PAM addresses international fora on Peace, Tolerance and Human rights

PAM addresses international fora on Peace, Tolerance and Human rights
Croatian MP, Hon. Draiga Rascic, represented PAM at the Annual event of the Mediterranean Peace Forum of the MEDICON 2017 initiative held in Croatia at the end of April 2017. 
In her speech, Hon. Rascic recalled that  PAM has always devoted particular attention to the most sensitive issues of the region issues, through its intense network of parliamentary diplomacy and by the activities of its three Standing Committees, especially the 3rd Committee on Dialogue among Civilizations and Human Rights. 
“As PAM MPs, we believe that it is important to promote encounters between cultures and religions as a direct way to achieve peace in the Mediterranean region and in the whole world”, Ms. Rascic added. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no peace without the active participation of all social actors, and above all, the young people, who are able to implement innovative ideas aimed at fostering a culture of peace and non-violence as well as religious and cultural understanding. 
The launching in 2014 of the PAM Academic Platform, had the objective of facilitating interaction among MPs, universities and students in the field of higher education.
PAM has been promoting, since its establishment, a series of initiatives and held several meetings in the field of dialogue between cultures and religions. Moreover, the Assembly reiterated ther conviction of the need of implementing intercultural and interreligious activities in the fields of education, youth, media, migration, peacebuilding and conflict resolutions, as well as developing programs supporting the interaction and exchange between young people from different cultures in order to disseminate the message of pluralism and diversity. PAM, as a parliamentary platform, stresses this message through the promotion of education and dialogue among its partners, and has consolidated a pivotal role in stimulating political and legislative commitment for a better future of our Mediterranean societies.  
From a pragmatic point of view, PAM is also involved in a series of consultations and discussions with the World Bank and the other major international financial institutions. While there are positive signals of a global economic growth, the main concern remains the widespread unemployment which affects the  region and which will continue to deteriorate in the coming years, due to the automatization of industrial production and the computerization of services. 
In view of the above, PAM is committed to work with international institutions and its member national parliaments in order to find the best possible legislative measures to facilitate the adoption of education curricula which match the demands from the productive sector.
Concurrently, PAM Secretary General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi took the floor at the Spring School of the E-Campus University, in Novedrate Italy, dedicated to Tolerance and Human Rights.  The Event held between 24 and 28 April 2017, was also addressed by a number of University academics from international Universities. 
Amb. Piazzi said that  the respect and the promotion of fundamental human rights have always been priority issues for PAM, which has constantly been engaged in responding adequately to the current challenges, such as migration and refugees crisis:  “This emergency is taking place at an alarming rate in the Mediterranean area, thus threatening the lives of thousands of people looking for safety and for a better future for them and for their families”. 
Another critical issue for the Assembly is security, since what is happening in the Middle-East and the North Africa Region represents a critical challenge for the peaceful coexistence of the peoples in the region. Consequently, all actors have to unify their efforts to fight terrorism, intolerance and violence, and mobilize all the legal instruments available to promote lasting peace, security, mutual respect, dignity and shared prosperity, especially for what concerns the threats posed by ISIS. 
In this regard, the role of the PAM 1st Standing Committee on Political and Security-related Cooperation has been extremely relevant. The results achieved during the “Evaluation of the role of national parliaments in promoting States’ implementation of the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions on Terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters”, jointly organized by PAM and United Nations Office Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which took place in Rome last March, has been absolutely beneficial for the Assembly. 
In particular, for the first time, an Introduction Seminar on Human Rights and Rapid Deployment Capacity, for PAM MPs was held in June 2015 in cooperation with UN OCHA, UN HCR and the Geneva Centre for Human Rights at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. 
The 2nd seminar in this series, which focused on Human Rights, Terrorism and religious freedom, was held in Strasbourg and was jointly organized with the European Court of Human Rights in order to familiarize with the European Human Rights Protection System and the role of the ECHR.
PAM strongly believes that parliamentarians must act on the front line to promote dialogue not only between the members of Parliaments, but also at inter-university initiatives for the benefit of students and academics. 
 “We are committed to encourage, through the educational system, intercultural and interreligious dialogue based on universal human rights with a view to promoting tolerance, trust and mutual understanding.  Consequently, we strongly advocate that parliamentarians should invest time and efforts to build a human rights culture among civil society through educational programmes in schools and universities”, the PAM Secretary General concluded.
Amb. Piazzi also had a number of bilateral meetings with senior professors of participating Universities and launched the idea of a Summer School to be held at the E-Campus University in Milan, in conjunction with the Al-Quds University of Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik-Usek of Beirut, Lebanon. 
PAM is also following the works of the Global Sustainability Forum being held in Rome, an important political gathering for the activities of the Assembly, in line with the priorities set at its 11th Plenary Session in Portugal. 
issued on 03.05.2017
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