07-10-2020

PAM participates in OECD’s Global Parliamentary Network Meeting

PAM participates in OECD’s Global Parliamentary Network Meeting

On 1 and 2 October 2020, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) actively contributed to a virtual conference organized by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Global Parliamentary Network, in partnership with Women Political Leaders. 

On this occasion, the Assembly was represented by PAM Vice President Honorable Abdelmadjid Dennouni and Honorable Ammar Moussi, both from the Algerian delegation.

The event provided parliamentarians with a dedicated forum to discuss strategies for addressing the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent economic crisis. Legislators and OECD experts from around the world examined the areas of health, education, economy, and financing for SMEs.      

In the first session, the discussion focused on building resilient healthcare systems in the wake of the pandemic. Presenters demonstrated the divergent impacts of the virus and highlighted that neither developed nor developing countries were immune to severe strains on personnel and medical resources. With the most acute cases of COVID-19 effecting the elderly and individuals with underlying medical conditions, policymakers discussed the value of increasing investments in preventive healthcare. During the panel, attention was also dedicated to the positive achievements of national healthcare systems during the past months; in particular, a greater utilization of digital infrastructure leaded to significant gains in the areas of telemedicine and information sharing.

The second session addressed education in the time of the pandemic, specifically the global shift from in-person to online learning. The uneven success of implementing this shift was largely due to issues of access and proper utilization of technology. In his remarks, the Hon. Dennouni presented the digital strategies which Algeria has employed to guarantee universal access to the necessary resources for students to continue their education online. The move to resume in-person learning, already underway in many parts of the world, depends on the national abilities to control the virus and on the regional coordination in the implementation of measures. Only through timely information, policymakers can properly assess opportunities for the for reopening of schools. 

In his intervention, Hon. Dennouni highlighted PAM’s role in serving as a conduit for information sharing in the region, providing both timely updates on the pandemic and facilitating dialogue among member countries. These primary activities underly PAM’s additional commitment to promote collaboration in the fields of higher education and research in the Mediterranean. 

The second day of the webinar opened with a panel on the state of the economy and employment among OECD members. As countries are engaged in supporting their economies, policymakers are tasked with the challenge of encouraging citizens to return to work while continuing to direct employment retention schemes towards the most impacted sectors. 

During the debate, Hon. Dennouni underlined the precarious position of the Mediterranean tourism sector, a crucial contributor to the region’s GDP and employment. PAM Vicepresident emphasized the urgent need for international concerted actions to tackle the tourism industry and prevent the permanent loss of millions of jobs. This sentiment was discussed among policymakers and experts advocating for a standardized and universally accepted COVID-19 test results which would hasten a restart of the tourism industry. 

Fostering business and SMEs resilience served as the final topic of the OECD gathering. With SMEs accounting for 99% of business in both the Mediterranean region and the OECD countries, the dialogue contained innovative policies for providing fiscal support to these vital entities. Loan guarantees, easier access to financing, and grants in the form of wage subsidies, are a few of the mechanisms that governments have already implemented. Policymakers observed that the increase in market interconnectivity might represent the best way to expand investment opportunities and sustain a quick economic recovery worldwide. In support of this effort, PAM has launched a number of initiatives to connect entrepreneurs, investors, and decisions-makers from the region. Additionally, the Assembly is advocating for lower market barriers and encouraging trade partnerships across borders. 

The OECD Global Parliamentary Network is a legislative learning hub for legislators and parliamentary officials.  Its flexible structure allows MPs from across the political spectrum to share experiences, identify good practices, and foster international legislative cooperation. OECD organized the webinar in partnership with Women Political Leaders, a global network of female politicians with a mission to both increase the number and the influence of women in political leadership positions.  

PAM’s participation to the event reflects the model partnership between the Assembly and the OECD. Committed to fostering the development of resilient and sustainable solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, both organizations are examining avenues for further collaborations, in particular between PAM’s Economic Panel and the OECD’s Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship.//

MEDIA INFORMATION: 39/2020

issued on 07/10/2020

 

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