The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean will hold the 9th Plenary Session in the Principality of Monaco on 2-4 February 2015. The Session will be hosted by the President of the Monegasque National Council, H.E. Laurent Nouvion.

More than 200 delegates, including parliamentarians, representatives of International and Regional Parliamentary Assemblies, senior officials of governments and International Institutions, and the civil society will take part in the three day Plenary Session.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco will address the Opening Ceremony together with the Speaker of the National Council of Monaco and PAM President, Sen. Francesco Amoruso of Italy. Messages by H.H. Pope Francis and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon will also be delivered to the participants.

In Monaco, PAM members will also elect a new President (from the Southern geo-political group, as per PAM statutory principle of rotation) and a new Bureau, for next 2015-2016 biennium.

Furthermore, the 3 PAM Standing Committees (web link) will discuss and finalise the Reports and Resolutions which will be presented to the Plenary for adoption. The topics chosen for this Plenary Session include: Counter Terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters; Political developments in the Middle East and North Africa; Activities of the PAM Panel on Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean; Climate Change: the road to Paris 2015; Protection of civilians in the Mediterranean: Refugees, Migrants and Displaced Persons; The role of Parliamentarians in promoting Human Rights.

During the debate, a number of high profile keynote speakers will address the participants on current priority issues. The Plenary Session will come to an end with the presentation of the PAM Award, launched in Monaco in 2008. The aim of the Award is to reward individuals, organizations and institutions who have demonstrated through their work, strong and visible commitment, outstanding achievement and active promotion of the Mediterranean ideals, as envisioned by the statutes and mission statement of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.

The annual gathering of parliamentarians from the Euro-Mediterranean area, this year comes at a very particular moment in which the renewed tensions in the Middle East and the threat posed by terrorism create further concern for the stability of the area and of the Mediterranean in general. Not less dramatic is the financial and economic situation in the countries on the Northern shores.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, in its role as an international, autonomous, inter-state organization, that brings together on an equal footing the parliaments of all the countries of the Mediterranean basin, epitomizes, in this particular moment, the vision of its founding parliamentarians: a common platform for the representatives of the Mediterranean peoples, where they can feel all equal, where they can express their concerns, share their experiences, further promote bilateral and multilateral relations, and debate, without prejudice, issues of common concern.

The 9th PAM Plenary Session will offer the opportunity to the national delegations of the member parliaments to engage in a reflection, from which the Assembly will rise with a strengthened commitment, to fulfill its regional and international role. The challenges ahead are endless in the political, economic and social spheres. In fact, highlighting and prioritizing specific issues might not serve well the holistic approach required, since the current scenario is no more than a complicated puzzle where every piece is crucial to uncover the underlying realities.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean will continue to remain focused in order to secure peace and stability for the citizens of the region. The Assembly is the sum total of the unique parliaments of the member states. Therefore, the proactive participation and support of each one of them is instrumental in assisting the PAM Secretariat to translate words, good intentions and ideas into concrete actions.//

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