MEDITERRANEAN CITIZENS’ASSEMBLY FOUNDATION (MCAF) ADVISORY BOARD STATEMENT | Valencia, June 1, 2019

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MEDITERRANEAN CITIZENS’ASSEMBLY FOUNDATION (MCAF) ADVISORY BOARD STATEMENT

Valencia, June 1, 2019

The Advisory Board of the MCA Foundation met on May 31 and June 1, 2019 in Valencia. The Board paid a sincere tribute to its honorary member, the writer Paul Balta, who has unfortunately left us.

The Advisory Board updates its 10-year-old Founding Charter. In a decade, the MCAF has become a key player in citizen’s action in the Mediterranean.

The Advisory Board is worried, following the renewal of the European Parliament, about the rise of racism, xenophobia and extreme rights in European societies. The members of the Advisory Council express their concern about the political and social evolution in the Mediterranean. Too often, the issue of security exceeds individual freedoms and human rights.

The Advisory Board supports the defence of civilians in accordance with international law in Libya and Syria, and the peaceful resolution of regional crisis. It notes with interest the progress of the democratic process in Tunisia, which will hold in the coming months its second general, legislative and presidential elections. Tunisia is therefore completing its electoral cycle and finalizing the establishment of its constitutional institutions.

The Advisory Board strongly welcomes the mobilization of the Algerian population within a national, peaceful, transgenerational and mixed political movement that demonstrates the will of the Algerian people to take control over their destiny. It expresses its support to all parties involved in a peaceful transition in accordance with the rule of law. With regard to the Palestinian question, the Board reaffirms that the solution must be linked to international law which guarantees the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the creation of their state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It expresses its concern about the authoritarian drift and the lack of respect for human rights in Egypt.

The Advisory Board supports peace and democratic culture in all Mediterranean states in order to avoid the return or advent of obscurantism or authoritarian abuses.

Despite the environmental emergency in the Mediterranean, the Advisory Board notes the absence of real measures to promote sustainable development, nature conservation, ecological and agri-food transition and the handling of climate refugees. The Board demands respect for the right to freedom of expression, association and demonstration without criminalizing social movements that claim these rights or citizen solidarity with migrants.  Finally, it calls for additional public resources to facilitate the inclusion and freedom of movement of people with disabilities, both in public infrastructure and in the labour market.

The Board welcomes the recent establishment of MCA circles in Barcelona and Sarajevo and the relaunch of the MCA circle of Beirut. From now on, the MCA network includes twenty-eight citizen circles in twenty-one countries and contacts are underway in Amman to create a new circle. The Advisory Board is delighted to welcome the Bosnian intellectual Ibrahim Spahic as an honorary member.

The Advisory Council welcomes and supports the initiative of the MCA Circle of Naples to organise the symposium “Mediterranean Heritage and Citizenship” to be held in Naples on October 4 and 5. The Council is preparing the 8th meeting of the MCA “The Great Convention on Youth in the Mediterranean”, which will be held in Barcelona on November 7-10, 2019.