WANA promotes social justice, inclusion in the Mediterranean

Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Jordan, Maria Hadjitheodosiou. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — The West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute has co-organized an annual event titled “Towards more social justice and inclusion in the Mediterranean”, which is part of the EuroMeSCo: Connecting the Dots project, co-funded by the EU and the European Institute of the Mediterranean, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

In remarks at the opening ceremony, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou said: “In recent years, we have witnessed many challenges to social justice and inclusiveness both in the Mediterranean and in Europe, accentuated, for example, by circumstances linked to the war in Syria and Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

“The presence of a large number of refugees and displaced people in host countries like Jordan places a heavy toll on the absorption capacity of the social sectors. But it is in times like these that it is most important to recall that fairness, equality of access, and solidarity are at the core of a strong and resilient social contract,” she said.

Program Manager of the EuroMeSCo project Jenny Gilbert said: “Today’s event, is the 2nd of a cycle of five events that together will constitute EuroMeSCo’s Annual Conference, and we will be looking in particular into the intersections of environmental, social and economic development, at a time of significant climate-induced risks, paying special attention to vulnerable groups”.

The session ended with guiding remarks from HRH Princess Sumaya bint el Hassan, president of the Royal Scientific Society and a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change and as the common language to address equitable and sustainable development for all.

HRH stressed that it is a matter of importance to see that science fights social injustice.

“Science is a key enabler of evidence-based decision making and policy formulation offering interdisciplinary mechanisms and allowing us to speak a common language to assess the challenges, devise solutions and advance discovery and innovation,” she said, also highlighting her vision of “science for peace”, which is a call for the promise of hope, opportunity, and equitable access to resources.

Putting social justice and inclusiveness at the core of sustainable development agendas in the Mediterranean was the focus of discussion among representatives from think tanks, academic institutions, government, civil society organizations, and business community representatives, as well as EU officials.

During the plenary session, moderated by Manager of the Sustainable Development Division at the WANA Institute Majd Al-Naber, Mary Kawar, former Jordanian minister of planning and international cooperation, discussed work in countries of the region that are offering precarious employment.

“The problem in the Arab regions was exacerbated by COVID, but is not new. The economies were growing pre-2010, but were not inclusive, a chance that was not utilized,” she said.

Kawar also discussed the importance of the private sector, which needs to be revived to ensure that more people are participating and more people are benefiting.

FAO Resident Representative in Jordan Nabil Assaf tackled issues like lack of investment, food and energy during COVID, saying that the end of COVID caused sudden acceleration of the economy accompanied with high demand and need for food and energy which were not available.

Senior Analyst, Mediterranean and Arab World Haizam Fernandez highlighted the importance of social justice around the Mediterranean, with focus on human security, and highlighted the human security concept, which refers to three types of freedoms: from want, from fear and from indignity, and which puts focus on the person, not the state, and the security of people.

Deputy Secretary General of UfM Abdel Kader El Khissassi focused on the importance of cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean to solve issues.

Reem Al Haddadin, researcher at the WANA Institute, moderated a session on the linkages between social justice and sustainable development in Jordan. Papers were presented by Diana Al-Athamneh and Dina El Heyari from EDAMA, and Caroline Zubel an economist at Centre for Social and Economic Research.

EuroMeSCo is the main network of research centers and think tanks in the Euro-Mediterranean area. Founded in 1996, after the Barcelona Declaration, the network currently comprises 115 institutes from 30 European and Southern Mediterranean countries.

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