26-01-2018

7th High-level Meeting of the Parliaments of the “5+5 Dialogue” Member States

7th High-level Meeting of the Parliaments of the “5+5 Dialogue” Member States
The 7th High level Meeting of parliaments of the West Mediterranean "5+5 Dialogue" Member States took place in Algiers, on 20 January 2018, hosted by the two Chambers of the Parliament of Algeria. The conference was dedicated to “Western Mediterranean: promoting inclusive, shared and sustainable economic and social development facing common challenges in the region”. 
 
During the parliamentary meeting, built on a series of round tables, parliamentarians and experts had the opportunity to share ongoing and scheduled activities on key topics such as Regional Security and Stability, Counter Terrorism, Socio-Economic development and Trade Facilitation, the Job market, Mass Migrations, Youth, Education and Vocational Training.  Delegates unanimously noted that the 5+5 Forum is a privileged platform, both at the level of parliamentary dialogue and intergovernmental cooperation, to better understand and tackle those phenomena of concern to the region.
 
Concerning security challenges, there was a general consensus that the Mediterranean countries will not be able to resolve the issue of terrorism, violent extremism and migration without dedicated geopolitical solutions for the Sahel, Libya and the Middle East. In particular, with reference to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the delegates reiterated their support for the Two-State solution, in accordance with international law. 
 
For what concerns Libya, they stressed the importance of safeguarding the territorial integrity of Libya, as well as its national sovereignty, calling for a political solution based on agreements signed under the auspices of the United Nations. 
 
On Terrorism, the delegates strongly recommended the establishment of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and combat terrorism, violent extremism, organized crime and illegal migration, to address in a coherent manner all aspects of these phenomena. This strategy, dedicated to the broad PAM region, should include the 5+5 countries, in cooperation with the UN. Special attention should be dedicated to legislative and juridical cooperation in criminal matters, to secure to justice the Terrorist Foreign Fighters (FTF) escaping from Syria and Iraq. In this regard, the threat represented by the return of the FTFs to the countries of origin, was of extreme concern.
 
During the session on economic challenges, parliamentarians stressed the importance of North-South and South-South trade and economic exchanges, including the free movement of persons and goods in the region, trade facilitation, investments to support SMEs, and vocational training. Particular attention was paid to unemployment, youth and women, suggesting a better link between skills, training and business requirements, as well as training opportunities at the Mediterranean level. 
 
Migration, as a structural phenomenon from Africa towards the southern Mediterranean countries and Europe, was analysed in detail, with particular reference to the situation in the Sahel and its implications for the Mediterranean. The delegates underlined the need to develop a shared regional approach to migration, by linking it with development and addressing its causes, in order to ensure sustainable economic and social development, absorb unemployment, as well as the effective management of migration flows in a legal and human way.
 
Concerning the social dimension, parliamentarians identified as the many challenges the lack of trust and communication between citizens and institutions; the spreading of violent extremism and radicalization and the need to respect human rights. Investing in education, as a tool of countering violent extremism and terrorism; supporting women’s activism, fighting social inequalities and restoring human rights as a fundamental value, were among the key priorities identified at national and regional level. 
 
Finally, given the transversality of the challenges spelled out at the meeting, parliamentarians agreed to organize a series of thematic workshops building on a structured exchange of best practices and lessons learned on specific issues, including the recent programmes of de-radicalization and reintegration of women and children returning from war zones. They also unanimously expressed the need to reinforce further the parliamentary dimension of the 5+5 Dialogue, by associating PAM to other sectors of the 5+5 Dialogue, including thematic meetings dedicated to economy, culture and defence, as already decided at the previous parliamentary meeting of the 5+5 Dialogue held in Marseille in 2016. 
 
In accordance with the established practice, the parliamentary meeting of the 5+5 took place on the eve of the 14th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 5+5 Dialogue, held on 21 January. PAM attended and contributed at the ministerial conference at the kind invitation of the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Abdelkader Messahel.  The PAM delegation, composed by President Hon. Pedro Roque, Vice-President Sen. Tahar Kellil, and Secretary General Ambassador Sergio Piazzi, attended the ministerial event, where they presented the recommendations resulting from the parliamentary meeting. The ministerial Forum represented an excellent opportunity for PAM delegates to share views with, among others, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Portugal and the EU Commissioner.
 
 
 
The ministers' discussions focused on inclusive, shared, and sustainable economic development, youth employment, and migration, the latest developments in Libya, the Sahel, Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East, as well as terrorism and the fight against radicalisation. //
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MEDIA INFORMATION:  01/2018
issued on 25.01.2018
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Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean