On the 18th and 19th of September, Tunisia witnessed the 5th International Conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Movement for the Defense of Refugees and Migrants in Exile, launched by Amel Association International and Samusocial, with the participation of dozens of actors, decision-makers, influencers, and human rights and labor activists. This conference focused on the migrants and refugees crisis in Europe.

This conference came as a complementary step to the series of conferences that started in Paris on October 2017, according to the initiative: “The Three Ls: Lebanon, Lampadusa, Lesbos – as a Model of Solidarity with Refugees and Migrants”, especially in light of the large number of individuals who have died during the Mediterranean crossing, this initiative challenges the dominance of isolationism and factional rhetoric in most countries of the West, especially in Europe, which closes its borders and leaves the refugees to die.

Dr. Kamel Mohanna, President of Amel Association International and the General Coordinator of the Lebanese NGO’s network presented an intervention centered on sustainable proposals to receive migrants and empower them to adapt and integrate effectively in society, without neglecting their dignity. He also stressed the need to work to generalize a culture of solidarity in the face of isolationism prevailing in the West countries.

In his speech, Dr. Mohanna also criticized the European isolationist positions against immigrants, which contradict the principles and laws advocated by these countries, especially Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, calling on states to contribute to the implementation of political solutions to crises in the world and to humanize issues and solidarity with refugees and with people everywhere from this world, regardless of their affiliation, color or nationality. This is a philosophy pursued by Amel in advocating for the refugee crisis in Lebanon and protecting society from clashes.

Dr. Mohanna also explained the model of change offered by Amel, which supports people in Lebanon through 25 centers, 6 mobile clinics, two educational units and one specialized unit for the care of street-based children in Beirut. The association also works to change the dominant culture in the Arab world of returning to the narrow and fanatic affiliations! Its basic message is: Promoting humanity regardless of religious, political or cultural backgrounds.

Additionally, Dr. Mohanna explained how Amel has become an international association, a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, and a global leader: driving forward human resistance for humanitarian action to be committed to working with grassroots groups. He reminded the audience that  Amel’s work is based on 5 pillars: supporting fair causes  of the people in particular the Palestinian cause; rejecting double standards between East and West; working for the equitable distribution of wealth, through building a state of social justice, so that the public sector is supervising the private sector that seeks only profits and not causes, while NGOs spouse to represent the pressure of correcting policies of both the public and private sector, in addition to advocate for the fair causes of the people, in particular the Palestinian cause.