“It is essential that we develop a shared, common strategy for security in the Mediterranean”. This is what Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marina Sereni, said at the opening of the work by the “Rethinking security – Mare Omnium: a shared approach to Mediterranean security” panel, as part of the Med Dialogues 2020.
“We must identify the most urgent threats and challenges,” explained Vice Minister Sereni, “going beyond the traditional approach to security matters.
As a Country, Italy is convinced that the priority in dealing with the crises in the region is to promote dialogue and look for inclusive solutions, under the aegis of the UN. The Libyan crisis sums all this up: building peace is important in order to stabilise the entire Mediterranean area, and a shared approach by the international community is the only way to support the peace efforts by the Libyans. The cease-fire agreement is a step in the right direction for preserving the unity and integrity of Libya, allowing the production and exporting of petroleum to begin again, and rebuilding trust between the Libyans. The same applies to Syria, a tragedy that has been taking place right before our eyes for 10 years now. It is now clear that there cannot be a military solution, and that only a political process backed by the international community, in line with resolution 2254 by the Security Council, can bring peace that can last”.
“Of equal importance,” the Minister went on, “is supporting relaunching of the peace process in the Middle East, with a view to a just, practicable two state solution, negotiated by Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The Abraham Accords show that old rivalries and hostilities cannot be overcome. In the eastern Mediterranean, we have firmly held our position in condemning the unilateral actions of recent months, believing that these tensions cannot be resolved other than by dialogue in good faith, and sincere collaboration”.
“But tackling the most relevant crises in the Mediterranean together is not enough,” noted Vice Minister Sereni. “We believe that to put an end to tensions and create a stable, secure region, increased cooperation and greater integration is required, starting with joint management of the ‘Mediterranean’s common assets’, such as energy, for example. In fact, only a cooperative approach will allow us to fully exploit the energy potential of our Sea, with advantages for all in terms of security, stability, and prosperity”.
“Cooperation between the Countries in the region is also essential for dealing with trans-national threats, such as illegal trafficking, smuggling, and terrorism, which have not gone away with the pandemic. It is with this same spirit that Italy promoted Mediterranean Women Mediators Network in 2017, involving more than 50 women in 21 countries, including Libya, Lebanon, and Palestine.
I am convinced that development of ‘Mediterranean’ security calls for increased dialogue and synergies, to tackle existing crises. This is not an easy task, especially now. But precisely this,” concluded Vice Minister Sereni, “is why it is worth trying”.