PAM side by side with Tunisian Authorities and people in their democratization process

PAM side by side with Tunisian Authorities and people in their democratization process

The drafting of the new Constitution, elections by mid 2013, job creation, healthcare and education, are the main challenges for Tunisia in the near future, as highlighted by Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Rafik Abdessalem, in a bilateral meeting with a high level delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), held in Tunisia on 29 November 2012. The PAM delegation, with MPs from Jordan, Morocco and Turkey, was participating at the “International Conference on Productive Work for Youth in Tunisia and the MENA Region”, organized by the Tunisian Ministry of Industry, the Tunisian Agency for Investments and UNIDO. On the same occasion, at the invitation of UNIDO Director General, Mr. Kandeh Yumkell, PAM organised a parliamentary debate on “The Role of Parliaments in Support of the Economic Process”.

During the meeting the Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister, pointed out the importance of the role assigned to PAM, to represent the parliamentary dimension of the 5+5 Dialogue, and how within this context it can be, together with the Arab Maghreb Union, a vital umbrella organization for the various regional projects.

“Tunisia needs all the help possible in the economic and social sectors as they are conducive to stability and democracy. The main issues currently needing priority measures include job creation, attraction of Foreign Direct Investment and vocational training”, H.E. Abdessalem said, adding that PAM, through its regional and international network, has a fundamental function in assisting in these areas.

On behalf of the Assembly, Sen. El Marbouh gave a general overview on PAM, and highlighted the active role of PAM in the economy and energy sectors, through its Panel on Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean. The Tunisian Minister was reassured of PAM’s assistance and Secretary General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi, referred to the forthcoming joint PAM-World Bank meeting on Job Creation in Marseilles, where PAM can actively work to raise awareness on the needs of Tunisia and its youth, so as to overcome the initial obstacles of the revolution that has opened the road for new challenges and aspirations. The Turkish parliamentarian of the PAM delegation, Hon. Mehmet Gunal, underlined the readiness of his country to continue assisting Tunisia and also referred to the Turkish public-private model to create jobs and attract investment.

As part of PAM’s initiatives it was agreed to organize a multi-sectoral financial and economic bilateral meeting in Tunis, with the participation of PAM members and associate stakeholders, together with their Tunisian counterparts.

The latest developments in the Middle East and PAM’s commitment to the Peace Process were also discussed. The Tunisian Minister, who had visited Gaza at the onset of the recent crisis, also welcomed the decision by PAM to field a high level delegation to Gaza in the near future, to which the Tunisian Parliament will definitely take part.

Another round of talks with H.E. Mustafa Ben Jafar, President of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly, Hon. Ferhani Doghmane, Chairman of the Commission on Finance, Planning and Development, and Hon. AbdelMounam Krir, Member of the National Assembly, tackled also the latest domestic events in Tunisia and what measures are being taken to overcome the political and economic difficulties, resulting from the Arab Spring. The President reaffirmed the full commitment to PAM and has accepted the invitation for Tunisia to assume the co-presidency of the PAM Panel, which seat will be taken by Hon. Doghmane. Furthermore, Hon Krir, will be actively involved in the workings of the 3rd PAM Standing Committee on social affairs and human rights, an area which has always been considered as a top priority by the Tunisian parliamentarians.

“This active participation of the Tunisian delegation, is a concrete sign of commitment towards PAM and its unique role in the Mediterranean”, President Ben Jafar and PAM Vice-President Lhou Lmarbou commented.

On the previous day, the PAM parliamentarians and the PAM Secretary General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi, met with the Prime Minister of Tunisia, H.E. Hamadi Jebal, the Minister for Industry, H.E. Mohamed Lamine Chakhari, and with the Minister for Tourism, H.E. Ilyes Fakhfak, with whom PAM’s support to the democratic and constitutional process, and economic reforms in Tunisia were discussed.
During the visit in Tunisia, issues pertaining to the economic growth in the Euro-Mediterranean region were also discussed in a bilateral meeting between the PAM delegation and the European Commission Vice President, Antonio Tajani, responsible for Enterprise and Industry. In line with the indications of both the EU and the PAM Panel on Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean, it was highlighted that national and regional "Security and Stability" are the key conditions to attract foreign investments and facilitate the development of SMEs, critical to the creation of jobs. PAM Secretary General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi, and Mr.Tajani, further agreed that a more in depth meeting between the EU Commission and PAM will be held in the near future in Brussels, in order for PAM to support EU initiatives in the MENA region addressed to securing economic growth, and to further elaborate common strategies and initiatives for youth employment and SMEs in the Mediterranean.//

Picture: PAM Delegation with H.E. Mustafa Ben Jafar, President of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly
(second from right)



ISSUED ON: 04.02.2012


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