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The 9th ARLEM plenary session attended by Republic of Srpska Representative

The Head of the Republic of Srpska Representation in Brussels participated in the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) in Giza, Egypt on 21 February 2018, on the subject of women's empowerment and participation. The Assembly provided an opportunity to determine the priorities for the activities in the current ARLEM mandate and debate two thematic reports, on women empowerment in the Mediterranean region and on combating radicalization and violent extremism among young people in the Mediterranean. It was also an good occasion to build synergies between ARLEM activities and the Congress’ South-Med Partnership programme.

Welcoming the two reports, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, co-chairman of ARLEM and President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "Social exclusion, poverty and marginalisation inside and outside the EU feed violent radicalisation. Only through more cooperation and more investment can we reduce inequality, create jobs for young people, and promote community integration, all of which is only possible if there is action at the local level. It is also critically important that the local leaders gathered here today – from Morocco to Germany, and from Ireland to Albania – support women's empowerment and condemn all forms of abuse. This requires increasing women's participation in politics and business and taking action to protect women. The starting point must be increasing educational opportunities for all."

ARLEM also adopted recommendations confirming that local leaders share the goals agreed in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals – to make local communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. President Lambertz said: "That is a solid basis for cooperation in the years ahead and we have a useful platform dealing with this topic within the Union for the Mediterranean. We also have an inspiring example of cooperation to emulate: for the past two years, Libyan cities have come together to forge partnerships with European cities."

ARLEM brings together representatives of local and regional government in the EU – most of them members of the European Committee of the Regions – and their counterparts from Mediterranean states from the western Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.

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