The Lebanese Citizen Foundation (LCF) celebrated its fruitful participation in the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference 2022, which took place in Amman, Jordan.
About fifty people from various sectors, including think tanks, academic institutions, governments, civil society organizations, international organizations, and EU officials, gathered to discuss the theme of “Towards more Social Justice and Inclusiveness in the Mediterranean” at a recent conference. The event was co-hosted by the West Asia North Africa Institute (WANA) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed).
Sustainable development objectives in the Mediterranean were discussed, along with the need of social justice and inclusivity. Participants explored economic difficulties in their regions, highlighting the need to raise salaries, reduce bureaucracy, encourage meaningful social discourse, and improve public services in order to build more equitable communities. It was also emphasized that investments and training are necessary to fully realize the promise of the digital economy.
Opening remarks were given by Maria Hadjitheodosiou, EU Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Shereen Shaheen, Director of the WANA Institute; Jenny Gilbert, Programme Manager of EuroMeSCo, IEMed; and HRH Princess Sumaya Bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society. They opened the meeting with a welcome and a call for sustainable development strategies in the Mediterranean to prioritize social justice and inclusion.
The importance of social justice was discussed during a panel discussion featuring prominent figures such as Nabil Assaf, FAO Resident Representative in Jordan; Mary Kawar, Former Jordanian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation; Abdelkader El Khissassi, Deputy Secretary General, Economic Development and Employment, Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM); and Haizam Amirah-Fernández, Senior Analyst, Mediterranean and Arab World, Elcano Royal Institute. The seminar, led by Majd Al Naber, Team Leader and Senior Researcher in WANA’s Sustainable Development Pillar, explored the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of these agendas while pinpointing obstacles and potential solutions.
During the productive meeting, Eng. Diana Athamneh and Dina El-Heyari of EDAMA spoke on expanding the usage of renewable energy and energy efficiency to increase their positive social and economic effects in a lecture hosted by Reem AL HADDADIN of the WANA Research Center. Karolina ZUBEL, an economist at CASE, spoke on urban farming and its environmental and social advantages for achieving sustainable and equitable development in Jordan. The discussion focused on real-world projects and examples from Jordan to illustrate the links between social justice and sustainable development.
Experts discussed the food shortages and inflation in the area as a result of the epidemic and the Ukrainian conflict, urging swift action and investment in the worst-affected nations. We spoke about how the agricultural sector has to be diversified and improved, how our consumption habits need to shift, how much trash we can get rid of, and how we can better manage our water supplies.
The conference also highlighted the significance of youth and civil society as drivers of social innovation and the need of include a gender perspective in food security analysis. The problem required more cross-border cooperation and diplomatic attempts to resolve.
Ms. Melissa Barouki, senior financial consultant, representated LCF and attended the conference. She spoke about the organization’s current initiatives, publications, and contributions to the fields of social justice and sustainable development. With her involvement, she was able to network with other organizations and regional partners in the Mediterranean that share a commitment to advancing social justice and fostering a welcoming environment for everyone.
Ms. Barouki had fruitful conversations with experts and stakeholders, during which she shared LCF’s experiences and methods for tackling issues of social justice and inclusivity. Innovative approaches, legislative suggestions, and the value of multi-stakeholder partnerships in enacting social change were the main topics of discussion.
Ms. Barouki did more than just listen in on panels; she also attended a number of networking events, where she met other professionals and groups with similar goals. These exchanges taught us about the work that other organizations are doing in the area and showed us how LCF may broaden its influence.
LCF was able to highlight its work promoting social justice and inclusivity in the Mediterranean at the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference 2022. The foundation was able to get insight into sustainable development trends, difficulties, and new approaches thanks to this event.
The Lebanese Citizen Foundation aims to promote social justice and inclusivity in the Mediterranean, and their attendance at the conference will help them improve their collaborative contacts and get closer to their goal. LCF hopes to further creative projects and efforts that help create a more fair, equitable, and sustainable future for everyone by using the information and relationships obtained during the event.