MED – MEDITERRANEAN DIALOGUES is the annual high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI in Rome. The event aims at drafting a “positive agenda” for the Mediterranean by stimulating debate and promoting new ideas, rethinking traditional approaches and addressing shared challenges at both the regional and the international level.
Now in its fourth edition, MED is a global hub for the creation of a fertile ground for discussion, trust, and mutual understanding between the various actors in the region. With a view to build a positive agenda that can put the Mediterranean at center stage, over 40 Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and representatives of international organizations, over 1000 leaders in business, politics and culture from more than 50 countries, will attend the conference in Rome.
MED 2018: 22-24 November 2018
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The Conference is is divided into 3 days of meetings with sessions structured around four pillars (Shared Prosperity; Shared Security; Migration; Media, Culture and Society and Culture). Debates on these topics are intended to complement analyses of current challenges with new ideas and suggestions to scale-up economic cooperation, overcome regional rivalries and conflicts, and ensure that adequate incentives for sustainable development are set in motion.
Under the “Shared Prosperity” pillar, particular attention is devoted to the role that business leaders and civil society can play to foster prosperity and political stability in a region where new opportunities may be seized.
Discussions on “Shared Security” are focused on viable strategies to avoid further turmoil, fight terrorism and promote successful post-conflict transitions and institution-building, thus enhancing resilience in Mediterranean countries.
The “Migration” pillar encourages discussion about migration-related topics, including: identifying safe and legal routes for asylum seekers; fostering social inclusion; and efficiently combining countertrafficking policies with the respect of human rights.
CIVIL SOCIETY AND CULTURE
The “Civil Society and Culture” pillar allows to put all these challenges into perspective by acknowledging that the Mediterranean region is a unique “melting pot” of cultures and religions, with important historical legacies, and a rich natural and cultural heritage.
On Thursday, November 22nd, the sessions were opened – in the presence of the President of the Republic Sergio MATTARELLA – by the keynote speakers Enzo MOAVERO MILANESI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and BARHAM SALIH, President of Iraq.
On Saturday, November 24th, the conference closed with a speech by the Prime Minister Giuseppe CONTE.
During the three days, the speakers will include, among others: Sergey LAVROV, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation; David HALE, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Department of State, USA; Elisabetta TRENTA, Minister of Defense; Giampiero MASSOLO, ISPI President; Mohammad Javad ZARIF, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Iran; Jens STOLTENBERG, Secretary General, NATO; Riyad MALKI, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Palestine; Ayman AL SAFADI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Jordan; Yuli-Yoel EDELSTEIN Speaker of the Knesset, Israel; Ahmed ABOUL GHEIT, Secretary General, Arab League; Carmelo ABELA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malta; Staffan DE MISTURA, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations; Tarek El MOLLA, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, Egypt; Khemaies JHINAOUI, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tunisia; Claudio DESCALZI, CEO ENI; Alessandro PROFUMO, CEO Leonardo Company; Sayyid Badr bin Hamad AL BUSAIDI, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rached GHANNOUCHI, Leader, Ennahda Movement
Key topics discussed during the conference included: the need to consolidate the regional balance of power, common security and the tools to counter a possible comeback of terrorism, the management of migratory flows, the issue of sanctions, new energy scenarios, the role of religion in the area, technological changes and the digital revolution, as well as trends in international trade in the region. Special attention will be devoted to countries going through particularly sensitive circumstances, such as Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iran, and Tunisia. The pillars of Trump’s Middle East policy for the next two years were also be covered.
In order to foster ideas and proposals, 10 preparatory meetings (Towards MED) have also been organized in the past few months in Brussels, Florence, Istanbul, London, Milan, Moscow, Rabat, Tunis, and Washington. In addition, 10 Pre-MED Forums were held on November, 21st and 22nd, targeting specific stakeholders and partners.