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Communique of the 3rd council Meeting and 2nd Conference of ASSSECAA,7-9 May 2007, Sanaa, Yemen

Under the patronage of  his  Excellency,  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh, the President of the Republic of  Yemen  and  upon  the invitation of his Excellency, Abdul  Aziz  Abdul Ghani, the  Speaker  of  the  Shoora   Council   of   Yemen   and   Chairman   of   the Association  of  Senates, Shoora  and  Equivalent  Councils  in  Africa  and  the Arab world; and   according   to  the  provisions  of  the  Association's  Statute; the  second Conference  of  the Association as well as the third meeting of the Council were held in  Sana'a  Yemen  from  the  7th  to the 9th of May 2007, with the participation of the Presidents, Vice   Presidents and   members   of   the  following   member  Councils /Senates:-

1

Council  of  the  Nation

The Democratic Republic of Algeria

2

Shoora  Council

The Kingdom of Bahrain

3

Senate

The Republic of Burundi

4

Shoora  Council

The Arab Republic of Egypt

5

House  of  the  Federation

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 

6

Senate

The Republic of Gabon

7

House  of  Dignitaries

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

8

Senate

The  Islamic  Republic  of  Mauritania

9

House  of  Counselors

The  Kingdom  of  Morocco

10

National  Council

The  Republic  of  Namibia

11

Senate

The  Federal  Republic  of  Nigeria

12

Advisory  Council

The  State  of  Qatar

13

Council  of  States

The  Republic  of  Sudan

14

Shoora  Council

The  Kingdom  of  Saudi  Arabia

15

National Council of Provinces

The  Republic  of  South  Africa

16

Senate

The  Kingdom  of   Swaziland

17

Shoora  Council

The  Republic  of  Yemen

Delegates  from  the  following  Councils/Organizations  attended  the Conference as Observers:

1.      The President of the Senate of Zimbabwe

2.     The Ambassador of  the Republic of  Tunisia representing the Senate of Tunisia

3.      The Secretary-General of the Arab Parliamentary Union

4.      Ambassador Mohammed  Rasheed  Ghaleb  representing  the  League of Arab States.

Council   Meeting

The 3rd meeting  of  the Council of  the Association  was  held  on  Monday 7th  May, 2007.  The Secretary-General of  the Association, Mr. Livinus I. Osuji  delivered  his statutory Annual  Report  to  the  Council.

In  his  Report, the  Secretary-General   reviewed the activities of the Association for 2006 and  reported  on  the  General  Secretariat's  views  on the socio-economic and political  developments  in  the  regions  of  Africa  and  the  Arab  world  as  well  as events    in    the    Parliamentary    world    in    the    year   2006.  He  proposed   the programmes  and   activities  of  the  Association  for   2007.  Finally, the  Secretary-General  presented  the  Financial Report  of  the Association  for 2006 and the Draft Budget of  the  General  Secretariat  for  2007  and  2008.  The Council applauded the Report and adopted it as the basis for the deliberations of the Council. Thereafter, the Council  resolved  into four  Committees.

The First Committee discussed:

-   The Budget of the Association for the years 2007 and 2008 and  the  Financial Report     for The   Workshop   for   Administrative   Heads  of   member Councils/Senates

-   The Calendar of  the Association's Conference  and Council  meeting  for  2007 and  upward.

The Second Committee discussed:

-     The  Study  Visit  Exchange  Programme

-     The  Retreat  for  the  Council/Senates  of  the  Member  States

-    Meeting of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Africa and the Arab world

-     Requests  presented  by  the  member  Councils/Senates

The Third Committee discussed:

-    The Students Exchange Programme

-    The Relations with Similar Organizations

 The Fourth Committee discussed:

-  The  Issues of  Peace  in  Africa  and  the Arab  world.

The four Committees submitted their Reports to the Council in session.  The Council adopted the Reports and approved  them for presentation  to  the Conference  on  8th May 2007.  The  Council  adjourned sine die at 10.00pm

 2nd  ASSECAA  Conference

On Tuesday 8th  May 2007, at MOVENPICK HOTEL, SANA'A,YEMEN at 11.00am, Mr. Abdo   Rabo   Mansour   Hadi, the  Vice  President  of   the   Republic, representing  His  Excellency, Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh, the President of the Republic of  Yemen, opened  the Conference with an important speech, in which he expressed his  pleasure  to   open   the   Conference   and   welcomed   the   participants   to  the Conference held in Sana'a.  He  reiterated  his deepest interest in the Association and prayed  that  the  Association  assumes  its  role  in  developing cooperation  between African and Arab states at all levels.  He also expressed joy at the orientation  of  the Association, in giving priority to the  issues  of  peace  and  security and establishing economic  cooperation  between  the  two   regions  of  Africa  and  the  Arab  world.  He  concluded  by  wishing  the  Conference  great  success.

His Excellency, Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani, the Speaker of  the  Yemeni  Shoora Council  and Chairman of  the Association  gave  an additional speech, in which he mentioned  the  Association's most important achievements since its establishment in Sana'a, in  April  2004.  He stated that the programs that were recently implemented, especially the Visits' Exchange Programme were very successful and yielded desired dividends.

The  Chairman  stressed  the  importance  of  holding  the  meetings of  the  Association's Council, and  its  general  Conference  on  a  regular  basis, in  view of their importance in strengthening  the  Association  and  enabling  it  to  achieve  its  goals.

He  also  reviewed  the content of  the Association's new agenda, especially that aiming at strengthening  mutual  economic  benefits  and  maximizing  its  contributions  to  the international  and  regional  efforts  intended  to  put  an  end  to conflicts and restore peace  in  the  African  and  Arab  regions.

Other speeches were given in the opening ceremony by Mr. Ali Yahya Abdullah, the President  of  the  Council  of  States  in  the  Republic  of  Sudan, on  behalf  of   the Presidents of the Councils present.  Mr. Livinus  Osuji, the  Secretary-General of the Association  presented  a  welcome  speech  on  behalf  of  the  Secretariat.  They  all commended the initiative of  the Yemeni  Shoora  Council  to host the second  Conference  of  the Association  as  well  as  the  third  meeting  of  the Association's Council.  They  also expressed their hope to see the role of the Association enhanced so  that  it  contributes  to  achieve   what  the  Councils/Senates  and  member States aspire  to  realize.  They all stressed  the  importance  of  the  issues  included  in  the  Conference  agenda.

The  Heads  of  the Delegations  and the Secretary-General were honored to meet the Yemeni   President, His   Excellency, Mr. Ali   Abdullah   Saleh  at  the  Presidential Palace.  At a short reception, he delivered  a speech  considered  by all  the  members present to be an integral part of the Conference.  The Conference  resumed sitting  at  the  Shoora  Council  of Yemen  Chambers, Sana'a  at  7.00pm.

Speeches by Heads of Delegations

The  following Heads of Delegations delivered speeches at the resumed sitting of the Conference:

S/sS/N

NAME

COUNCIL/SENATE

COUNTRY

1.    1

Abdul  Razaq  Boohara

Council of the Nation

Democratic Republic of Algeria

2.     2

Fouad Ahmed Al-haji

Shoora Council

Kingdom of Bahrain

3.    3

H.E  Hon. Anatole MANIRAKIZA

Senate

Republic of Burundi

4.    4

Mohammed Morsy Awad

Shoora Council

Arab Republic of Egypt

5.    5

H.E  Mr. Degefe Bula

House of the Federation

The Federal Democratic Republic of  Ethiopia

6.   6

Dr. Jean- Baptiste MINTSA MIMBA

Senate

Republic of Gabon

7.   7

H.E  Dr. Tareq  Al-Sahimat

House of Dignitaries

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

8.   8

Homa Ould Al-Sheikh Sadabu

Senate

Islamic Republic of Mauritania

9.   9

Mohammed Fadhili

House of  Counselors

Kingdom of Morocco

10.10

Senator  Jonathan Zwingina

Senate

The Federal Republic of Nigeria

11.11

Mohammed Khalid Al-Sadah

Advisory Council

The State of Qatar

12.12

Abdulrahman Al-Suwaylym

Shoora Council

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

13.13

Mr. Ali  Yahya

Council of States

Republic of Sudan

14.14

Senator Chief Gelane T. Zwane

Senate

Kingdom of Swaziland

15.15

Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani

Shoora Council

Republic of Yemen

16.16

Nourredine Bashkoji

Arab Parliamentary  Union

 

17.17

Ambassador  Mohammed  Rasheed Ghaleb

League of Arab States

 

In   their   presentations, the   Heads  of   Delegations   expressed   gratitude   to   His Excellency, President  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh, President  of the Republic of Yemen for the  support  he  has  continued to give and the interest he is showing in the affairs of the  Association.  They  extended  similar  gratitude  to  His  Excellency  Abdul Aziz Abdul  Ghani, the  Speaker  of  the  Shoora  Council   of   Yemen  and  Chairman  of the Association for  his  continued efforts to head the Association since its inception.  In  the  same  vein, the  Heads  of Delegations thanked the Secretary-General and the Secretariat  for  their  remarkable  efforts  and  efficient  performance  in the General Secretariat  which  is  geared  steadily towards the realization of the objectives of the Association.  They  expressed   the  good   wishes  of  their  Councils/Senates  to  the Association  and  proposed  their  commitment  to contribute to the realization of the objectives  of  the  Association.

Proposals  from  the  Council  to  the  Conference

The   Conference   considered   the   following  Proposals  from  the  Council  to  the Conference;

i)  Study Visit  Exchange  Programme

The  Conference  noted  the  importance  of  the  Study  Visit  Exchange  Programme outlined  by  the  Council  which  included:

a.  The  promotion  of  joint action and the advancement of cooperation by enabling member Senates/Councils to use the opportunity of the visit  to enhance bilateral relationships

b.   The  sharing  of  experiences  on  national and regional socio-economic, political and cultural affairs

c.   Informal  deliberation  on  regional  and  world  topical  issues  and  thus  aid  the harmonization of  interest   in  the African and Arab regions so as to facilitate the formation of  regional  consensus  on  world  affairs.

The  Conference noted that it was necessary for the Secretariat to liaise with member Councils/Senates  in  respect  of  dates, in  fixing  the  schedule  for  the  Study  Visit Exchange  Programme.

Accordingly, the Conference approved the organization of the Study Visit  Exchange Programme  for  members  of  the  Association  in  2007.

ii)  Venue  for  Association's  Conferences

The  Conference  considered  the  proposal  from  the  Council  on the venues for the annual  Conferences  and  Council  meetings  of  the  Association and upheld that the provisions  of  the  Association's  Statute, Article  5(1)  be applied.  Accordingly, the Conference resolved that the Association shall hold its annual meetings in one of the member countries according to English  alphabetical  order, otherwise  in  a  member country  which  offers  to  host  the meeting.

iii)  2008  Conference  and  Council  meeting

The  States  Council  of  Sudan  offered  and  the  Conference  adopted  that the 2008 Conference  and  Council  meeting  be  held  in  Sudan.  The  date  would  be  agreed between  the  State  Council  of  Sudan  and   the  Secretariat  and  communicated  to members.

iv)  2007  Budget  for  the  Secretariat

The Conference received and approved the report of the Council on the  2007  Budget  for  General Secretariat.

v)    2008  Budget

The Conference received the report of the Council that in view of  the  improbability of  holding another meeting in 2007 to consider the budget for 2008, and  in  view of the absence  of  an  audit  report  on  the  2006  Accounts, the  2008  budget  like  the 2007 budget,  be credited  with  same  amount,  to  which  will  be added  10%   increase  to  cater  for   inflations. 

vi)   Appointment of Auditors

The  appointment   of    Auditors   for   the   2006  Accounts   was   delegated  to  the  General  Secretariat.

The  Conference  accordingly  resolved  that  the  2008  budget be  credited with the same amount  like the 2007  budget  to which will be added 10% increase  for inflation  and  that  the  General  Secretariat  should  appoint an Auditor for the 2006 Accounts  as  delegated  by  the  Council.

vii)            Retreat for Member Councils/Senates

The  Conference  received  the report  of  the  Council  on  the  proposed  Retreat  for Members  in   2007.  Pursuant  to  Article 3 (1)  of  the  Association's  Statute  which stipulates that  the  Association  shall  organize  for  its  members, at least one annual meeting, on subjects of common interest and considering  the  perceived  benefits  of the  2006   Retreat   held   in  Nigeria,  the  Conference  resolved  that a Retreat  be organized  for  members  of  the  Association  in  2007.

viii)  Relationship  with  Similar  Organisations

The Conference received the report of the Council on the contacts being made by the General  Secretariat  with   Similar  Organizations  as  ASSECAA.  The  Conference  accordingly  approved:

(a)   the  continued communication and interaction between the General Secretariat of  ASSECAA  and  the  Secretariat  of  Similar  organizations

(b)  the  eventual  arrangement   for   meetings  between  those  Organizations  and ASSECAA  whenever  possible.

ix)   Students'  Exchange  Programme

     The Conference received and considered the report from the Council on the Students' Exchange Programme.  In   place  of   the   proposed    Students   Exchange  Programme, the  Conference   directed   the  encouragement  of   the  role  of   Youth Parliaments  to  extend  the  frontiers  of  cultural  exchanges  between  the youths of Africa  and  the  Arab  world.

x)  Peace Meetings in the regions of Africa and the Arab world

            The  Conference  received  and  considered  the  proposal  from  the  Council  on the setting  up  of  a  Standing  Committee to be called "Political Committee for Conflict  Resolution" comprising:

1.     The Umma Council of  Algeria

2.     The Shoora Council of Bahrain

3.     The Shoora Council of  Egypt

4.     House of  the Federation of  Ethiopia

5.     The Senate of Gabon

6.     The House of  Dignitaries of  Jordan

7.     The Senate of  Mauritania

8.     The  House  of  Counselors of  Morocco

9.     The Senate  of  Nigeria

10. The Shoora Council of  Saudi  Arabia

11. The National Council of  the Provinces of  South  Africa

12. The Council of States of  Sudan

13.  The Shoora Council of the Republic of Yemen

14.  The General  Secretariat of the Association.

The  Committee  shall  study  the  origins, trends   and   current position  of  conflicts  and  wars  in  the  regions  of  Africa  and   the Arab world; the  international  efforts  thereupon  and  to  make  appropriate  recommendations  to the Conference  so  as to enable   ASSECAA  to  play  a  more  effective  role  in  the  efforts  to  find   lasting  solutions  to  these  conflicts. 

The  Conference resolved  that;

a.   A  Standing  Committee  to   be  called  the Political  and  Conflict  Resolution  Committee be  set up with the terms of reference as enunciated in the  Council  memo.

b.   The  General   Secretariat   should   prepare   papers  specifying  the  Rules  of Procedure  for   the   Committee, the  funding  and  necessary  support  for  the realization  of  the  objective  of  the  Committee.

c.    Any other member Council/Senate could join the Committee.

 Meeting of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Africa and the Arab  world

The Conference received the proposal from the Council that pursuant to Article 2 (2) of the Association's Statute which  aims  at  reinforcing  economic, political, cultural cooperation  and security among the nations of Africa and the Arab world, a meeting of  the  Chambers  of  Commerce  and  Industry  in  Africa  and  the  Arab  world  be organized  by  the  General  Secretariat  under  the  auspices  of  ASSECAA  in 2007 without  involving  the  Association in any financial commitment.  The meeting shall enable   these   Chambers   of   Commerce  and  Industry  to  deliberate  on  effective economic cooperation  between  the  two  regions.

 The Conference resolved that a meeting of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in  Africa  and  the  Arab  world  be  organized  in  2007 by the Secretariat, under the auspices   of   ASSECAA   without   involving   the   Association   in   any  financial commitment.

xii)  Visit  to  New  Members

The Conference considered the proposal to encourage new Councils/Senates to join the Association.  Accordingly, it was resolved  that  the  Secretariat  should  organize the visit of some members to new Senates and Second Chambers  in  Africa  and  the Arab world to encourage them to join the Association.

xiii)  Conflicts and Violence in Africa and the Arab world

The   Conference  strongly  denounced  the  continued  emergence  and  existence  of conflicts  and  violence  in  several parts of Africa and the Arab world, it condemned the violation of international laws and conventions and  seriously  regretted  the  lack of progress in the peace process aimed at resolving these conflicts  and  stopping  the violence which are daily claiming innocent lives.

The Conference commended the efforts of the Arab League and the African Union to solve the current crisis in the Sudanese province of Darfur and underscored the importance of the Abuja accord in contributing to the resolution of the conflict.  The Conference  called  for  the  harnessing  of  all  regional  and  international  efforts to encourage coexistence among the citizens of Sudan.

The  Conference  stressed  the  necessity  to  fully  respect the unity, sovereignty and independence of Sudan while contributing to the stability and attainment of  peace in the nation.  The  Conference  reiterated  the  rejection  of  all  forms  of  terrorism  by the  Association.  The Conference decried any form of discrimination against people based on religious, social, ethnic or gender bias.

xiv)  Promotion  of  Democracy

The Conference reaffirmed the objectives of the Association  regarding  commitment to  the  promotion  of  democratic   practices, respecting  human   rights, encouraging lawful   civil   society   organizations, empowering  women  to  play  active  roles  in national  affairs  and  encouraging  good  governance.  Finally, it  re-emphasized  the importance  of  parliamentary bicameralism which enlarges the basis of participation in  decision  making  in  a  modern  nation  state.

xv)  Vote of  Thanks

Distinguished Senator (Chief) Gelane Zwane, President of  the  Senate of Swaziland, on  behalf  of  the  delegates  and  the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils  in  Africa  and  the  Arab  world read the text of a telegram, proposed to be sent, to  His  Excellency, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the President of the Republic of Yemen for his generous sponsorship of the Conference.  The Conference resolved that  the  telegram  be  sent  accordingly.

Adjournment

The  Conference  adjourned  sine  die  at  12.30 p.m.