CUF Conference: 3rd Rendez-vous on Territorial Diplomacy

29 May 2024

Following the success of Cités Unies France’s second Rendez-vous on Territorial Diplomacy, which recently brought together researchers, members of Parliament and local authorities to discuss the Africa-France partnership at the Senate, CUF is inviting its members to the French National Assembly on 26 June. For this third edition, the conference will be dedicated to the ‘Diplomacy of local and regional authorities faced with the crises in the Middle East’.

The repeated crises in the Middle East, marked by persistent diplomatic deadlocks, are a complex subject to decipher. Historical, political and religious tensions have created a multifaceted environment in which there are antagonistic players driven by different interests. Conflicts between Israel and Palestine, civil war in Syria, tensions in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon are all factors contributing to a perpetual regional crisis.

In this context, the diplomacy of local and regional authorities can play a crucial role. Local and regional authorities in this region are often places of cultural diversity and peaceful coexistence, offering fertile ground for dialogue and conflict resolution.

Initiatives by local authorities, cooperation between cities, forums for dialogue and cultural exchanges can help to build bridges between communities and promote mutual understanding. They can serve as platforms for regional cooperation and the building of solidarity networks. By encouraging economic, social and cultural exchanges, local authorities can help to build trust and create an environment conducive to conflict resolution. But diplomacy by local authorities can only be a complement to national and international diplomatic efforts. To resolve the conflicts in the Middle East, it is essential that regional and international governments make a serious commitment to dialogue and the search for peaceful solutions. Cooperation between cities and states is therefore essential in tackling the region’s complex challenges.

Local authorities on the front line

Today the world is once again going through a major crisis, affecting Europe and the Middle East in particular. The risks of escalation and extension of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has already caused countless deaths and destruction among the civilian population, are high. In this difficult situation, local authorities here and abroad are in the front line in proposing solutions, calling for peace and defending the right of young people to a normal life and a future. Our mayors and presidents, often with very limited resources at their disposal, put their political commitment above all else, and they assume the responsibilities that their mandate imposes on them with courage and determination.

A number of exceptional guests will be present; journalists, researchers and mayors have already confirmed their attendance. They include :

  • Pascal Boniface, Director of the Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques
  • Pierre Haski, former correspondent for Agence France-Presse and the newspaper Libération, President of Reporters Without Borders since 2017 and director of the geopolitical column on France Inter’s radio morning programme 7/9 since August 2018
  • Clothilde Mraffko, freelance journalist, reporter for Le Monde, Arte and Médiapart.

Former Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will also be present.

More information on CUF website.

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