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Commonalities of the Eurasian Seas

With the ongoing global financial crisis taking its toll in Western and Central Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa and the Black Sea and in times of rising water and energy scarcity, a new kind of multilateralism is needed. In a lecture organized by ELIAMEP, HRH Prince el Hassan bin Talal dilated upon the potentialities of cooperation and development among countries pertaining to the broader Mediterranean area.

HRH proposed the development of a social regional charter for the region of the Eurasian seas in the form of a water and energy community for the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Sea region. This new variety of multilateralism would address energy and human security through shared management and reshaping of regional commons in the area .

Important component of such a new interactive policy is promoting the research and use of renewable energy sources (solar, hydro and wind energy). Projects such as DESERTEC constitute laudable steps in that direction. Furthermore, existing energy plants can be used for energy production and water desalination, which could provide potable water and enhance irrigation.

With respect to the aspect of developing regional commons, HRH applauded efforts to form a Regional Development Bank, which should have an asymmetric character i.e. focus on empowering the poor, building on the example of the Zakat Fund.

Last but not least the speaker called for the establishment of a ‘non-governmental organism’, a network of people in the Eurasian Seas region, which would act as a forum to discuss commons of the Eurasian Seas as it could serve as a mechanism of conflict prevention.

The proposal would address three of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), namely eradicate poverty, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.

The main policy proposals encapsulated:

Promote research and utilization of renewable energy

Develop a regional charter of energy and water in the Eurasian Seas region, focusing on the human security aspect

Form a Regional Development Bank

Professor Theodore Couloumbis, Vice President of the Board of Directors of ELIAMEP, moderated the lecture and ensuing discussion.

Athens, 3 November 2008

See also:

Interview with HRH Prince el Hassan bin Talal.

Coalition of the Commons

Union for the Mediterranen Website

Keynote address by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal at the Thematic Debate on Human Security – United Nations General Assembly

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