PAM Parliamentary Diplomacy for humanitarian aid and confidence building in Syria

PAM Parliamentary Diplomacy for humanitarian aid and confidence building in Syria
 The United Nations Agencies operating in Syria have requested PAM to assist them through the organization of a Parliamentary Hearing on the humanitarian crisis in the country and neighboring states. The hearing is scheduled to be held in September 2013, in Jordan, a few weeks before the annual UN General Assembly in New York. To this effect PAM has already contacted the President of the Jordanian Parliament.

The request was made on the occasion of the PAM High Level mission in Syria and Lebanon held between 28 June and 2 July 2013. The meetings in the region dealt with the issues of humanitarian access, facilitation of humanitarian aid delivery and confidence building measures within the framework of the process for national reconciliation between the Syrian parties in the internal conflict. The issue relative to the displacement of the Syrian population in the country and in neighboring states, along with that of the Palestinian refugees, was also discussed.

At the conclusion of the mission, the PAM Secretariat in Malta hosted the diplomatic corps for a briefing on the outcome of the discussions held in Damascus and Beirut respectively. The meeting with the diplomatic representatives, held on Friday 5 July 2013, was addressed by PAM Secretary General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi. The Ambassadors welcomed the action undertaken by PAM and expressed their encouragement to future meetings between their parliamentarians and that of Syria.

Referring to the September Hearing, Amb. Piazzi announced that all PAM Member Parliaments, including that of Syria, will be invited to participate and fully assume their responsibilities in promoting stability, confidence building and in mobilizing the required resources, and in urging humanitarian access in the region. Furthermore the Hearing would provide MPs and UN Agencies with a unique opportunity for inter-parliamentary dialogue and for the exchange of views on the situation, including that of refugees and displaces persons.

The President of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Syrian Parliament, Hon. Fadia Deeb, who was one of the Committee Chairs met in Damascus, indicated the firm determination of the Parliament to assist humanitarian agencies in addressing, with the relevant authorities, the bureaucratic obstacles hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the country, in the areas controlled by the Government, and to facilitate in any possible way that to other regions under opposition rule. At PAM’s suggestion, the Committee’s President, with her colleagues, as from Monday 8 July started to meet regularly with UN humanitarian agencies to ensure a direct feed back of the effectiveness of parliamentary action and implement additional measures, where required. Hon. Deeb also committed herself to organize a parliamentary hearing with national security entities to address the issue of illegal detention and inhuman treatment of relief workers and political opponents.

PAM Secretary General, also referred that the UN political officers stressed the absolute necessity for the international community not to supply armaments to any of the parts in conflict in order to facilitate a peaceful solution at the negotiating table.

On the issue of the Palestinian refugees in Syria, PAM was requested to convey to both the President of Palestine and the High Commissioner of UNRWA the necessity to stress to the Palestinian communities to avoid being involved in the internal conflict.

PAM will continue to work together with the Parliaments of Syria, of its member states and the UN and the EU to facilitate dialogue and to secure channels of communication and aid delivery to the Syrian civilian population. //


ISSUED ON: 09.07.2013
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