PAP To Support Regional Parliaments To Push For Ratification
Regional integration will be a critical component to ensure the speedy ratification of the Pan African Parliament’s role to move from oversight to having a law-making mandate.
In addition, regional Parliaments need to be strengthened if the vision of a continental parliament with full legislative power is to become a reality in the future.
This has been one of the resolutions in a communique delivered during the Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments, as adopted in Midrand on 5 August 2016.
The resolution leads to representatives of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) calling for the PAP’s support in the establishment of a regional parliament for the SADC.
PAP President Roger Nkodo-Dang publicly committed to the request from Zambian and Zimbabwean MPs during the session, by saying that he would advocate for the elevation of a SADC regional parliament.
The PAP presented the final communique to African MPs, following a week-long convention of its eleven committees this week.
The Conference theme focused on the adoption and ratification of African Union (AU) treaties, in particular; the Malabo Protocol, which gives legislative power to the PAP.
It aimed to highlight the benefits of ratification, specifically in light of the slow uptake amongst member states.
The Conference communique, which will be presented to the AU after adoption, identified 12 resolutions for the Speakers of Regional and National Parliaments.
It recognises regional and national parliaments’ challenges in contributing to the ratification of AU treaties.
It also reaffirms the PAP’s commitment to the effective implementation of the resolutions of the 2015 Conference, which focused on gender equity, and the importance of PAP’s members to push for ratification domestically.
Other recommendations include the need for MP’s to adopt a proactive approach when engaging their national assemblies in the quest for ratification.
MPs also recommend that PAP identifies prominent personalities in all African regions whom can champion the cause of accelerating the ratification of AU treaties, in particular; the Malabo protocol.
At national level, the communique recommends that MPs follow a consultative process, which includes civil society and other stakeholders in the ratification process and enlist the popular support to the work of the PAP.
It is important that the AU framework distinguishes between legislative, executive and judicial frameworks, in the context of the Africa Agenda 2063, the communique also notes.
Finally, it proposes that the PAP joins the AU in calling on the United Nations to set a date for the holding of the referendum in Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, to allow the Sahrawi people to decide on their right to self-determination.