Intervention – Conférence Malta VIII « Comment les Sciences et la Culture peuvent transcender les conflits au Moyen-Orient »

Lundi 11 décembre – Intervention de Frédérique DUMAS lors de la Conférence de Malta VIII qui se déroule du 11 au 15 décembre. Cette année le  thème de la conférence  est « Frontiers of science : Research and Education in the Middle East. A bridge to peace. »

Depuis sa création en 2003, The Malta Conferences Foundation (MCF) est un événement unique où des scientifiques de seize pays du Moyen-Orient et d’Afrique de Nord (MENA) peuvent passer cinq jours avec des lauréats du prix Nobel et collaborer sur les enjeux liés àl’éducation scientifique et technologique,  la pénurie d’eau, les nanotechnologies, la chimie et le nucléaire, la sécurité et les énergies vertes. The Malta Conferences Foundation (MCF) répond ainsi au désir commun d’améliorer la qualité de la vie et la stabilité politique au Moyen-Orient, et d’identifier des opportunités de partenariat pour répondre aux défis scientifiques et technologiques de la région.

Retrouvez l’intégralité de l’intervention de Madame Frédérique DUMAS, Députée des Hauts-de-Seine et Vice-présidente de la Commission des Affaires culturelles et de l’Education ci-après : 

Madam President (Zafra Lerman),
Her Excellency (Marie Louise Coleiro Preca),
Honorable minister (Evarist Bartolo),
Nobel laureates,
Distinguished scientists participants, professors,
Dear friends

If I am here with you today, it is because, like you, I believe in scientific and technological cooperation. Science, as an international language, constitutes a privileged instrument to create and maintain exchanges between different societies. It also makes it possible to share knowledge to develop mutual understanding and common interests conducive to establish or to relaunch political dialogue.

France invested a great deal in scientific diplomacy. It is committed to closely involve the scientific world in foreign policy issues.

First of all, this investment takes place bilaterally. Indeed, France has close scientific ties with thirty countries across all continents. It has also implemented a number of bilateral partnerships, such as the Hubert Curien Program (PHC), the Franco-American and Franco-Canadian research mutual funds, and the Franco-Indian center for the promotion of advanced research.

But above all, France is trying to strengthen this cooperation at the multilateral level. In the globalized world in which we are living, all actors are interdependent. This means that the problems of some are the problems of others, that the challenges that are shaking certain regions are challenges that shake the world in its entirety and that building a peaceful international system is everyone’s business. A multinational cooperation is, therefore, not only desirable but necessary and indispensable.

At the multilateral level, France is involved in a number of regional scientific partnerships such as math Amsud or Stic Amsud that allow regional cooperation in South America around mathematics or information and communication technologies.

The ministry for Europe and foreign affairs also contributes to maintain the presence on French soil of international scientific organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In this respect, we were extremely proud to host the 5th Malta conference in our capital in 2006.

Thus, I am extremely happy and honored to participate today in this 8th Malta conference, which places science at the heart of international relations, by enabling a real dialogue between scientists of 16 Middle-East and North Africa countries who struggle to meet face to face otherwise, because some of their governments present certain divisions that may seem difficult to overcome. It provides a platform for scientists to work together to address the scientific and technological challenges of the region, by working on issues such as science education, air, water quality and alternative energy sources. All understand that the promotion, circulation and application of knowledge is a key factor in the economic and social development of this region.

This conference has been participating for more than 14 years in the improvement of the quality of life and political stability in the middle east. Its importance does not need to be proven after these fourteen years of action and its achievements, of which i think is important to recall some examples: a working group on drinking water quality assessment by Jordan, the Palestinian authority, Israel, Egypt and Kuwait; the creation of a trans-boundary partnership with Israel, the Palestinian authority and Jordan; an unanimous resolution on the very serious degradation of water quality in Gaza, etc. Such examples has to be stressed especially today, after “the” recent “regrettable decision”…these are the words of the French president.

We all are gathered today with the same objective: to build a bridge between different countries in a region, the Middle East, crossed by complex issues, where traditional diplomacy presents certain limits, where the dialogue and the political ways are broken, and where peace is seriously threatened. We must build this bridge together, by means of science, and i am convinced that it will contribute to make our planet great again.

My last words will be for Malta and Zafra.

Malta is the name of the conference.
Malta is the name of the place where we are together.

It is a symbol: along history, Malta has always been a bridge between South of Europe, North of Africa and Middle East countries. Today, Malta is a land of innovation and experimentation.
So Malta is the appropriate place to develop concrete project in cooperation;
It is a place for you.

And of course I would like to thank Zafra. I know how much she has invested to make this conference possible. She is the heart of this project; thank you to her energy, thank you to her talent, thank you to her generosity. What happens here is not magical, has Zafra said to us yesterday evening. It is a lot of work, networking and influence.

And I would like also to thank Daniel Tieder, Line Hogue and Emma Zajdela; without them, as well, it won’t have been possible.

Zafra, you create a family.

Thank you to you and thank you to all of you.