On the 26th of May, a meeting of the Helsinki Policy Forum (HPF) steering group took place in Helsinki, hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. It was attended by representatives from across Europe and the Gulf-MENA region and provided a timely opportunity to discuss recent developments. These included ongoing negotiations over the JCPOA; the humanitarian situation in Syria; and the recent violence in Israel-Palestine. Long-term challenges were also explored, such as improving pandemic preparedness and how to address mounting water insecurity across the region.

The meeting also provided a space to plan forthcoming activities of the Forum in the second half of 2021.