21 January 2019 | Reading 5 mins.

Q&A with Nasser Kamel

Nasser Kamel
Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean

Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean

Overcoming financial barriers for the deployment of renewable energies in regional energy markets would enable more investments.

What are the biggest societal challenges you see when looking around the Mediterranean?

In the last decade, our region has gone through a long and difficult transition. There are many pressing challenges linked to uncontrolled migration, terrorism, radicalization, security, but also of socio-economic nature, such as unemployment and gender inequality. These challenges are not present along the southern Mediterranean shore only, but on the northern shore as well, where successive waves of migrants and refugees are posing a serious humanitarian and security dilemma. Youth unemployment exceeds 35% in some countries.

Our societies must also realize the dire consequences of uncontrolled environmental degradation and the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean and initiate the transformation to mitigate and adapt to these challenges. Despite the challenges, the story behind the figures is one of legitimate aspiration of our people for a better quality of life. As such, young people and women are at the very heart of all the UfM activities as it engages with governments, public authorities, private sector entities, academia, NGOs and other actors to streamline the regional efforts and build the needed synergies to affront the multitude of challenges, always with the firm mindset that considers regional cooperation not as a matter of choice, but rather as a matter of fact.

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