top of page

THE MENA2050
GREEN PROSPERITY MANIFESTO

Preamble
Prosperity has always been seen as more than wealth. The very etymology of “prosperous” and the historical use of the term contain the ideas of success, happiness, favorable circumstances, growth, and optimism. In classical European painting, prosperity was represented in allegories as a mix of good fortune and behavior, wealth, and peace, and the flourishing of cultural life blended with a sense of liberty and joyfulness.

This traditional meaning of prosperity resonates with modern visions of human rights, dignity, and sustainable development, as it implies the conditions for a meaningful and fulfilling life and not just survival or the satisfaction of meeting one’s basic needs and being shielded from poverty.

A meaningful and fulfilling life requires more than the full benefit of all the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); it implies enjoying the rights and responsibilities of a committed and empowered citizen and living in a creative society thriving with cultural vibrancy and entertainment, because human beings have an inherent spiritual dimension and need pleasurable and recreational
activities.

Human dignity is not a minimalist but rather a maximalist requirement.

The dignity of our mind is that we have intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual needs that can only be fulfilled if we achieve more than just our basic needs, and if we feel that we live in a secure environment, as referred to by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP ): economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, and political security.
Assuming that all nations would provide for and enjoy all these favorable elements, prosperity would still not be achieved without environmental performance and climate resilience.

Indeed, a damaged and polluted environment and extreme climate events and disasters can certainly crash economies and break social life. Furthermore, they have the potential to undermine most human rights - all derived from the principle of human dignity - such as the right to health, the right to housing, the right to universal access to energy, the right to education, the right to work, and the right to move freely, because of their devastating and disruptive consequences.

Human dignity and the dignity of the Earth are interlinked and interdependent: one cannot live a dignified life on a devastated planet.

Hence, prosperity today depends on an ambitious and successful climate and environmental mobilization at the local, national, regional, and global levels.
Therefore, we at MENA2050 define prosperity as the combination of wealth, well-being, security, and environmental regeneration. There is a powerful and transformational guiding matrix available to us to advance sustainable development, peace, and a more humane world: A Green Prosperity agenda.
 
Thus, advancing Green Prosperity in the local, regional, and global agendas is much more than a political, economic, or technological dynamic.
 
The concept of Green Prosperity is aligned with people’s aspirations for freedom, a sense of fulfilment, and the quest for a meaningful life alongside the pursuit of happiness, rather than just survival, development, or wealth for its own sake.
 
It is civilizational.
 
It is another way to demonstrate that committed international relations and cooperation are not abstract but profoundly humane. It is another way to show that what we call the “international community” is the institutional translation of human brotherhood and must be governed accordingly.
 
Green growth
 
As we recognize that humankind as a whole should aspire to better conditions of living, no emerging, developing, and least developed country will renounce its legitimate right to growth, nor to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
 
Therefore, we must all embark on a resolute quest for green growth with the aim and imperative to collectively achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce anthropic climate change to the 1.5 Celsius degree’s objective of the Paris Agreement.
 
In doing so, we must keep at all times a high sense of social and climate justice, shared efforts, fairness, and equity in our international system.
 
To this end, we must harness the power of innovation and of civil society initiatives that can become institutionalized and regionally or internationally spread by networks of partners, public-private partnerships and, as new tools of sustainability diplomacy, bilateral or plurilateral inter-governmental agreements.
 
In this regard, we call and will act for the creation of a MENA Carbon Credit Development Fund which would re-tool regional cooperation by converting carbon credits and revenues of carbon taxes to the benefits of on-the-ground projects in need of support for their implementation and expansion.
 
This new type of fund for sustainably would be, in essence, a swaps mechanism through donating part of the carbon credits or of tax collection to support projects, in particular in domains of  action and in countries or territories deprived from adequate access to climate, environmental and sustainable development finance.
 
The proposed Carbon Credit Development Fund would coalesce innovation, action, climate justice, solidarity, regional integration, and inter-regional cooperation.
 
As illustrated by the foreseen Carbon Credit Development Fund, the Green Prosperity matrix reflects the fact that by necessity, but also through genuine commitment and a thirst for innovation - two key characteristics of human nature - we are entering into a new economic paradigm, a new social contract, and a new civilization, digital and net zero.
Green prosperity and the imperative to reenergize multilateralism
The successful negotiation, signing, ratification, and entry into force of the Paris Climate Agreement was the first embodiment of the new, hybrid multilateralism of the 21st century, characterized by intense dialogue and deep cooperation between States and Non-State Actors.
 
Despite the trend of regionalism and a multipolarity that is diverging rather than converging to protect our global commons - the lands, seas, and atmosphere that we share - multilateralism is still alive and must be reenergized.
 
The conflictual fragmentation of the international system is harmful in an ever more interconnected and interdependent world facing global existential challenges.
 
Regional and inter-regional organizations and advanced cooperation on a voluntary basis, as well as at the Community and inter-communities Levels, such as MENA2050, act as fundamental building blocks towards multilateral disciplines and solidarity in a multipolar world and have the power to help maintain the compass of the Common Good in turbulent times and in a world in upheaval.
What can the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region do for itself and bring to the world?
 
The MENA region uniquely suffers from exacerbated climate and environmental challenges: extreme heat, droughts and systemic hydric stress, desertification, soil degradation, high and unmanaged human urban concentration, food insecurity, high pollution levels, and big amounts of untreated waste.
 
This is in part the result of demographic vitality and underdevelopment, and in turn, these climate and environmental damages adversely affect socioeconomic parameters, the quality of life, security, and governance standards.
This is to say that more than in most other parts of the world, climate, environment, and socioeconomic challenges are truly urgent and existential in the MENA region, and represent a global security and development issue, which calls for international support and cooperation.
 
On the other hand, the MENA region, situated at one of globalization's crossroads, with its youth, generous human energy, talents, creativity, abundant energy resources, and immense clean and renewable energy potential, holds the keys to game-changing solutions.
 
These solutions, based on technologies, methodologies, and patterns of success can benefit other very vulnerable parts of the world.
 
Key innovative regional MENA pilot-projects focus primarily but not exclusively on climate and environmental action, energy policies, efficient waste management, biodiversity preservation, agricultural innovations, and the strengthening of food security.
Because of the complexity, intensity, and urgency of the challenges and threats that characterize the Middle East and North Africa region, many endogenous solutions have a high degree of applicability in other vulnerable geographical areas, and at the global level.
 
The MENA region is characterized by an extremely climatic and arid region, critical vulnerability to worldwide trends, an incomparable mix of historic depth combined with a multicultural tissue, and unique status as the cradle of the three monotheist religions and therefore its deep spirituality. Thus, the MENA region and its civil society actors and initiatives such as MENA2050 have a fundamental orientation and motives to contribute to the renewed commitment of the Heads of State and of Government. Paragraph 2 of the Charter of the United Nations in the Millennium Declaration of September 8, 2000, stipulates: “We recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level”.
 
This formulation is to be seen as multilateral diplomacy's translation of the higher ideal of the Common Good. It is further clarified in Paragraph 6 of the Millennium Declaration, which outlines the values considered “essential to international relations in the twenty-first century: freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, and shared responsibility”.
Since then, the Millennium Development Goals have deepened the holistic approach to the allinclusiveness and interrelationship between human rights, sustainability, and human development. It was completed by the vision of the roles of culture, intercultural understanding, and interfaith dialogue for achieving in a systemic way the universal ideal of human dignity and brotherhood. The vision was put into practice with the creation of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).
The MENA region that our children and grandchildren deserve
The MENA2050 Green Prosperity Manifesto also responds to the region’s youth's immediate and future needs and, in particular, supports another multilateral commitment of the international community enshrined in the UNICEF Declaration “A World Fit for Children”. This Declaration states: “We stress our commitment to create a world fit for children in which sustainable human development, taking into account the best interests of the child, is founded on principles of democracy, equality, non-discrimination, peace and social justice and the universality, indivisibility, interdependence, and interrelatedness of all human rights, including the right to development.”
 
Our goal is to form partnerships and networks to deploy a holistic and inclusive agenda of Green Prosperity, that deals in an integrated manner with climate change mitigation and adaptation, the green economy, the energy-water-waste management nexus, smart urbanization, renewable and clean energies including civil nuclear energy and natural gas as a transition to cleaner sources of fuel such as green hydrogen, digitalization, the fight against desertification and soils depredation, agricultural innovation and food security, education and technology dissemination, public health advances, support to SMEs, startups and green jobs, mobilization of climate, and responsible finance.
 
In doing so, it is our strong conviction at MENA2050 that socioeconomic progress, sustainabilityoriented regional integration and inter-regional cooperation, co-development and trade between equals, the fight against climate change and for environmental and biodiversity protection and interfaith and intercultural dialogue have a virtuous transformational power conductive to appeasement, future political and diplomatic progress, stabilization, and hopefully a lasting peace and reconciliation nurtured by shared prosperity, solidarity, and the pride in common achievements.
The imperative of Green Prosperity for all
The MENA2050 Green Prosperity Manifesto and the committed public and private actors and communities who will coalesce around it are laying a strategic path for a better and more humane future for our region. They are also creating a new paradigm that can help build the sustainable multipolar multilateralism that our world so badly needs for its own good and survival.
 
Further, this aligns with the theme of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020, which must resonate in every human conscience with a sense of urgency and of vital imperative: “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism.”
 
In the future, multilateralism will be reinvented by empowered citizens and regions committed to the compass of the Common Good.
 
The MENA region can, and must can take it’s in the reorganization of the international system so as to enhance our collective resilience in front of global and existential perils such as climate change and pandemics or systemic risks such as cyber criminality and environmental crimes.
 
Green Prosperity and the reinvention of sustainable multilateralism are therefore a single undertaking of paramount importance for our region and beyond.
 
Our actions in the next ten years on climate change, sustainable development, technology, and human security will determine the kind of world in which mankind will live for the rest of the century.
Climate change can be converted from humankind’s biggest threat into humanity’s most prosperous and transformational odyssey.
 
Action is not an option. Action is a sure win.

bottom of page