PAM - a true victory for the skill and perseverance of parliamentary diplomacy

PAM - a true victory for the skill and perseverance of parliamentary diplomacy
The 7th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), was inaugurated on Friday, 12 October, 2012, by the Assembly’s President and Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, H.E. Sen. Dr. Fayez Al-Tarawneh, with a strong message on PAM’s role in adapting to the new and rapidly changing situations in the Mediterranean.
Referring to PAM’s activities so far, H.E. Al-Tarawneh said that the debates have proven to be so effective that they have led to tangible results and increased cooperation in many important fields. With reference to the 5+5 Dialogue meeting held in Malta a week ago, of which PAM represents the parliamentary dimension since 2009, Dr. Al-Tarawneh said that following the conclusions of the Summit, calling for the inclusion in their work plan of energy, food security, migrations, counter-terrorism, environment, education, vocational training and people to people contact, among other areas, it is comforting that the PAM three Standing Committees have identified in Ankara the same priority areas for the coming years.
“PAM now needs to continue to consolidate its institutional and representative role for the Mediterranean through initiatives promoting democracy and socio-economic progress, and the PAM 2nd Strategic and Action Plan for the next five-year period, 2013-2017 explains how we are going to do this”, Sen. Al-Tarawneh said.
The PAM President took the opportunity to extend the wish, for Spain, one of the founding members of the Assembly,  to return to the organization, and also informed the delegates that Mauritania, a member of the 5+5 Dialogue, last week formally requested to join the Assembly.
Sen. Al-Tarawneh also conveyed to the Plenary Session the message by the United Nations Secretary General, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, in which he welcomed the wide-ranging efforts in support of the United Nations and for the work for peace and security in the Mediterranean region and beyond. The UN Secretary General also expressed his appreciation for PAM’s commitment to helping countries in transition by facilitating political disalogue and stengthening civil society.
H.E. Ban Ki-moon also thanked PAM for supporting the efforts of the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria to end the appalling violence there, and the UN‘s work on the Middle East Peace Process.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta, Hon. Dr. Michael Frendo, in his opening address, referred to the establishment of PAM as a true victory for the skill and perseverance of parliamentary diplomacy.
Hon. Frendo said that it is time that everyone starts considering a Mediterranean integration architecture based on the concept of concentric circles in which the sub-regional fits in with the regional. In this context, he augured better interlinking between PAM and the 5+5 Speakers Conference which, albeit, has not met for some time; between PAM and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, and between PAM and any other sub-regional parliamentary initiatives which may be developing in the East of the Mediterranean or elsewhere.
In a concept of concentric circles it is all important to keep PAM as the Parliamentary Assembly of all and of onlythe Mediterranean at the centre of this architecture. “In this way, we can all work to harmonise our resources and - in the spirit of the theory of concentric circles - to complement each other for the increased benefit of the Mediterranean peoples as a whole”, Hon. Frendo said.
The opening ceremony was also addressed by the Head of the Malta Delegation to PAM, Hon. Jesmond Mugliett, the Chairman of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism-Committee, H.E. Amb Hardeep Singh Puri, the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, H.E. Riccardo Migliori, and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly, H.E. William Ferdinand Shija.//
The Assembly then passed to presentation of the work of the 1st Standing Committee on Political and Security-related Cooperation, chaired by PAM Vice President, Hon. Michel Vauzelle (France), on behalf of Hon. Abdelwahed Radi (Morocco), President of the 1st PAM Standing and Committee and President of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU).
Keynote speeches were delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, Hon. Tonio Borg and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya, Mr. Mohamed Emhemed Abdul Aziz.
The Assembly also had the opportunity, during a live video conference from Jerusalem to exchange views with and put questions to H.E. Amb. Robert H. Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the UN Secretary General’s Personal Representative to the PLO and the Palestinian Authoriy.
The delegates, following a summary presentation, adopted the Reports and Resolutions prepared by Hon. George Vella (Malta) on the Middle East Peace Process & Events in the Arab World, and by Hon. Angela Napoli (Italy) on Eco-Mafias and their impact on the Mediterranean.
ISSUED ON 13/10/2012
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