PAM President at North-South Centre Lisbon Forum: Acknowledging people’s sovereignty

PAM President at North-South Centre Lisbon Forum: Acknowledging people’s sovereignty
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), H.E. Hon. Pedro Roque (Portugal), was among the speakers at the Lisbon Forum 2017, organised by the North-South Centre (CNS) of the Council of Europe, on the theme Interconnecting People, Managing migration, avoiding populism, building inclusive societies and reinforcing North-South dialogue. Experts and representatives of national governments, parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society contributed to the Forum. 
The PAM President also had a number of bilateral meetings, namely with Amb. Antonio Gamito, Executive Director of CNS, Amb. Mario Gomes, Portuguese diplomatic adviser to the UfM, and Mr Piero FASSINO, member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, and thematic spokesperson on the South-Mediterranean Partnership.  Cooperation and synergies in promoting issues of concern to modern societies were discussed and further meetings will be held to open new channels of exchange between the parliamentary dimension and civil society.
In addressing the theme “Interconnecting People: Managing migration, avoiding populism, building inclusive societies and reinforcing the North-South dialogue”, the Lisbon Forum 2017 referred to the key priorities of the Council of Europe as presented in the Secretary General’s latest report on the State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. The Forum also referred to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 agenda as guidelines to implement the NSC’s work.  Finally and most importantly, the Lisbon Forum 2017 placed “people” at the centre of the discussion by acknowledging their sovereignty, by trusting in their potential and by stressing their interdependence and interconnection.  
In his address to the Forum, President Roque recalled that PAM and the Council of Europe/PACE enjoy a very close partnership since 2006, when PAM was created.  On its part, PAM has always believed in the importance of the NSC in Lisbon and supported its function. In particular and with reference to the present regional context and to the themes dealt with at the conference in Lisbon, the issues on the agenda were considered critical beyond the Euro Mediterranean region.
Migrations, refugee flows, populism, the Arab spring and its transitions, civil wars, regional conflicts, terrorism, violent extremism, the economic crisis, unemployment, the collapse of the tourism industry in the South and East Mediterranean, climatic refugees from the Sahel, the European national and institutional short-sighted approach are all questions that appear high on the agenda of every conference and regional event at all levels, starting from the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy, to the daily lectures at universities, and in this context “The regional situation appears to be very worrisome. Dialogue among governments, among political leaders, among religious leaders, among representatives of the civil society, when reported by the Media, is indeed an instrument intended to reduce tensions and address what the people perceive to be the key issues that affect everybody’s daily life. However, it is not sufficient to counter what the press portraits as the new clash of civilizations”, Hon. Roque underlined. 
PAM, Hon. Roque concluded, focuses its efforts, and acts as a coordination platform, to ensure cooperation between the UN Security Council and national parliaments. In particular, PAM organizes joint conferences to facilitate the understanding of requirements and adoption, at the national level, of laws to allow the coherent implementation of the Resolutions against terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The Assembly also operates, together with the UN, at assisting national parliaments in the capacity building of their institutions after the Arab Spring.//
issued on: 09.06.2017
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