The OSCE Mediterranean Conference with the six Mediterranean Partner Countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan) is being held in Palermo on 24 and 25 October. The Conference, dedicated to the theme “Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees in the Mediterranean: Challenges and Opportunities”, aims to promote a high-level exchange of opinions on the issue of the migrations in the Mediterranean and the challenges and opportunities they generate.
“It is from here, from Palermo, that our Country intends to lay the grounds for strengthening dialogue with our partners on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano. He went on: “Our aim is to raise the awareness among OSCE Participating States of the necessity to give a joint response to the migration emergency and to the challenges posed by the Mediterranean.”
The event envisages a broad participation at political level, with more than 30 delegations represented at foreign minister or deputy foreign minister/undersecretary of state level.
The Conference schedules a “High-level Political Segment” chaired by Minister Alfano, with speeches by the acting president and the secretary general of OSCE, the attending ministers/deputy ministers/undersecretaries, the vice president of OSCE and the representatives of the International Organisations present. The Session will be followed by a press conference by Minister Alfano at 3 p.m.
The afternoon agenda envisages a side-event with Chief Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri (who has been appointed advisor to Minister Alfano on the issue of fighting drug trafficking as part of the activities promoted by the Italian Presidency of OSCE), on the theme “Links between drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism in the Mediterranean Region”. Three thematic sessions (the first two in the afternoon of 24 October and the third on the morning of 25 October) will be dedicated to: “Countering smuggling and trafficking in human beings: a major common challenge in time of large movements of migrants and refugees”; The economic and social potential of migration and the role of integration policies for inclusive growth, sustainable development, peace and stability”; “Successful integration, a common responsibility based on a two-fold approach: encouraging social inclusion of migrants and refugees and combating intolerance, racism, xenophobia, and discrimination, also based on religious grounds”.
On 25 October, at 12 p.m., the Conference will close at the attendance of Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola.