Mediterranean states agree to more cooperation on human smuggling

Malta hosted the 5+5 Western Dialogue this week during which Mediterranean nations discussed climate change, migration and sustainable development

Foreign ministers agreed that the way forward in addressing migration needs to include economic prosperity in North African states
Foreign ministers agreed that the way forward in addressing migration needs to include economic prosperity in North African states

Mediterranean states agreed to cooperate in addressing challenges like migration, sustainable development and climate change.

The ministerial meeting was co-chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelkader Messahel, as current co-presidents of the 5+5 foreign ministers.

Participants at the meeting were the foreign ministers of Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, Secretary-General of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Taieb Baccouche, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) Elisabeth Guigou, Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Nasser Kamel, and President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean Pedro Roque also participated as partners.

At the end of the 15th meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the 5+5 Western Dialogue which was held in Malta between Thursday and Friday, a declaration entitled Working Together: A Sustainable Future for the Western Mediterranean, was signed.

The declaration was based on three overarching themes: migration and mobility, sustainable development, and youth.

During the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on the challenges being faced in the Mediterranean region and discussed important regional matters of mutual concern such as the situation in Libya the Middle East Peace Process and the Sahel.

Migration, climate change and the fight against terrorism and radicalisation were also among the topics of discussion. Abela underscored Malta’s conviction that dialogue leads to the creation of joint initiatives to further “our pursuit of sustainable development and achieving stability, security and prosperity in our region”. 

The importance of youth was also widely highlighted as ministers agreed that they were an asset and solution to development challenges in the region.

To this effect, for the first time ever, a breakfast meeting was also held, in cooperation with the Anna Lindh Foundation, with a number of young leaders concurrently participating in the Young Mediterranean Voices New Leadership Seminar, which was also being held in Malta.

At the end of the meeting, Abela thanked the Algerian co-presidency for its work over the past two years, and welcomed the announcement by Libya to take over the Southern co-presidency for the next two years.

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