PARLIAMENTARY DIPLOMACY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION – Conference hosted by the Hellenic Parliament in Athens

PARLIAMENTARY DIPLOMACY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION – Conference hosted by the Hellenic Parliament in Athens

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), Sen. Francesco Maria Amoruso (Italy), and Secretary General, Ambassador Sergio Piazzi, have represented PAM at the Conference entitled “Parliamentary Diplomacy in the Mediterranean Region”, hosted by the Hellenic Parliament in Athens, on 26-27 September 2013.

In his intervention at the opening ceremony of the event, President Amoruso highlighted the importance of international and regional parliamentary assemblies, calling them “unique platforms which very often can guarantee concrete results when traditional diplomacy is faced with an uphill struggle to solve certain issues”.  He mentioned among others, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, irregular migration and international terrorism, which, given their particular nature, need shared solutions that can be harmoniously applied by all interested countries.

PAM Secretary General, in his intervention during the session dedicated to “Parliamentary Diplomacy: Between Theory and Practice”, gave an overview of PAM’s operational activities in recent months.

“With the missions to Syria, Lebanon and then to Geneva, and eventually the forthcoming parliamentary hearing in Amman, PAM is providing an exemplary illustration of the role Parliamentary Diplomacy can play in fostering security and stability in the Mediterranean”, he said.

The hearing in Amman, Amb. Piazzi added, will address the present humanitarian situation in Syria, the conditions of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, namely Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, and the contribution that Parliamentary Diplomacy could give to support confidence building measures, inter-parliamentary dialogue and diplomatic initiatives.

The parliamentary hearing will bring together the several themes considered throughout the numerous meetings to which PAM took part, and make a decisive move towards the much desirable coordination of National Parliaments and UN agencies in addressing the Syrian conflict. It will draw together MPs from all over the Mediterranean, and representatives of the OCHA, UNRWA, UNHCR, LAS and other international organizations.

PAM’s role, within its parliamentary diplomacy mandate, translated itself in supporting and depoliticizing the humanitarian action in Syria and neighbouring countries; ensuring international support to Syrian asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean; keeping the Syrian Parliament informed on what is happening at the international level and making a special effort to facilitate the dialogue between Syrian MPs and their counterparts in Arab countries; fostering solidarity and burden sharing among the countries hosting Syrian refugees; and eventually encouraging continued dialogue and cooperation for the smooth disposal of the Syrian chemical arsenal, in respect also of the UN Security Council resolution, adopted on 27 September, 2013, demanding the eradication of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.

“PAM’s activity represents another forum for strengthening parliamentary dialogue and cooperation aimed at making a concerted effort to end the Syrian crisis in a peaceful political way”, concluded PAM Secretary General.//

ISSUED ON: 30.09.2013

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