Challenges facing Mediterranean region underscore need for deeper co-operation, parliamentarians say at OSCE PA Autumn Meeting

041121 Pascal Allizard MFPascal Allizard chairing the Mediterranean Forum, 4 November 2021COPENHAGEN, 4 November 2021 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Mediterranean Forum met today and heard from delegates representing a number of OSCE Mediterranean Partners as well as Adam Halacinski, the Chairperson of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation Group. The Mediterranean Forum was held as part of the Assembly’s 19th Autumn Meeting, which took place in an online format on 3-4 November.

Amb. Halacinski briefed the Assembly on past and upcoming OSCE initiatives with Mediterranean Partners and discussed ways to improve the OSCE as a platform for debate on how to overcome current challenges in the region. He highlighted a number of priorities including the improvement of regional co-operation in the fight against transnational organized crime with a focus on asset recovery. He also informed the parliamentarians of the Young Policy Advisers Course, designed for young people in the Mediterranean Region.

The OSCE PA’s Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs and Vice-President Pascal Allizard (France) noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated tensions and crises in the region. The pandemic, Allizard said, has highlighted the need for collective responses, both at the governmental and parliamentary level.

Allizard stressed in particular the need for co-operation in the health sector in order to cope with the emergency and the vaccination imperative, as well as co-operation in the humanitarian dimension to deal with migration, and in the security dimension to respond to the increased risks linked to the trafficking involved in these movements. “All these aspects of co-operation have been and must be activated in order to combat the multifaceted crisis we are currently experiencing,” Allizard said.

Algerian MP Rafika Kesri mentioned terrorism and crime as pressing challenges facing the region, stressing the need for all countries to combat these threats together. Climate change is also a global priority, Kesri said, underlining that it is a multiplying factor to threats to peace and security. Global heating, she noted, is exacerbating drought and flooding, and leading to increased migration flows. Global solutions are required for global threats, she said, emphasizing the need for solidarity-based efforts.

Mohamed El Bakkouri (Morocco) spoke about recent elections in his country, which he noted were characterized by high turnout and strong women’s participation, indicating much progress since the constitutional reform of 2011 and a healthy state of participatory democracy in Morocco. Morocco has been a leader on the pandemic, El Bakkouri said, noting that 24 million people have already been vaccinated in the country.

During the Mediterranean Forum’s debate, parliamentarians raised concerns over issues including climate change and tax evasion. The pandemic has broadened the development gap between north and south, it was pointed out, and the global finance and trade system is exacerbating climate change and driving inequality. Migration was also highlighted as a challenge for Europe as a whole and not only for the Mediterranean countries.

The 19th Autumn Meeting began Wednesday with a meeting of the Standing Committee, which included reports by the President, Treasurer, Secretary General, and discussion of PA activities and current political issues.

Video of the Mediterranean Forum is available on YouTube.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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