THE 15TH PLENARY SESSION OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
3-4 June 2021 (virtual)
Session of the 3rd Permanent Committee for Dialogue between Civilizations and Human Rights
Intervention by Mr. Vicent Garcés, president of the FACM
Valencia, June 3, 2021
Thank you very much, Madam President.
I would like to begin by thanking the PAM, on behalf of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly Foundation for offering me this new opportunity to address my dear parliamentarians.
As you know, the ACM Foundation is an observer member of the PAM and expresses the opinion of its Citizen Circles present in 20 Mediterranean countries. We practice citizen diplomacy. The main idea of my intervention is to strengthen collaboration between the PAM and the FACM, between parliamentarians and citizens.
Now is a good time to highlight some important facts and make some suggestions.
The great disruption caused by COVID-19 requires an urgent expansion of cooperation, the strengthening of regional integration and multilateralism.
In addition, serious conflicts are still present in our region:
– Certain historical conflicts continue: the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Western Sahara conflict.
– Various transition schemes also remain open (Libya, Syria, not to mention, east of the region, Yemen)
– Migration issues remain critical despite repeated calls from civil society.
– The general decline of democracy in the region continues, affecting all countries.
– The average socioeconomic condition of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean area also continues to experience an alarming deterioration with growing inequalities.
– “Gender issues”, violence against women and abuse against minors and vulnerable people also show that much remains to be done.
– The intervention of many world or regional powers that seek to consolidate their own interests in the area rather than those of the countries and / or citizens on whose behalf they claim to act.
– Climate change is often forgotten: its effects on the region and its populations (food crisis, drought, displaced people and / or ecological refugees, etc.) often seem to be forgotten or are reduced.
– The inhabitants of the Mediterranean have paid and are paying a high price for the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is necessary to avoid the existence of virus-free islands surrounded by sources of contamination. Recognizing Covid vaccines as a “public good” would be a useful step forward.
The ACM Foundation raises a cry of alarm and summons the spirit of responsibility. This is the moment of citizen resistance.
The FACM requests:
– That the European Union accompany its financial investment in the Mediterranean with a stronger political role to enforce the principles related to the rule of law;
– That public authorities strive to support and promote cooperation initiatives at the interstate, bilateral or sub-state level (universities, associations, regions, cities, etc.);
– That the European Union lives up to its principles and convictions and shows a coherent, humane and humanitarian attitude when it comes to addressing migration issues and human rights.
– That the necessary alternatives to the current situation be reflected and considered in a more efficient way, with regard to the exploration of renewable energies, digitization or policies to satisfy the needs of all citizens of the Mediterranean.
The ACM Foundation encourages the PAM and the network of Mediterranean cities Medcités, two of its main institutional partners, to continue their actions and initiatives in favor of dialogue and collaboration with Mediterranean citizens and civil society, as pillars of power, the democracy and popular sovereignty.
Thank you very much and I wish you, from Valencia, Spain, the best for the future.