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UFM's priorities align with Egypt's Vision 2030: Shoukry
Achieving stability, development in Mediterranean needs better intellectual, cultural communication between its peoples, says Shoukry
Published in Daily News Egypt on 29 - 11 - 2021

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that achieving the objectives of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) will be easier and more fruitful once peace and stability can be established in the region.
This came in the speech delivered by the minister of foreign affairs on Monday at the sixth regional forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) held in Barcelona.
He said that the current forum coincided with the thirty years since the Madrid Peace Conference, referring to the great ambitions and hopes that were in Madrid thirty years ago to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and reach a lasting, just and comprehensive peace in the region.
Shoukry called on all parties concerned to work hard to resolve the Palestinian issue, which continues to be a cause of instability in our regional neighbourhood, which requires the speedy resumption of negotiations in order to reach a final settlement.
He pointed out that this settlement is based on the two-state solution, agreed international terms of reference and principles of international law in order to ensure the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and stop unilateral actions and policies, in particular illegal settlement activities.
Egypt is making many steps to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, he added.
"Holding the sixth edition of this forum is an enhancement of the value of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation based on our commonalities and our commitment to its role in promoting regional cooperation in the region," he said.
He pointed to the agreement during the last Forum on five priorities for future cooperation: environment and climate change, sustainable economic and social development and job creation for young people especially within the framework of the blue economy, social inclusion and equality, digital transformation and civil protection.
He noted that these priorities are consistent with Egypt's strategy for Sustainable Development "Egypt's Vision 2030" in its economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Shoukry explained that in working together on the basis of these priorities, the UfM, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, was able to achieve continuity and effectiveness of its activities and held a number of important events.
The most prominent of these was Egypt's hosting of the Second Ministerial Conference on the environment, where the Cairo Declaration sent a message to Glasgow conference of affirmation on the importance of regional cooperation،
He also recalled the shared responsibilities with regard to international climate action and the need to support developing countries in their quest for a green economy, to provide financing for their adaptation and to support their ability to fulfill their commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Shoukry reiterated Egypt's support for international action to address environmental challenges and climate change, and its coordination with all partners to achieve success required, for the twenty-seventh conference of the parties, which Egypt is honored to host in Egypt in 2022.
He stressed the commitment to what was agreed at the last Forum on the anniversary of the silver jubilee of the Barcelona process and the need to revive its philosophy and work towards the hoped-for integration of its three political, development and cultural dimensions.
The minister stressed that the achievement of stability and development in the Mediterranean region is inconceivable without the promotion of intellectual and cultural communication among its peoples as a key tool to counter the emerging negative phenomena of violence, extremism, racism and hatred on both sides of the Mediterranean.
In this context, he expressed appreciation for the important role played by the " Anna Lindh Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue hosted by the city of Alexandria as the true bridge to Mediterranean cultural work.
He reiterated his appreciation for the role played by the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) and looked forward to further maximizing its role in coordinating the efforts to meet common challenges in the region and the commitment to fully support it in achieving our common goals..
For his part, Spain's Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, praised choosing Egypt to host the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Cop27) next year.
Albars stressed the importance of the climate issue, especially for the Mediterranean region, noting to last month's Environment and Climate Conference in Cairo, which agreed on mechanisms and policies before heading to the climate summit held in early November in Glasgow.
He welcomed the participation of the Arab League in the regional forum, stressing the need for the Union for the Mediterranean to expand the partnership with Euro-Mediterranean organizations and institutions and to join together in the work, explaining that this is one of the objectives of the new agenda of the Southern Neighbourhood Policy

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