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The Third Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability

 

 

“This initiative is being carried out within the context of a number of cooperation schemes being promoted by Greece. Through a proactive and multidimensional foreign policy, a bridge-building network is being created between the countries of the region.

Through these initiatives, Greece’s position as a pillar of stability is being enhanced and recognised. Also being enhanced is international confidence in the ability of Greek foreign policy to promote a broader understanding for meeting the challenges of the wider neighbourhood.”

 

The Rhodes Ministerial Conference for Security and Stability, which was being held for the third consecutive year (Rhodes, 21-22 June 2018), is a special Greek foreign policy initiative. With the participation of 25 high-ranking delegations from countries of Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the UN, Arab cooperation organisations and observers from Colombia, Indonesia and Vietnam, the Conference pursues to be a bridge between countries of the wider neighbourhood.

The Greek delegation was headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, who chaired the Conference proceedings.

The ‘Spirit of Rhodes’ – as it was spontaneously named by participants – promotes a positive agenda for cooperation in a number of sectors (e.g., tourism, education, innovation, digital economy, environmental and technological cooperation). But it also aspires to evolve into something greater.

In an environment of multiple challenges for the region, as well as major prospects for cooperation and joint development, this year’s conference endeavoured to lay the foundations for the institutional establishment of a new security structure in the region, on the model of the OSCE and the Helsinki Final Act.

At the conference, the participants aimed to analyse and assess the current security challenges in the region and take a step further towards the implementation of the idea, put forward at the 2nd Rhodes Conference, for a dialogue and cooperation platform for security and stability in the region.

 

“The ‘Spirit of Rhodes’ aspires to evolve into something greater; seeking new ways to enhance regional cooperation in various sectors, to the benefit of the peoples of the region.”

 

The Conference also sought new ways to enhance regional cooperation in various sectors, to the benefit of the peoples of the region.

Guided by the principles of transparency, solidarity, connectivity, non-exclusion, unanimity in decision making, good neighbourly relations and respect for International Law, this new structure undertakes to safeguard what unifies the region’s peoples and brings them closer together. Rather than dealing exclusively with problems, they propose finding solutions through cooperation, trust, mutual understanding and respect for broader cooperation between countries and peoples.

More specifically, the subject of the conference was ‘The Spirit of Rhodes: Shaping a Positive Agenda for Stability and Prosperity’. The proceedings began on 21st of June, with a consideration of the geopolitical challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean (First Session), and continued with a discussion on shaping a new security structure (Second Session). Recognising the importance of modern economic growth for the region’s stability and prosperity, the Third Session, which took place on June 22nd, focused on seeking ways to cooperate on Digital Economy issues. The Minister for Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Nikos Pappas, moderated the discussion.

This initiative is being carried out within the context of a number of cooperation schemes being promoted by Greece. Through a proactive and multidimensional foreign policy, a bridge-building network is being created between the countries of the region. Through these initiatives, Greece’s position as a pillar of stability is being enhanced and recognised. Also being enhanced is international confidence in the ability of Greek foreign policy to promote a broader understanding for meeting the challenges of the wider neighbourhood.

The head of Greek diplomacy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias pictured above with:

  1. President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák.
  2. Foreign Minister of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides.
  3. Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani and Assistant Minister for Human Rights and International Law of the United Arab Emirates Ahmed Al-Jarman.
  4. Minister for Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Nikos Pappas.
  5. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine Riyad al-Maliki.
  6. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati
  7. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Emilia Kraleva.
  8. with the Deputy Minister of Egypt.

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