9th Plenary of ARLEM (Euromediterranean Regional and Local Assembly) held in Giza (Egypt), 20-21 February, 2018.
Vicent Garcés, president of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly Foundation (FACM) intervenes at the 9th ARLEM Plenary, where brings together representatives of local and regional government in the EU – most of them members of the European Committee of the Regions – and their counterparts from Mediterranean states from the western Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.
The FACM, based in Valencia, emphasizes the urgency of proposing tools and projects to move towards a Mediterranean in peace and sustainable development, which benefits all.
Garcés has urged the Euro-Mediterranean leaders to promote big plans for youth that will stabilize the region and prevent radicalization. “In the meeting of our Foundation in Casablanca that took place last November, it was stated that the announcement of the end of Daesh or ISIL does not mean the end of radicalization, but will generate other problems such as: the return of the radicalized, their reintegration and rehabilitation; impunity; the responsibility of the Mediterranean regimes for the governance of conflicts; the policy of “double standards” applied by some countries; the use of religion for political purposes; the relationship between education and social inclusion programs for young people”, said Garcés, appealing governments of the region to promote knowledge, education, professional training and culture as priority areas for Mediterranean cooperation, and to fight against unemployment and inequalities, as well as reducing social, economic and military tensions while respecting human rights.
In this sense, “the FACM citizen circles are ready to expand their collaboration with local authorities to promote the mobility of young people, eliminate obstacles, prejudices, fears and their openness to the world. A useful instrument for this may be the participation of young people in projects with a Mediterranean perspective, where the FACM is an actor that promotes the security of the Mediterranean and the eradication of terrorism throughout the basin without endangering human rights and freedoms”, has indicated the president of the ACM Foundation to the parliamentarians at the Egyptian summit.
Local and regional administrations should catalyse improvements in the position of women in the southern and eastern Mediterranean by taking a central role in extending access to education for women, promoting women to public office, and easing their entry to the labour market, the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) argues in a set of recommendations adopted on 21 February.
The ten recommendations, which will be circulated to governments and supranational bodies in the region and in the European Union, also urge national governments to sign the Istanbul Convention, which was drawn up by the Council of Europe in 2011 with the aim of curbing domestic violence against women in the Mediterranean region. The ARLEM report, which was adopted in Giza, Egypt, at the assembly’s annual plenary meeting, concludes that violence against women is both “endemic” and under-reported, with female genital mutilation common Egypt and Mauritania, rates of child marriage increasing in some countries, and rape by husbands remaining unpunishable in many countries.