SHADE MED 2020: the conclusions of the virtual forum and the challenges for 2021
December 1, 2020
The ninth edition of the Conference SHADE MED 2020 – “Shared Awareness and De-confliction for the Mediterranean Sea” took place last week: the first from the inception of Operation IRINI. The forum was organized by the Operational Headquarters of Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI located in Rome.
For two intense days of work, the conference – in virtual mode for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions – hosted high-level speakers to draw a picture of the complex situation that Mediterranean area is experiencing.
With 250 connected participants from 30 nations and 50 organizations involved, the Shade Med 2020 represented a unique opportunity to meet (albeit virtually), exchange good practices, information and experiences between the many and different actors involved: from the armed forces to the coast guards of the states bordering the Mediterranean, from international institutions such as United Nations, NATO and the European Union passing through NGOs to the representatives of the governments that are most interested in the Mediterranean question.
Operation Irini (named after the Greek goddess for “peace”) was planned in a very short timeframe and launched on 31 March 2020, following a decision by the Council of the European Union. The main task is the implementation of the arms embargo on Libya under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The Operation also has secondary tasks including monitoring illegal oil trafficking from Libya, contributing to countering human trafficking and smuggling activities (through air monitoring) and contributing to the training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy.