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AFED at MCSD Steering Committee

Athens, 19/04/2024

The Steering Committee of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) held its 23rd meeting in Athens. Main item on the agenda was to review the implementation status of the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD) for 2016-2025 and set guidelines for updating the strategy for the coming period. This includes identifying main directions, thematic working groups and elements of a sustainability dashboard.


The Committee also endorsed new flagship intiatives, including: Sustainable Blue Tourism, Protection and Restoration of Seagrass Meadows, Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems Nexus, Mediterranean Forest, Network of Net-Zero Cities, and incorporating Youth and Women in MCSD work.


AFED Secretary General Najib Saab participated in his capacity as Vice President of the Steering Committee. He highlighted AFED position that the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development cannot be separated from the implementation and compliance regarding the Barcelona Convention on the Mediterranean and its protocols, under which all other initiatives fall. He noted that 13 countries, more than half the contracting parties of the Convention, have not yet submitted their national implementation reports for the biennium 2020-2021. Saab stressed that ratifying the protocols, and even creating regulatory frameworks, are not enough, as actual implementation is what really counts for claiming achievements. “Nothing can fully compensate for shortcomings of public policies,” Saab concluded.