projects in the technical areas of water, transport, energy and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as social issues like job creation and employability for women and young people. Support to regional and sub-regional integration and initiatives designed to aid economic transition were also discussed as issues of common interest.
Both Secretary General Sijilmassi and Jonathan Walters, agreed on the possibility of promoting flagship projects under the Transition Fund, a fund created within the framework of the Deauville Partnership, launched by the G-8 to support democratic transitions in the Middle East. This would enable people in the Middle East and North Africa to benefit from a broader atmosphere of change and stability in the long run. They defined the meetings as “very fruitful” and concluded the visit with “good expectations for a future collaboration”.