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Final communiqué Seventh Conference &Eighth Council meeting of the Association of Senates , Shoora and equivalent councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECAA )



In response to the kind invitation of the Shoora Council of Kingdom of Bahrain , the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and Arab World (ASSECAA) held its eighth Council meeting and seventh conference in Manama , Kingdom of Bahrain from 28-29 May ,2013.

Delegates  from   the following member countries attended the conference:

-         Saudi Arabia

-         Republic of South Africa

-         kingdom of Morocco

-         Federal Republic of Nigeria.

-         People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.

-         Democratic Federal republic of Ethiopia.

-         State of Qatar

-         Republic of Namibia

-         Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

-         Arab Republic of Egypt

-         Republic of Sudan

-         Republic of Congo

-         Kingdom of Bahrain

-         Republic of Yemen

-         Republic of Gabon

-         Republic of Zimbabwe

-         Republic of Burundi

Also, delegates from the following organizations attended as observers:

-Arab Parliamentary Union

- Arab Parliament

The conference was inaugurated on Tuesday 28 / 5 / 2013 in the presence of   a host of government   officials , parliamentarians , members of the press  and representatives of foreign and Arab diplomatic corps  accredited to   the Kingdom of Bahrain. H.E Ali Bin Saleh Al-Saleh , Speaker of Shoora council of Bahrain , and new chairman of ASSECAA for the next term ,  delivered a keynote speech in which he conveyed to the delegates the warm greetings of His Majesty  King Hamad Bin Eissa Al-Khalifa, his Royal Highness Prime Minister , and his Royal Highness the Crown Prince and First Deputy of the Prime Minister, all of whom wish that the conference will be a successful event.

He highlighted that the meeting is highly significant, as it seeks to establish partnership and cooperation and enhance understanding and common interests between Africa and Arab world. He touched upon the importance of peace and security in achieving the objectives of the Association, foremost among them is supporting economic development in the two regions. He explained that Bahrain's experience has proved that regional groupings can help with the maintenance of peace and stability and putting an end to any interventions that aim to destabilize member countries.

He confirmed that the Association can play a significant role in maintaining peace and security in its member states.

For his part, the outgoing chairman of the Association and current President of the Senate of Burundi, H.E Gabriel NTISEZERANA, addressed the conference, and pointed out the significance of the achievements that have been made by the Association since its establishment. He asserted that ASSECAA has been exerting genuine efforts to achieve the aims and objectives for which it was created.

Mr.NTISEZERANAurged member countries to support ASSECAA's activities in order to for the association to be a sustainable bridge of economic cooperation between Africa and the Arab world.

After a short break, the meeting resumed its sessions as the secretary General of ASSECAA, H.E. Mr. Abdulwasie Yusuf Ali, presented to the meeting the annual report of the General Secretariat of ASSECAA in which he reviewed the   activities and achievements that have so far been made by the General secretariat since 2012. The report also highlighted   the General Secretariat’s vision and proposals on the Association’s activitiesproposed for next year.

 It touched upon     several topics that   focus on the reactivation of the association in terms of achieving the noble objectives for which it was established. Among such  important objectives is the enhancement of socio-economic, and political  cooperation between Africa and the Arab world , given that the  association isa unique organization bringing together apex legislative     institutions  that work towards the attainment of member countries' aspirations for achieving socio-economic and cultural development and progress.

The Council then set-up three committees to consider the report of the Secretary General, the topics set forth in the report as well as the   activities that are still being undertaken in the   current year , 2013, in addition to the Association's conference and   council meeting for  2014.

The said committees, which include the program committee, the financial committee and the administrative committee, shall present their reports to the Council for consideration and approval.

The committees resumed their meetings in the afternoon period to consider the topics set on their agendas, and then came up with appropriate proposals that were submitted to the Association's conference and Council meeting.

On   Wednesday, 29 / 5 / 2013, the conference held its seventh meeting which was attended by heads and members of delegations. The meeting considered the reports of the committees constituted to study the Secretary General's reports.

After deliberations, the conference approved ASSECAA’s budget for 2013, the reports of the administrative committee and the program panel, and the formulation of the final communique drafting committee.

Afterwards, the conference resumed its sessions during which heads of delegations delivered their speech that generally reflected members' keenness to revitalize the association in such a way that enables it attains the aims and objectives for which it was established.

Having extensively debated the draft final communique, the conference resolved as follows:

1-The participants extend immense gratitude to His Majesty King, Hamad Bin Eissa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain, his Royal Highness, the Prime Minister his Royal Highness, Salman Bin Hamad Bin Eisssa Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and the Shura Council of Bahrain for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded delegates, as well as the facilitations they have made in order to make the association's annual conference and council meeting a great success.

2-The participants confirmed the importance of the role assumed by the Association, appreciating the substantial efforts it is still exerting to implement its approved programs; they also   urge ASSECAA to undertake such programs within the approved annual budget.

3-The participants further emphasize the importance that member states should timely  pay their contributions to ASSECAA's budget to enable the General Secretariat undertakes  its programs effectively.

4-The conference warmly welcomes both Congo Brazzaville's and the Republic of Zimbabwe's accession to the Association.

5-The conference also welcomes the Arab Republic of Egypt's request to host the Association's eight conference and ninth council meeting for 2014.s

6-The conference asserted the importance of revitalizing the resolutions and recommendations from the Association's past conferences and council meetings, especially those related to the promotion of economic and trade relations, opening up new avenues of mutual investment among member countries, and giving top-most priority to such an issue being one of the association's   most significant objectives.

7-The conference further stressed the importance of expanding the Association's membership to include Arab and African countries with bicameral legislative systems, which have not yet joined in ASSECAA. It also recommended that the chairman of the Association and its General Secretariat liaise with and visit such countries to impress upon them the need to join in ASSECAA.

 The conference urged the General Secretariat to issue    media annals in the three official languages of the Association,  outlining the organization's activities and relevant studies and researches on the development of parliamentary legislation and practices in general.

8- As the association seeks to optimally achieve socio-economic and political cooperation among member countries, it is therefore incumbent upon members to respect and appreciate the values of peace and stability, including by preventing any interventions in their own internal affairs, and respecting their own  independence and sovereignty over their  territories.

9-The conference stressed the importance that further coordination should be made to root out terrorism. In this respect, the conference highly valued the   initiative taken by the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques to establish an international anti-terror center under the sponsorship of the United Nations.

10-The conference highly welcomed the launch of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz's Center for dialogue among religions and cultures, which is inaugurated  in Vienna, the Capital of Austria, on November 26, 2012.  It also hailed the recent development Saudi Arabia has recently seen in terms of issuing a royal decree  appointing 30 women members  to the Saudi shoora Council.

11-The conference called upon legislative councils to contribute to establishing the pillars of understanding and cooperation among member countries in such a manner that strengthens joint action. In this regard, the conference champions every country's right to development in such a way that never runs counter to the interests and rights of other countries. It further called upon the countries overlooking the Nile basin to make mutual consultations to address any problems related to the setting up of any development projects on the Nile basin.

12-The conference expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle to establish a viable independent state on the 1967 borders, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital, as per the international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab peace initiative. In this regard, the  conference urged the immediate implementation of the relevant  UN resolutions in order to maintain the legal status of Jerusalem as a territory of co-existence, tolerance  and harmony among divine religions. It paid tribute to the genuine efforts that are still being exerted  by Jerusalem committee's fund agency chaired by his Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Monarch of the Kingdom of Morocco, which emanated from the Organization of the Islamic conference.

13-The conference called upon the international community to immediately stop the bloodbath currentlytaking place in Syria. It also urges all foreign parties, namely Iran and Hezbollah, to stop any sort of interference in the internal affairs of the Syrian people , and to enable the Syrian people determine their own destiny by themselves.

14-The conference calls for the international community to assume its

  role of offering humanitarian support to Syria refugees, who fled their homes  due to the war currently raging on their home country. It further calls for the international community to offer financial assistance to the government  of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to enable it bear   socio-economic burdens that resulted from the mass exodus of about 700,000  Syrian refugees to the Kingdom's territories.

15- The conference approves that cables of thanks and gratitude should be addressed to His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa , King of Bahrain , the prime minister and to the Crown prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain for their support and assistance for the success of this meeting .



Kingdom of Bahrain,

May 29,2013