During his visit to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to attend its 3rd Ordinary Session in Strasbourg, the President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Hon. Bethel Amadi held a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, 26 June 2013, with the President of PACE Hon. Jean-Claude Mignon. The President of PACE extended a heartfelt welcome to the President of PAP on the occasion of his visit to PACE and reiterated his congratulations with regard to the election of Hon. Amadi as President of PAP.
The President of PACE recalled the co-operation agreement between the PACE and PAP which was signed on 11 April 2005 and aims to enhance co-operation between PACE and PAP and to establish a political dialogue, particularly with a view to promoting on the African continent the principles of parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Furthermore, the President of PACE referred to the resolution of the PACE (June 2008) on mobilizing parliaments for Africa’s development. And stated that, the PACE gives its full support to the efforts made both in Africa and in Europe to enhance the role of parliaments in promoting and exercising oversight over NEPAD and the processes of its implementation and in winning the support and participation of the people. Before concluding his remarks, the President of PACE extended an invitation to the President of PAP to make a statement before the 4th Ordinary Session of the PACE in September 2013. In response, the President of PAP expressed his gratitude for the invitation to the 3rd Ordinary Session of PACE.
The President of PAP stated that, Pan-African Parliament was established in March 2004, as one of the nine Organs of the African Union. He explained the transformation process of PAP to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage. The President of PAP stated also that, his mission is to give PAP more visibility and to enhance dialogue with civil society.
The President of PAP added that, PAP and PACE should work together in areas of common concern, notably parliamentary democracy, rule of law, human rights and North-South relations. The President of PAP shared the President of PACE view that there should be more intercontinental parliament-to-parliament dialogue and co-operation on development assistance and good governance.
In this context the President of PAP recalled the agreement concluded in 2005 with the PACE and considered that steps should be taken to implement it more actively.Furthermore, the President of PAP explained the effective role played by PAP in election observer missions. Moreover, Hon. Amadi stated that, PAP focuses on the development of parliamentary democracy in Africa. “The PAP played a crucial role in the ratification on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance” Hon. Amadi said.
The President of PAP accepted the invitation of the President of PACE to address the 4th Ordinary Session of PACE. Moreover, he extended an invitation to the President of PACE to attend the African Speakers conference to be hosted by PAP in August 2013.