The Members of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) met on 4 to 6 July 2017 in Athens mainly to discuss the progress of the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD) a strategic guiding document for all stakeholders and partners to translate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the regional, sub-regional and national levels.

In its capacity as advisory body to the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, the MCSD addresses and provides substantial contribution to the Contracting Parties to assist them in their efforts to integrate environmental issues, sustainability considerations, and global processes in their socioeconomic programmes. MIO-ECSDE was on the Steering Group of the MCSD during the previous biennium (2015-2017) while it has been a member since its inception more than two decades ago.

Good practices and also challenges encountered so far were highlighted during this 17th meeting of the MCSD, together with specific aspects of the strategy’s implementation such as the Simplified Peer Review Mechanism (SIMPEER) of National Strategies for Sustainable Development, the MSSD monitoring indicators and the flagship initiatives. The Mediterranean Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development – promoted by MIO-ECSDE – was among the flagship initiatives presented at the meeting.

During the meeting the new MCSD Steering Committee was elected for the next biennium (July 2017 – June 2019). COMPSUD was elected as Vice President and RAED was as Rapporteur. The President of the MCSD Steering Group is Greece, while the other Vice Presidents are: Albania, Israel, Tunisia and the Med-SDSN.

The MCSD is a forum for debate, mobilising work on priority themes for the Mediterranean with a unique composition, engaging the participation of representatives from countries and stakeholders, on an equal footing. The Commission is composed of 40 members representing each of the 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, as well as three representatives from each of the following groups of stakeholders: local authorities; NGOs; socio-economic actors; scientific community; intergovernmental organizations; regional parliamentary associations.