President of Malta and Patron of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation and the Union for the Mediterranean, in the presence of Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Fathallah Sijilmassi.
President Coleiro Preca praised this collaboration, which saw its beginning when the President led a delegation of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation to the UfM Premises in Spain last year, calling it ‘a first in the tourism sector’.
The President also said that this collaboration highlights the commitment of both parties for peace-building through tourism, as ‘tourism is an ideal sector to bring people together from diverse cultures.’
The Union for the Mediterranean is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together the 28 European Union member states and 15 countries from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It also provides a unique forum to enhance regional cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The Mediterranean Tourism Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation aiming at increasing the potential for sustainable tourism growth across the Mediterranean region. The vision of the foundation is inspired by the shared will of both public and private tourism stakeholders to revitalise efforts to transform the Mediterranean into an area of peace, cooperation and prosperity by investing and promoting sustainable tourism growth across the region.
Through this memorandum of understanding, the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation and the Union for the Mediterranean have agreed to follow an action plan by working together so that the following aims are achieved:
- Capitalising on tourism’s potential to advance sustainable economic growth, social inclusiveness, decent employment, women and youth empowerment, and poverty alleviation;
- Promoting the contribution of tourism to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, enhancing resource efficiency, and investing in climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- Bolstering the links between sustainable tourism and cultural values, diversity and heritage;
- Harnessing the transformative power of tourism in the promotion of intercultural and interfaith dialogue, tolerance and understanding, as the building blocks of peace and security; and
- Identification and development of projects for possible Union for the Mediterranean labelling, with a special focus on those targeting sustainable development.
President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is Patron of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, and is also Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.