PAM 12th Plenary Session Opening Ceremony – Bucharest 15 -16 February 2018

PAM 12th Plenary Session  Opening Ceremony – Bucharest 15 -16 February 2018
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) is holding its 12th Plenary Session in Bucharest, hosted by the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament.
The opening ceremony was addressed by a number of high level distinguished personalities and messages to the Assembly by H.H. Pope Francis and the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres were also read.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament, H.E. Nicolae-Liviu Dragnea, in his welcoming speech referred to the central position of Romania in the migration flows from the South through the Western Balkans. Hon. Dragnea underlined the need for cooperation to face the challenges of massive migration on the economic, social and humanitarian levels. 
“Parliaments have a role to play to support governments in border control and the fight against human trafficking”, Hon. Dragnea added. 
Romania is in favour of political dialogue on issues affecting the Mediterranean region and will assist PAM in its initiatives to promote dialogue, not only through important steps taken at the bilateral and multilateral level, but hopefully also through its candidature to the UN Security Council. 
The Speaker of the Senate of Romania underscored the importance to work on a common platform for the Mediterranean parliaments to address issues related to climate change, while he insisted that new bridges of collaboration are needed to find solutions for the crises in the MENA region related to migration. 
PAM President, H.E. Hon. Pedro Roque (Portugal) referred to the active role of Romania in previous years as associate member which led to the full membership a year ago. Welcoming San Marino as a beacon of liberty and its official membership to PAM after years of interest in PAM, Hon. Roque announced that the Russian Federation expressed the intention to join as an associate member. With reference to regional issues, Hon. Roque said that reconciliation in Libya is needed for the whole region and PAM will help Libya to achieve the best solution for the country and its people. Among the most critical issues in which PAM is particularly active, there are the fight against terrorism, the Middle East region, climate change, trade and protection of migrants. The PAM President recalled that PAM works with multilateral organisations to bring a better living environment in the Mediterranean region.  
In his keynote address, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania, Hon. Teodor Meiescanu, referred to the international political scene marked by confrontation of major political tendencies at the global level, which is bringing conflicts between groups from different civilisations. 
Hon. Meiescanu said the involvement of PAM is crucial to move above the risks of the region. “Intertwined worlds influence each other and are grounded on links between the countries in the area”, Hon. Meiescanu added. In his closing remarks he said that Romanians in the Northern side of the Mediterranean must have a stabilising influence in the region while abiding by the sovereignties of countries in conflict. Terrorism does not have a religion, and must be fought. Terrorism will not succeed through war but through support to state rebuilding. Hon. Meiescani reiterated Romania’s supports to the two-state solution in peaceful coexistence for the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.//
issued on 15.02.2018
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Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean