UfM: Jordan to hold co-presidency of south Med from Sept.

Unanimous decision of 43 countries, new phase opens up

29 June, 20:28

Jordan's King Abdullah II Jordan's King Abdullah II

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS - September 2012 will see Jordan taking on the co-presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) for the southern shores and the start of a new phase for collaboration between the 43 countries in the region. The UfM Secretariat released the news on its website, following the decision taken unanimously in the meeting of the high representatives which took place yesterday in Barcelona.

''During the meeting" said the UfM secretariat - "an important announcement was made: Jordan has expressed its willingness to take on the co-presidency for the southern half of the Union for the Mediterranean''. The announcement ''was accepted favourably and unanimously by all the representatives'' of the 43 countries of the region. Following yesterday's green light, Jordan will thus be guiding the co-presidency of the UfM from September, along with the EU, in occasion of the next high representative meeting planned in Brussels.

Therefore, 2012 sees the start of a new leadership phase for the UfM, with the changing of the guard for key roles in the organisation: from March Moroccan Fathallah Sijilmassi will take over from the current Moroccan deputy foreign minister, Youssef Amrani, and there will be the new co-presidencies of the EU and Jordan instead of France and Egypt. Also this year, another change has taken place in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, which is now being guided by the president of the European parliament, Martin Schulz. ''With the EU-Jordan co-presidency" the Secretariat pointed out in Barcelona , "the UfM enters a new phase of evolution, which will enable it to add the necessary added value to strengthened regional cooperation in the Mediterranean''. The high representatives meeting of the 43 countries was also attended by the EIB Vice President, Philippe De Fontaine Vive, who confirmed the intention to give 500 million euros to support projects for the UfM.

During the meeting, the secretariat presented three new projects: ''Capacity for success: competences for women in the workplace''; the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean University in Fez, in Morocco and ''overcoming the challenges of governance for mobilising the water sector of the Mediterranean''.

(ANSAmed).

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