Med-Or: proposals from the International Board’s first meeting
The first meeting of the International Board of Med-Or Foundation discussed several issues and proposals. Among these, the launch of Med-Or’s Virtual Diplomatic and Leadership Academy for the Broader Mediterranean
On 24 May 2023, Med-Or Foundation held the first meeting of its International Board of Advisors, a unique forum on the Italian scene, composed of leading figures from several countries in the Mediterranean, Africa and the Euro-Atlantic area. During the discussion, participants shared diverse perspectives on various topics, including the implications of the war in Ukraine on international stability and global governance.
“The meeting of Med-Or’s International Board marked a fundamental step in the development of the Foundation’s activities and its international projection. This meeting of high-profile personalities, unique for a body like our Foundation, addressed the future of the Broader Mediterranean and relations between the West and countries in the Global South, Africa and the Near East,” - said Med-Or Chairman, Marco Minniti. “We want to give continuity to the work of this Board, putting in place concrete initiatives to promote dialogue and cooperation. We are convinced that today, in the light of what is happening around us, the Mediterranean represents the meeting point between the North and the South of the planet and, for this reason, it should be the center of a cultural and educational initiative aimed at fostering dialogue and cooperation.”
Three main conclusions emerged from the discussion:
- A new centrality of the Mediterranean. The war in Ukraine has shaken the foundations of the international system, weakening multilateralism and heightening competition. In an increasingly polarized world, the Broader Mediterranean – an area spanning from Europe to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula – is critical to world security. While it is increasingly challenging to find consensus at the global level, flexible regional groupings can advance cooperation. In this regard, the Broader Mediterranean has a role in bridging the Western world with the Global South and it is critical for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine.
- Diversity is richness. The Broader Mediterranean is characterized by different political systems, as well as historical, cultural and religious backgrounds. In today’s world, diversity must be perceived as an asset, rather than a weakness. This is because dialogue and trust can turn divergencies into a new form of cooperation that will bring countries together. A new beginning will require sticking to the key principle of mutual respect, by paying more attention to the strategic concerns and priorities of other countries, regardless of their geopolitical projection.
- Dialogue and Culture are key. In such an interconnected world, migrations and people’s movements will inevitably continue and increase, calling for states to play a more active role in managing flows, including designing new paths for legal migration and preparing our citizens to live in diverse societies. In this regard, and in view of the importance of cultural dialogue, the Med-Or Foundation will continue to enhance higher education, to promote the learning of foreign languages, and to forge dialogue and understanding across the Broader Mediterranean.
In light of these considerations, the International Board proposed the creation of a Med-Or Virtual Diplomatic and Leadership Academy for the Broader Mediterranean.
The meeting was attended, amongst others, by Ana Palacio, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group and member of the Council of State of Spain (Consejo de Estado); Prince Turki Al-Faisal, President of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom and the United States and former Director of the Saudi Arabian General Intelligence Directorate; Thomas De Maizièr, former Minister of the Interior and former Minister of Defence of Germany; Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, President and Founder of the Emirates Policy Center, Professor of Political Science at the United Arab Emirates University and Member of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Advisory Commission; John Negroponte, Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, former Director of National Intelligence of the United States, former US Deputy Secretary of State, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and former US Deputy National Security Advisor; Sir Alex Younger, former Director of the British Government’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6); Abdallah Bou Habib, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon; Abdeta Beyene, Executive Director of the Center for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation, Ethiopia; Gilles Kepel (France), President Emmanuel Macron’s Special Envoy for the Mediterranean; Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia; and Mayamba Cindy Mwanawasa, Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Zambia.