The current edition of the Hub Newsletter, due to be published last December, was postponed to allow for the introduction of two significant changes. Firstly, from now on we will publish every three months, rather than every two. Secondly, you will notice from the photo above that the Hub has a new Director. I, Brigadier General Davide Re, was honored to replace Brigadier General Ignazio Lax as the new Hub Director last November and I would like to take this opportunity to wish him well in his new professional appointment.
The closing two months of 2019 were particularly busy. Apart from the hectic run up to the holiday period, we were focused on the finalization of our 2020 Knowledge Production Plan (KPP) which sets out our activity and focus for the current year. Several high level meetings, at both political and military levels, resulted in over 40 different work strands for the Hub to work on during 2020 being identified. Many of these will focus on the main challenges we share with our Partners, especially as the impact of issues such as climate change, emergency preparedness and response activities, human trafficking, access to new technologies, terrorism and radicalization continue to increase in certain regions.
Staff from both NATO and the European Union (EU) attended the Director Generals’ Conference at the end of November, where I provided a presentation on the Hub. This was a great opportunity to capitalize on existing NATO and EU interaction and mutual understanding and to highlight the progress the Hub is making in its mission.
Also at the end of November, I addressed the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Mediterranean, giving a presentation on the role of NATO and International Community activities in the global Fight Against Terrorism, including the phenomena of radicalization and Foreign Terrorist Fighters.
A highlight in December was the opportunity to conduct, in collaboration with ACT, a very successful Energy Security Study Day attended by participants from a multitude of organizations including the African Union (AU), CPEWD, ECOWAS, FAO, PAM and the UN Department of Safety and Security, to name but a few. The success of this event was confirmed by the subsequent invitation for the Hub to present its findings at the annual NATO Roundtable on Energy Security, a high level event which brings together representatives from international organizations and think tanks from around the globe to discuss recent energy developments and their security implications for the Alliance.
The New Year has proved to be just as busy. I have already had the pleasure of visiting the AU in Addis Ababa where I met with Amb. SACKO, Amb. CERGUI, Amb. NGOGA and Amb. MORTEN in order to better synchronize our common activities. The goal is to better comprehend the arising common and future global challenges, such as Maritime Security and Piracy, Terrorism, Trans-national Crime in the Sahel and the Protection of Civilians, all of which need to be tackled in a strong, more effective joint effort.
So, as the new Hub Director I would like to welcome all of you, new or not so new, to the Hub and invite you to visit our website (www.TheSouthernHub.org) to keep abreast of Hub achievements and those of our precious Partners.