pics: re-evolution comic, Link, Ahmed Khalaf Masad, among Montilla and Moratinos, in a family picture of the personalities who participated in the event, yesterday. Photo: JULY CARBÓ, logos Anna Lindh foundation forum 2010.
Two events in Barcelona yesterday:
More than 800 civil society representatives from all forty-three countries of the Union for the Mediterranean were confirmed for the international launch of the very first Anna Lindh Forum (link). The Forum uses the Euromed-Logo from the Barcelona-Process of 1995, the so successful conference with the countries around the EU then headed by Javier Solana.
The Anna Lindh Forum for Intercultural Dialogue commenced Thursday evening, at 17.00, at Barcelona’s International Convention Forum, with the collective participation of civil society representatives from the two shores of the Mediterranean, as well as leading international dialogue institutions and the Ambassadors of the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). The UfM had been officially inaugurated on Javier Solanas birthday 2008, July 14 and was said "to build on the achievements of the Barcelona Process". Barcelona yesterday renewed the commitment made 15 years ago in 1995, to promote dialogue and cooperation between the EU and its partners the southern and eastern shores of Mare Nostrum, with the aim of creating an area of peace and stability.
Set to coincide with the launching of the new Secretariat of the UfM, the Forum’s inauguration featured Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos; President of the Anna Lindh Foundation André Azoulay; the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Jorge Sampaio; the European Union’s Commissioner of Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fülle; and the new Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Ahmad Masa’deh.
The Union for the Mediterranean (UpM) has initiated its first steps tonight-more-symbolic in its registered office the Pedralbes Palace, with the presentation of its Secretary General, Ahmed Khalaf Jordanian Masad, responsible for implementation of this new phase institutional Mediterranean cooperation.
It was the Jordanian foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, who first brought up the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The lack of peace and the absence of dialogue is what allows Israel to create facts on the ground". Along with his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, expressed his support for the "proximity talks" that start next week the U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. The head of French diplomacy, Bernard Kouchner, took his glove and took a resounding applause when he called for "the Palestinian state that we all desire."
Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos confirmed that the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean summit will be held on 7 and 8 June; noted as a great triumph of UpM to "sit at one table with Israel, Palestine and Arab countries," and under much applause he congratulated Javier Solana, who was among the audience for his "strategic vision of bringing the Mediterranean to Europe".
The opening ceremony began with the hoisting of the flags of 43 countries in a row of poles at the entrance of the park by Catalan Police and traffic policemen. All flags were raised simultaneously.
It's not by chance I used the comic picture of "re-evolution" above. Not just has the Pedrables Palace almost the same window, which also mirrors the Euromed Logo, but also speaking ahead of the first Anna Lindh Forum, President Azoulay said: “The Forum represents a unique opportunity to re-ignite the cooperation between the civil societies of the Region and to put our collective work for dialogue between cultures at the centre of the construction of a Union for the Mediterranean,” adding that: “Through the quality of our debates and the critical mass of ideas and initiatives, we can play an essential role in supporting the people of the Region in reclaiming their common Mediterranean future.” (Link) Yesterday he urged to launch a "new cycle" in the relationship between the Mediterranean countries. UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Jorge Sampaio called for dialogue between countries of this region and to "open new avenues for reconciliation." (Link)
The Forum is supported by the European Commission, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Barcelona City Council and the Diputació de Barcelona. The Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs will collaborate and be actively involved in the Forum’s activities.
Is it by chance that the Indiana Jones Grail plate is so similar to the Euromed-Logo? The plate comes from "Indiana Jones 3 - The Last Crusade", filmed in Spain when Javier Solana had been Spain's Minister for Culture/Science and Education. Also the Grail knight wears this symbol on his breast.