UfM SG praises Cyprus’ role in promoting a regional action plan for climate change

Union For the Mediterranean Secretary General Nasser Kamel has praised Cyprus’ role in promoting a regional action plan for climate change as well as its role in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East, pointing out that the island is a true Euro Mediterranean country.

Kamel who is currently in Cyprus on a working visit met Monday with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides with whom they discussed a number of issues, including climate change, gender equality, bilateral cooperation and the trilateral agreements Cyprus has signed with various countries in the region which are also members of the UfM.

In his statements Christodoulides said that they discussed a number of regional issues and challenges, recognizing that in most cases, the persistent crises unfolding around us recognize no national boundaries and impact negatively, in a direct or indirect way, on the entire region and even beyond.

Within this context, I also had the opportunity to update the Secretary-General on the latest, escalating Turkish provocations in the Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus as well as on the latest attempt by Turkey to disrupt the rules-based order and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean with the purported signing of an MoU with Libya which lacks any legal foundation, he said.

He added that given that 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, which in many ways was the precursor to the Union for the Mediterranean, the deliberations today are not only particularly timely but they come, as well, at a symbolic juncture. FM also said that the fact that the agenda covered a broad number of issues, proves the unique role the intergovernmental institution of UfM can continue to play in the years to come, in enhancing cooperation across the entire Mediterranean region.

Within this context, we reviewed the ongoing cooperation between Cyprus and the Union, and we naturally explored potential areas where we could go into more depth, identifying gender equality, climate change and education as particularly promising themes for the adoption of common actions and initiatives the Minister underlined.

He went on to say that the mandate of the Union happens to fully coincide with one of the main pillars of the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus, which is none other than the institutionalization of cooperation with neighbouring countries, in order to promote security, peace and prosperity in the broader region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Indeed, the trilateral mechanisms that Cyprus and Greece have established with neighbouring countries ? that are also members of the Union for the Mediterranean ? serve precisely and primarily this purpose, on the basis of a positive agenda, and without excluding any other countries of the region from joining in the future. I am convinced that this network of trilateral mechanisms can easily add to, or supplement, the toolbox of the UfM and this is something that we agreed with Nasser to continue to explore, he added.

UfM SG said in his statements that Cyprus is a true Euro Mediterranean country because of its geographical position, its relations with the countries in the region and the fact that it is a member state of the EU. He also referred to the trilateral agreements between Cyprus and countries of the region which are also members of the Union adding that this trilateral cooperation can help the Union in its regional cooperation dimension.

UfM SG on to say that there are several sectors in which Cyprus is paying a leading role and referred to the initiatives its taking for the adoption of a regional action plan for the climate change.

Kamel said that the Mediterranean is at a stage of climate emergency and it is the second most affected region in the world. He pointed out that synergies to tackle climate change are needed, adding that in the context of COP25 Conference on Climate change which is taking place in Madrid, Cyprus and UfM will be cohosting a side event to this end.

Kamel also referred to the issue of gender equality which was brought up in today’s discussions saying that it affects the economic prosperity of a society.

Source: Cyprus News Agency