"The pandemic has led to the unemployment of more than seven million women in the Mediterranean countries," Nasser Kamel, the union's secretary general for the Mediterranean, said in an interview with the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency.
While, in parallel with unemployment, he characterized the climate crisis as the "main challenge of the region, as the Mediterranean is the most affected area more than any other on the planet by the phenomenon, as there is a 20% increase in temperature in combination with significant rise in sea level ".
In particular, according to the Secretary General, "the substantial empowerment of women in the region could directly lead to the reduction of inequalities, but also to the doubling of the region's GDP in the coming years."
Speaking to APE-MPE, Mr. Kamel stressed that the Mediterranean region is one of the most dynamically economically developing regions in the world, as, among other things, 35% of world trade takes place, however, he added, the development of the region is asymmetric , as there is an imbalance in investment between the countries of the North and the South.
He stressed that European countries, including Greece, can play a key role in strengthening cooperation, economic development and strengthening social cohesion in the region, while our country, as he said, has a privileged diplomatic and geopolitical position. in the area.
As the Secretary-General noted, according to a recent UfM report on the region, "the states in the region are moving in the right direction but the potential has not been tapped."
"We are far below our potential. "There are huge reserves of resources that have not been used and can contribute to convergence and cooperation between the countries of the region, in order to directly mobilize investment and create added value," said Mr. Kamel.
He added: "Improving international trade and international trade relations, infrastructure within and between countries, creating conditions for more investment, energy interconnections, transnational utilization of RES are areas of cooperation that can contribute to recovery. of the area".
Speaking about the consequences of the climate crisis, Mr. Kamel reminded that ten of the twenty cities most affected by the climate crisis in the Mediterranean are in the Mediterranean and said: "We are called to implement strong policies of adaptation and response to the phenomenon and Recovery, especially after and from the pandemic. We can not restart our business cycle using traditional activities. "New actions must be sustainable, taking into account environmental and regional specificities, and be as carbon-neutral as possible."
He went on to say: "The new EU Green Deal clearly has a focus on targeted policies for inclusive sustainable development, the environment and climate change, digital transformation, which, as the pandemic has shown, is essential. in almost all forms of social and economic activity ".
In fact, as he announced, in the context of the UfM Ministerial Summit, the aim of the next Climate Summit in Glasgow is to raise specific issues of energy, environment and economic policy, which are specific to the Mediterranean region. in conjunction with issues concerning the empowerment of women, the fight against unemployment, education.
As Mr. Kamel characteristically stated in APE-MPE: "Economic growth in combination with the digital transformation, if carried out without exclusions and includes women and young people, will significantly contribute to the balance between states and within states." Finally, he expressed the hope that in the coming months there will be an easing of tensions in the region that will contribute substantially to the efforts for social and economic recovery.
SOURCE: ΑΠΕ- ΜΠΕ