The MEM Summer Summit 2020 soon online

Institutional Communication Service

24 August 2020

The MEM Summer Summit 2020 will air on the website www.mem-summersummit.ch on Saturday, 29 August at 9 am. The new online format will bring together – from USI Lugano campus Aula magna and from remote - 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 into Italian. As usual, young change-makers will be given the extraordinary opportunity to actively participate in the panels by sharing their insights with the speakers and the audience.

To open the event, the welcome address by Boas Erez, Rector of Università della Svizzera italiana, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Following, a keynote by Gilles Kepel, Professor at USI and PLS Paris Sciences et Lettres-École Normale Supérieure. Soon after, the interview with Monika Schmutz Kirgöz, Swiss Ambassador in Beirut, on the dramatic situation in Lebanon.

The MEM Summer Summit will then continue with the first panel on new geopolitical configurations in the region "From Westlessness to civil wars and social upheavals across the region: towards a new deal in the Geopolitics of the MENA region". The panel will feature Nassif Hitti, former Lebanese Foreign Minister, Fuad Mohammed Hussein, Iraqi Foreign Minister (to be confirmed), Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and Yasmin El Habak, young "change-maker" of the MEM region. Gilles Kepel will moderate the discussion.

Following the first panel, an interview with Maha El-Adawy, Doctor, Director of the Division of Health Protection and Promotion, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The second panel “The Middle East Mediterranean region in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the oil market crash: lessons from Libya” will feature Patrick Pouyanné (Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Total, France), Mustafa Sanalla (National Oil Corporation, Libya), Giampiero Massolo (President of the Institute for International Political Studies and President of Fincantieri, Italy) and Dimitrios Papachristou, young "change-maker" of the MEM region. Luca Fasani, RSI journalist, will moderate the discussion.

Following the second panel, an interview with Pio Wennubst, Permanent Representative, Mission of Switzerland to FAO, IFAD, WFP in Rome.

The third panel "The challenging issues of art and culture for the Middle East Mediterranean region" will reflect on the challenges and opportunities faced by art and culture in the MEM region. It will feature Lazare Eloundou Assomo (Director of Culture and Emergencies in the Culture Sector, UNESCO, France), Ahmed Mater, Saudi Arabian artist (with the artwork exhibition "Prognosis"), Rachid Koraichi, Algerian artist (with the exhibition of the project "Garden of Africa"), Claudia Sosai, young "change-maker" of the MEM region. Diana Segantini will moderate the panel.

The final act of the MEM Summer Summit will leave room to the young people of the region with some video testimonies and the premiere of the short by Nour Nasreldin entitled "Muted City".

Also for this online edition, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) could count on the crucial support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation (the Middle East and North Africa Division), the City of Lugano and the Media partnership with SRG SSR - RSI.

More information on panel content: www.mem-summersummit.ch/forum/