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Danish-Arab Partnership Programme enters 2nd decade

More than 500 people attended the ten-year anniversary of the Danish Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) held on Friday, November 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

KVINFO at the celebration of the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme

By Nidal Abu Arif 

First launched in 2003, DAPP is a long-term initiative based on development goals laid down by the first UNDP Arab Human Development Report. DAPP promotes reform and democratization and works to strengthen dialogue, partnership and mutual understanding between Denmark and the countries of the MENA region. Over the past ten years, more than 200 Danish and 600 Arab partners have participated in activities supported by DAPP.

The event gave participants a unique opportunity to meet a wide range of partners from Denmark and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It was not only attended by interested parties, but also by a large number of Danish and Arab organizations.

"We are here today to pay tribute to many women and men, young and old, who struggled tirelessly to strengthen the ties between our peoples and our countries," Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation, made clear in his welcoming speech. "We are here to praise the many significant projects that help contribute to strengthening democracy, respect for human rights and freedom of the media and which also help to create jobs," Friis Bach said.

Danish-Arab Partnership Programme enters 2nd decadeA panel consisting of Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Møller; Mr. Jeppe Kofod, Member of The Folketing, Dr Omaima Abou-Bakr of Cairo University; and Mr. Oraib Al-Rantawi of the Al_Quds Centre for Politics Studies in Amman debated a number of the current challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa - and reflected on how the DAPP can make a positive contribution in the future.

Reactions to the event were overwhelmingly positive
"The fact that you could walk around and visit the different organizations was a great idea, and having a constant change of format – from stage to mingling, from debate to entertainment – made it refreshing and entertaining," said Ms. Nadia Masri-Pedersen, who attended the event.

"Initiatives like DAPP are essential in order to foster mutual understanding. I believe that through mutual partnerships based on equal cooperation, we are able to address some of the challenges we face in our different contexts."

"It was a good opportunity to meet all the DAPP's partners and hear the debate about future cooperation between Denmark and the MENA region," said Slim Gizani, manager of the Future Leaders of Tunisia project. "We see how proud they [partners and participants] are about their work, and what they're delivering to the youth."

"It was a very good experience," he added. The event was hosted by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU).
For more information, go to: www.dapp.dk