Glasgow Calls, the Mediterranean Responds

A New Euro-Med Centre for Higher Education and Science Diplomacy on Sustainability in Ponza unites religious communities and local authorities

Rome. Representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, communities, experts, as well as local authorities, meeting on Monday 13 December 2021 at the international conference held in hybrid form (online and in person) at the Spazio Europa Conference Room of the European Commission’s and the European Parliament’s offices in Italy, agreed on the creation of a Centre for Higher Education and Science Diplomacy on Sustainability planned at the Turtledoves Villa (Villa delle Tortore) in the Ponza Island, thanks to the generous support from the Lazio Region, which owns the Villa.

The Italian Network for Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue (RIDE) and Mediterranean Perspectives (MP, RIDE member) were the co-organizers - in cooperation with the PRIMA Foundation, the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF), and the European Commission Representation in Italy – of this international conference, titled The Mediterranean: a river with many tributaries. Identities, religious dialogue, and sustainability, with Enrico Molinaro, Secretary General of RIDE and President of MP, and Greta Spreafico, Assistant Coordinator of the Italian ALF Network moderating the two panels.

The conference started with the first panel on Collective Identities, Local Authorities, and Religious Communities at 9.15 until 11.30, and continued from 11.30 to 13:45, in light of the recent establishment of the European Union Alliance for Scientific Diplomacy, with the second and concluding panel on Culture, Innovation, and Scientific Diplomacy, with representatives from the academic and institutional world highlighting the role of scientific diplomacy in the sustainability challenge.

The Glasgow Covenant, recently adopted in the context of the XXVI Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the UNFCCC concluded in the Scottish city on November 20, 2021, highlights the urgency of cooperation between religious communities and local authorities on sustainability issues. In this context, the shared conference speakers’ ambitious goal is to set up a Euro-Med hub on sustainability in the Pontine Archipelago, the birthplace of the modern European Union, dealing with sustainability to face labour mismatch, especially for Mediterranean women and youth, as Mr. Giuseppe Provenzano, Advisor for Research and Innovation of the Union for the Mediterranean, pointed out to the other speakers.

Participants included:

Almotaz Abadi, Managing Director, Water, Environment, and Blue Economy Secretariat, UfM

Gaetano Armao, Vice President, Sicily Region

Dan Bahat, Israeli Archaeologist specialised on the Jerusalem's Holy Places

Giorgio Benigni, Head, institutional relations, Mercato Circolare srl

Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence (message)

Mario Bolognari, Mayor, Taormina

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Co-Director, Ecopeace

Angelica Edna Calò Livne, Lecturer, Tel Hai College; General Manager, Beresheet LaShalom Foundation

Silvia Costa, Commissioner for the Restauration of the Bourbon Penitentiary at the Santo Stefano Island in Ventotene

Giulio Disegni, Vice-president, Union of the Jewish Communities (UCEI)

Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome

Enrico Fink, President, the Jewish Community of Florence

Giovanni Gentili, Mayor, Pitigliano

Eleonora Insalaco, Head of Operations and Intercultural Research, Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF)

Fadwa Khawaja Al-Shaer, Head, ALF Palestinian Network; Chairperson, Jerusalem Center for Women

Gladys Morales Guevara, Senior Innovation Adviser,Change Delivery & Innovation Unit, IFAD

Joseph Levi, former Chief Rabbi of Florence and Siena; Director, Shemah, School for Jewish Studies and Culture, Margulies Levinas, Florence

Grammenos Mastrojeni, Senior Deputy Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

Adel Nasr, Founder, New Humanity

Leoluca Orlando, Mayor, Palermo

Antonio Parenti, Head, Representation of the European Commission in Italy

Muli (Samuel) Peleg, Head, ALF Israeli Network; Director, International School, Oranim College

Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch, Jerusalem (message)

Giuseppe Provenzano, Advisor for research and innovation, UfM

Desirée Quagliarotti, Researcher, CNR-ISMED (RIDE member)

Abdellah Redouane, Secretary General, Islamic Cultural Centre of Rome

Giovanni Roncari, Bishop, Pitigliano-Sovana-Orbetello-Grosseto Diocese, Tuscany (RIDE member)

David Rosen, International Director of Inter-religious Affairs, American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Gerardo Santomauro, Mayor, Ventotene Island

Gabriele Segre, Director, Vittorio Dan Segre Foundation

Giovanni Stanghellini, Santa Chiara Lab, Siena University; Italian Secretariat, PRIMA Foundation

Davide Tassi, Head, Sustainability and csr ENAV Group; President, Sustainability Italiae, Cultura Italiae (RIDE member)

Loredana Teodorescu, Head, European and International Affairs, Luigi Sturzo Institute

Alexandra Valkenburg, Head, EU Delegation to the Holy See, Order of Malta, UN organisations in Rome, Republic of San Marino

Giovanni Zanolo, President, Inter-religious Studies Academy (ISA)


Enrico Molinaro, Secretary-General, RIDE; President, Mediterranean Perspectives

Greta Spreafico, RIDE Acting Secretariat Coordinator