On 27 May, representatives of the European Union Delegation to Lebanon, Lebanese and international academics in the field of maritime governance, local practitioners in the shipping industry, and representatives of ICMPD held a 2-hour webinar as a first activity in a series of webinars on Lebanon’s maritime domain.
The online event was envisaged as part of the EU funded project Strengthening Capability for Integrated Border Management in Lebanon (IBM Lebanon), which focuses on enhancing Lebanon’s border governance and reinforcing a rights-based approach to border management, while contributing to the security and stability of border communities in Lebanon. Implemented by ICMPD, the project partly focuses on technical assistance to Lebanon in the development and advocacy of a national integrated maritime policy.
Organised by the ICMPD field office in Beirut, in close cooperation with the World Maritime University in Sweden, the webinar highlighted the pre-requisites for sound maritime governance in the Lebanese national context.
The webinar was moderated by Dr Aref Fakhry, Associate Professor at the World Maritime University, who also facilitated the discussion session and took live questions from viewers, which included 60 participants from various sub-fields of the maritime sector, Lebanese Government officials, marine lawyers, and representatives of international organisations including the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Beirut-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX).
The webinar agenda included an in-depth analysis of Lebanon’s national maritime regime, infrastructure and operation, presented by Professor Dr. Manal Nader, Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Balamand in Lebanon, a comprehensive overview of international maritime governance, best practices and legal framework, delivered by Dr Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, Professor and Academic Vice President of the World Maritime University, and an empirical and evidence-based presentation on maritime governance and cooperation in the context of Beirut Port, made by Ms. Jihane Abi Khalil, Managing Director of Adelmar Logistics Sarl, a shipping company founded and managed by Ms. Abi Khalil in Beirut, Lebanon.
During the opening session of the webinar, Mr. Rein Nieland, Head of Operations Section at the European Union Delegation to Lebanon reaffirmed that the maritime domain in Lebanon “… occupies a central place in the EU’s IBM Lebanon programme as well as Lebanon’s own national priorities.”
The “Maritime Lebanon” webinar was concluded by Dr Fakhry’s broad summary of the discussion, focusing on the importance of maritime and marine management in Lebanon, the need to further integrate international actors in this domain in Lebanon, and the fundamental role of civil society as well as the private sector in fostering and developing the maritime sector in Lebanon, highlighting that existing laws need to be implemented.