The MEM Summer Summit has been moved online bringing back the attention on the Middle East Mediterranean region


Institutional Communication Service

28 July 2020

For months the media have talked almost exclusively about COVID-19 and its consequences. Newspaper, radio and TV reports on Syria, Libya, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as on the tragedy of migrants and refugee centres, have almost completely disappeared from the pages of newspapers and from television. But the problems and the conflicts continue, far from the media's eye: the situation in the various countries remains problematic and in some cases has even intensified due to government confinement measures.

This year, because of the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, the MEM Summer Summit will not be held as intended. Circumstances have imposed a format revision: the Seminar will not take place and the Forum has been moved online, with three thematic panels that will air on 29 August 2020 from 9 am (the programme with the speakers will be made public in mid-August).

"MEM 2020 will also in this new format emphasise the role of young people" - underlines Rector Boas Erez. USI has in fact set up a network of correspondents made up of around 300 young change-makers who have been at USI in Lugano in recent years to design and promote change in their respective countries of origin. Their video contributions and talks will help the audience delve into the current situation. Regardless of the pandemic, it is still necessary to carry on with the analysis and reflection on the complexity of the challenges that the Middle East Mediterranean region is facing. 

The Forum will be held online bringing together leaders, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, scholars and intellectuals to discuss pressing issues of the MEM region: from geopolitical configurations to economic dynamics, to the role of art and literature to promote new and positive narratives of the region. The thematic panels will be held online in English and French, with simultaneous translation in Italian. As usual, young people will be given the extraordinary opportunity to actively participate in the panels by exchanging views with the speakers and the audience.

In the meantime, active involvement of the media is essential to maximise the impact of the event: we, therefore, invite all journalists interested in exploring the situation in the region to contact [email protected] and get in touch with the MEM network of experts and young people in the different countries of the Middle East.

Also this year Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) can count on the important support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland (the Middle East and North Africa Division), the City of Lugano and the Media Partnership with SRG SSR - RSI.