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2022 OSCE Mediterranean Conference. Side event on new challanges and opportunities to foster security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region

In the context of the 2022 OSCE Mediterranean Conference, the Permanent Representation of Italy to the OSCE, in collaboration with the Italian think tank Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), organized on 25 October in Jordan a side event on new challanges and opportunities to foster security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region.

Building on the research and activities of the New Med Research Network project, an indipendent initiative implemented by IAI in collaboration with the OSCE, and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the event aimed to facilitate a constructive and foward-looking discussion among participating States on the new challenges and opportunities of the OSCE Mediterranean Partnership and to identify ideas and opportunities to enhance existing mechanisms for dialogue and practical cooperation with OSCE Mediterranean partners (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia).

The seminar, moderated by Amb. Stefano Baldi, included as speakers Sandra Sacchetti, researcher and author of a IAI report on the OSCE Mediterranean Partnership, and Ayman Khalil, Director of the Arab Institute for Security Studies (ACSIS) in Jordan. Amb. Igor Djundev, Permanent Representative of North Macedonia to the OSCE and current Chair of the Group of Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation, concluded the proceedings.

The discussion reaffirmed the continued relevance and value of the OSCE Mediterranean Partnership, as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean that brings together 63 participating States. The OSCE, with its inclusive membership and comprehensive concept of security, is also of particular interest to the countries of the Middle East as a model for regional security arrangements.

In light of current challenges (from the consequences of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine to climate change, transnational threats such as trafficking in human beings, terrorism and cybersecurity), the OSCE Mediterranean Partnership remains an important tool for exchanging experiences, promoting cooperation among experts and identifying common solutions.

Some of the proposals for strengthening cooperation and dialogue between participating States and Mediterranean partners discussed during the event include: establishing biennial work plans; identifying thematic coordinators among participating States to support the activities of the annual Chair of the Mediterranean Group; creating and strengthening informal networks of experts; improving the visibility of OSCE activities among partner countries, also in the run up of the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in 2025.