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INTERIM REPORT FIFTH COUNCIL MEETING AND FOURTH CONFERENCE  OF ASSECAA HELD IN RABAT MOROCCO DAY ONE 12th November 2009

 

COUNCIL MEETING

The Outgoing Chairman of the Association, H.E Ali Yahiya Abdallah in the chair

1.0             Preamble

1.1            Under the supreme auspices of His Majesty, Mohammed VI, King of the Kingdom of Morocco and at the kind invitation of H.E Dr. Mohammed Al- Cheikh Baidallah, Speaker of the House of Counselors of Morocco, the fourth conference and the fifth Council meeting of the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab world (ASSECAA) were held in Rabat, Morocco, from 12-13 November 2009.

1.2            The meetings were held in joyous atmosphere of optimism, constructive understanding and common keenness on enhancing cooperation and buttressing common interests of Africa and Arab world.

1.3            The meetings were characterized by fervent enthusiasm and determination on the part of member countries, to attain the objectives for which the Association was established.

1.4 Foremost among such objectives is the consolidation of economic cooperation, bicameralism, development of common action at the political, socio-economic and cultural levels and coordination among the countries of the two regions with the aim of surmounting all obstacles to stability and development, eliminating all causes of tension and conflicts and harnessing the abundant potentials, available in the region, for the betterment of its nations.

2.0             Present

Delegates from the following member councils/senates attended the meetings:

- The Shoora Council of the Kingdom of Bahrain

- House of the Federation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

- House of Dignitaries of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

- Senate of the Republic of Gabon

- House of Counsellors of the Kingdom of Morocco

- Senate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

- National Council of the Republic of Namibia

- Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

- Advisory Council of the State of Qatar

- Shoora Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

-  Council of States of the Republic of Sudan

- Shoura Assembly of the Arab Republic of Egypt

 - National Council of Provinces of the Republic of South Africa

- Shoora Council of the Republic of Yemen

3.0             Observers

Delegates from the Senate of Senegal, Arab Parliamentary Union and Shoora Council of Maghreb Union attended the meetings as observers.

4.0 Royal Message

At the beginning of the meetings, the royal message from His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco and sponsor of the conference was read to the participants. The message stressed the importance of engaging heavily in the democratic process, based on the significant status of parliaments, in terms of decision-making, rather than impetuous lobbyism and voracious capitalism that lack human and social spirit.

The message thoroughly tackled the extremely intricate coercions and challenges facing ASSECAA’s members at the regional and international levels and suggested a well studied road map to meet them, including the adoption of a new dynamism on the following four levels:

1.     At the political level, the message envisaged reactivating mechanisms for boosting nascent democracy based on the particularities of each member state.

2.     At the economic level, the message championed the enhancement of effective, joint partnership among the Association’s member countries through undertaking development projects, including infrastructures and human development, as a prelude to fostering good governance.

3.     At the cultural level, the royal road map encouraged the revitalization of new mechanisms for civilization alliance and religious dialogue, fighting extremism and terrorism and respecting cultural diversity.

4.     At the strategic level, it emphasized the importance of exerting concerted efforts at creating conducive environment for dialogue, respecting the sovereignty of nations, propping up regional groupings to ensure the achievement of development and stability and playing a key diplomatic role at regional and international forums.

His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the King of the Kingdom of Morocco, accordingly declared the meetings open.

5.0  Keynote  Address

H.E Dr. Mohammed Al-Cheikh Baidallah, Speaker of the House of Counselors of Morocco, delivered a keynote speech in which he stressed the importance of the Association which is the only organization bringing together Africa and the Arab world, advocating bicameralism and fostering economic cooperation between the two regions.

He pointed out that the meetings were being held under complicated circumstances marked by the rising tempo of globalization and the fallout of the global economic crisis that brought liberalism to the fore, put an end to market dictatorship and raised the burning issues of energy, water, climate change, environment, education, health, food security, spiritual security, instability, terror, immigration, marginalization, fragility, illiteracy, bribery, maternal and child mortality, armed conflicts, calamities and other woes arising therefrom.

Based on the royal message that touched upon the profound connection of ASSECAA with Rabat, the Conference venue, H.E Dr. Baidallah proposed  lending the spirit of Rabat to the conference, as the city represents a link between senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils that share the same values, as well as a bridge of communication and interaction among member countries.

6.0 Chairman’s Address

H.E Ali Yahiya Abdallah, Speaker  of Council of States of Sudan and Chairman of ASSECAA, delivered a speech in which he maintained that the meetings were  aimed at pushing the Association forward and adopting further proposals, initiatives and stances on the issues that concern member countries and the world at large, in line with the more developed similar organizations that have deep-rooted experience in terms of parliamentary diplomacy, that contributed to the achievements made by such bodies, whose people have become fully aware of the  importance of unity, solidarity and elimination of religious, cultural, ideological and ethnic hurdles.

He underscored the fact that the Association constitutes a bridge of communication between Africa and Arab world as well as nucleus for multilateral political and economic partnership.  He indicated that ASSECAA should focus on combating poverty and illiteracy and eradicating all forms of underdevelopment, tensions and violence.

7.0  Secretary-General’s Annual Report

7.1 The Secretary-General of ASSECAA, H.E Livinus I. Osuji, delivered the Statutory Annual Report from the General Secretariat of the Association.  In his report, the Secretary-General reviewed the activities of the Association in 2009 which included the meeting of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee held in the Republic of Burundi, in March 2009 and the first meeting of women parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab world, which the General Secretariat of ASSECAA organized, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  The meeting was held in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2009.

7.2 The Secretary-General, in his report, regretted that the Association could not hold its annual retreat in 2009 for lack of venue despite repeated appeals to member countries to provide venue for the event.  He also reported that the Students Exchange Programme could not commence in 2009 for lack of nominations.

7.3 Continuing, in his report, the Secretary-General, with the approval of the Chairman, presented the Audit reports of the Association’s accounts for 2006, 2007 and 2008.  He further presented the financial statement of the General Secretariat for the period January 1st to October 31st 2009.  In conclusion, the Secretary-General presented the Association’s proposed activities for 2010 as well as the draft budget for the General Secretariat of the Association for 2010.

8.0 RESOLUTION INTO COMMITTEES

The Council subsequently resolved into four committees.  Committees 1 – 3 considered the issues presented to the Council from the Secretary-General’s report.  Committee 4 drafted the Communiqué from the conference.

9.0  Committee One

9.1  Committee One was the Budget Committee to which the following matters were referred:

           a. Consideration of the Audit Reports for 2006, 2007 and 2008.

           b. Consideration of the Draft Budget for 2010.

The Committee was chaired by Captain Said Al-Yafee, (rtd.), distinguished member of the Shoora Council of Yemen, who also functioned as the rapporteur as no other delegate accepted to serve as the rapporteur.

10.0 Committee Two

10.1 Committee Two was the Administrative Committee to which the following issues were referred. 

a. Relationship with Brother Organizations

b. Meeting of Women Parliamentarians (report)

c. Meeting of Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee (report)

d. Draft Administrative Structure and Financial Regulations prepared by the   

    Review Committee

10.2 The Committee was chaired by Dr. Rashid Al-Kathiri, distinguished member of the Shoora Council of Saudi Arabia, while Mr. Kenneth Sinclair of the National Council of Provinces of South Africa was the rapporteur.

11.0 Committee Three

11.1 Committee three was the Programme Committee to which the following matters were referred:

a. Study Visit Exchange Programme

b. Annual Retreat

c. Meeting of Chambers of Commerce and Industry

d. Students Exchange Programme

e. Venue for the 2010 Conference and Council meeting

f. Declaration of support to the Republic of Yemen

11.2 The Committee was chaired by Her Excellency Rogomber Rose Francine, the President of the Senate of Gabon, while Hon. Abdul Rahman Ashan of the Chamber of Counsellors of Morocco was the Rapporteur.

12.0 PRESENTATION OF COMMITTEE REPORTS

12.1 Committee One (Budget Committee)

Membership of the Committee comprised delegates from the following countries:

i.        Yemen                   viii.   Namibia

ii.      Morocco                  ix.  Nigeria

iii.    Gabon                      x.  Saudi Arabia

iv.   Ethiopia                  xi.  Qatar

v.     Mauritania             xii.  Sudan

vi.   South Africa         xiii.   Jordan

vii. Bahrain

The Chairman of the Committee in presenting the report said that the Committee exhaustively considered the documents presented to it, including the audit reports on the Association’s accounts for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008.  The Committee recommended that these reports be approved on the condition that the recommendations stated in the audit reports on the defaults and violations made during the previous financial years, be taken into account.

The report stressed that the General Secretariat should abide by the financial and administrative regulations presented by the committee on the Scheme of Service and Financial Regulations set up during the conference held last year in Khartoum.

Further, the Committee considered the draft budget for 2010 with the aim of rationalizing the Association’s expenditures in accordance with the principles of good governance.  Accordingly, the Committee recommended that in the 2010 draft budget, sub-heads 1-3, be approved as presented while other sub-heads remain as they were in the 2009 budget.  The Committee therefore recommended a total amount of $807,460 for the 2010 Budget of the General Secretariat and the allocation formula as proposed.

 The Council approved the report of the Committee.

12.2 Committee Two (Administrative Committee)

Membership of the committee comprised delegates from the following Councils/Senates:

- Shoora Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

- National Council of Provinces of South Africa

- House of Dignitaries of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

- House of the Federation of Ethiopia

- Senate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

- House of Counselors of Morocco

- Senate of the Republic of Gabon

- Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

-Council of States of Sudan

- Shoora Council of the Republic of Yemen

- Shoora Council of the State of Qatar

- Shoora Council of the Kingdom of Bahrain

- National Council of Namibia.

The Chairman of the Committee, in presenting the report said that the Committee thoroughly considered the topics presented to it and recommended:

1.     That the conference approve the administrative and financial regulations provisionally for one year, with prerequisite that Annex II of the report be circulated to member countries to enable them consider this scheme and send within three months, their proposals thereon to the General Secretariat which would in turn submit them to the 2010 Conference for consideration.

2.     That relationship with similar organizations be consolidated and that bicameralism be boosted, being a key pillar for the activities of the Association.  The Committee also recommended that the Association of European Senates be invited to the 2010 retreat as an observer.

3.     That the proposal on the meeting of women parliamentarians be approved and that a committee on meeting of women parliamentarians be set up in the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab world.

4.     That the report from the Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution on Somalia, Darfur and the Middle East be approved and that member countries be urged to support the initiatives preventing conflicts and human rights abuses in the two regions and the world as a whole.

The Council approved the report of the Committee.

12.3 Committee Three (Programmes Committee)

Membership of the committee comprised delegates from the following Councils/Senates:

-         House of Counselors of the Kingdom of Morocco

-         Senate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

-         Senate of the Republic of Gabon

-         Shoora Council of the Republic of Yemen

-         National Council of Provinces of the Republic of South Africa

-         Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

-         Council of States of the Republic of Sudan

-         National Council of the Republic of Namibia

The Chairman of the Committee in presenting the report said that the programme committee elaborately discussed all the topics presented to it by the General Secretariat.  Consequently, the Committee approved the proposals from the representative of the Moroccan delegation that the royal message of His Majesty, Mohammed VI, be endorsed as a road map according to which the General Secretariat outlines its future activities.

Further the committee recommended:

1. That the Study Visit Exchange Programme be revitalized on the part of ASSECAA member Councils.

2. That the General Secretariat should make necessary contact with member councils to provide venue for the annual retreat.  In the event that no member country offers to host the retreat, the headquarter country, Yemen shall take up the responsibility of hosting the event.

3. That the Association should make genuine efforts to organize the meeting of chambers of commerce and industry in a bid to strengthen reciprocal cooperation and integration among member countries and the Association should look for a venue for the meeting.

4. That the Students Exchange Programme be put in place by member countries and that the General Secretariat should urge governments of member states to speed up the implementation of this very important programme.

        5. The issue of hosting the next conference be submitted to the conference to nominate countries to host the upcoming conference.  Otherwise, the host country will be specified in accordance with the statute of the Association, which stipulates that the hosting of ASSECAA’s annual conferences be rotated among member countries based on their English Alphabetical order.  Accordingly, Algeria is the country that would host the fifth conference of ASSECAA.  Therefore, the Committee recommended  that the General Secretariat should contact Algeria in this respect.

The   Council approved the report of the Commi 

 

DAY TWO

13 November 2009

THE CONFERENCE

H.E Dr. Mohammed Cheikh Baidallah, the current Chairman of ASSECAA took his seat.

13.0.  Opening Speech

The Conference started with the opening and valedictory speech presented by the out-going chairman of the Association, His Excellency Ali Yahiya Abdallah, Speaker of the States Council of Sudan. 

In his address, H.E Abdallah expressed gladness and gratitude for the term of office which he held in ASSECAA, as he disclosed that his country Sudan was preparing for general elections that would end the country’s transitional period.  He thanked the Association for supporting the President of Sudan during his indictment by the I.C.C.   He praised the Republic of Yemen and the Shoora Council of Yemen for their tremendous contributions to boost democratic dialogue and to reduce tension and violence in the regions of Africa and the Arab world.

In the same vein, the out-going chairman highly commended the General Secretariat of the Association led by H.E Livinus I. Osuji, the Secretary-General of the Association and his two Assistant Secretaries-General for the impressive efforts they are making to realize the objectives of the Association and the accurate administrative approach they have adopted in the Association.

He highlighted the remarkable recommendations adopted by the Association during the meeting of its committee on peace and conflict resolution held in the Republic of Burundi.  These resolutions, he enumerated, included proposals for the restoration of peace in Somalia and the Congo.  Continuing, he observed that ASSECAA was showing growing interest in the situation in Palestine.  He urged the Association to denounce any attempt at taking over the Aqsa Mosque and the desecrating of holy places.  In the same breath, he condemned any threat to the stability and unity of the Republic of Yemen.

The out-going chairman extolled the efforts of ASSECAA to organize a fruitful meeting of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Africa and the Arab world and the first meeting of women parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab world.  He expressed the hope that the proposals from Council to the Conference would be turned into an integrated programme for future activities of the General Secretariat of ASSECAA to enhance cooperation and coordination among member councils and senates.  He wished the Association, the very best in its future activities.

14.0 Welcome Address

The Secretary-General of the Association, H.E Livinus I. Osuji delivered the welcome address at the conference.  In his address, the Secretary-General eulogized the chamber of counselors of morocco for inviting the Association to hold the 2009 Conference and the Council meeting in Rabat, as he observed that due to the global economic downturn, many countries have failed to honour international commitments during the year.  He traced the history and life of the Association and concluded that the history of ASSECAA cannot be written without mentioning Morocco in bold letters as it is, metaphorically speaking, the birth place of the Association. 

The Secretary-General enumerated the programmes formulated by the Secretariat and put into effect in pursuit of the realization of the objectives of the Association.  He urged member councils/senates to offer venue in 2010 for the events and programmes of the Association. 

In conclusion he expressed gratitude to the delegates for their support to the Association.

15.0 PROPOSALS FROM COUNCIL TO THE CONFERENCE

The Council of the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab world which met on 12th November 2009, made the following proposals to the Conference of the Association held in the Chamber of the House of Counselors of the Kingdom of Morocco on 13th November 2009.

15.1 Relationship with Brother Organizations

The Council has noted with pleasure, the giant strides being made by the General Secretariat to take the Association to the limelight and main stream of global parliamentary organization’s forums.  The Association participates effectively at the Inter-Parliamentary Union meetings.

It is in communication with the Senates of Canada and France for closer working relationship.  It has established cordial working links with the Association of European Senates which invited the Secretary-General of ASSECAA to its extraordinary meeting, held in St. Petersburg, Russia in November 2008.

The Conference is accordingly invited to:

(a) note this welcome development in the relationship between ASSECAA and its brother organizations in other regions; and

(b) approve that the General Secretariat of ASSECAA invites the leadership of the Association of European Senates to the Retreat of ASSECAA in 2010.

15.1.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

15.2 Meeting of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab world

The Council has noted with satisfaction, the successful organization of the First Meeting of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab world, by the General Secretariat of ASSECAA in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Council accordingly invites the Conference to note the recommendation from the meeting which requests that:

a.     Delegations from every African and Arab country to international parliamentary meetings and conferences should include, at least one woman.

b.     The Meeting of Arab and African Women Parliamentarians be held every two years, at this initial time.

c.      The governments in Africa and the Arab world should improve transparency and accountability in governance to reduce strife and tension associated with politics in the regions and thus create conducive environment for women to participate in politics.

The Council invites the Conference to approve that the General Secretariat of ASSECAA should continue to participate in future organization of the Meeting for Arab and African Women Parliamentarians.

15.2.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

15.3 Report of the 2nd Meeting of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee

The second meeting of the committee set up by the Association for contributing to the international efforts to resolve conflicts in Africa and the Arab regions and encourage the sustenance of peace, took place in the Republic of Burundi from 2nd to 3rd March 2009.  The Council has studied the report of the committee and invites the conference to note the following recommendations:

a.     On Somalia; the Committee:

i)       reasserts ASSECAA’s condemnation of regional and international negative involvement in the Somalia affairs,

ii)    reasserts the needs to continue ASSECAA’s efforts to follow up on the situation in Somalia in coordination with the African Union, the League of Arab States and other international organizations concerned with peace in Somalia and the horn of Africa.

The Council accordingly invites the Conference to approve that:

i)       the General Secretariat of ASSECAA forwards these recommendations to regional organizations such as the League of Arab States and the African Union,

ii)    ASSECAA Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution seeks to participate in future regional and international meetings on the conflict in Somalia.

b.     On Darfur, the Committee:

i)                   reconfirms the principle of dialogue as a veritable means of understanding and settlement of disputes between all parties without the use of force,

ii)                reconfirms the principle of territorial integrity of Sudan and the sovereignty of its government over the Sudanese national soil,

iii)              reconfirms the position of the Arab League of States and the African Union in dealing with the international criminal Court (ICC) regarding the indictment of the Sudanese President.

Accordingly, the Council invites the Conference to approve that:

i)             A letter be addressed to the President of Sudan expressing the support of ASSECAA for the genuine efforts the government of Sudan is making to resolve the conflict in Sudan.

ii)          A letter be addressed to the government of the State of Qatar to support the government of Qatar on its efforts to provide conducive environment for the people of Sudan to deliberate on the problems in Sudan and find lasting solution to the conflict.

c) On the Middle East, the Committee:

    i) recommends condemnation of atrocities wherever they are committed    by way of attacks on innocent civilians, men, women and children;

   ii) affirms ASSECAA’s position of calling for an end to all acts that create hardship, suffering and cause of death to innocent citizens in conflict areas;

iii)  affirms ASSECAA’s position in asserting the need for national reconciliation among Palestinians.

The Council accordingly invites the Conference to condemn in the strongest terms possible, the denial of portable water to the citizens of Gaza as reported in the news media.

15.3.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

15.4 Administrative Structure, Scheme of Service and Financial Regulations

The Council draws the attention of the Conference to the Committee set up during the Conference of 2008 in Sudan, to review the Administrative Structure and Financial Regulations drafted and proposed by the General Secretariat.  The Committee comprised:

a.     The Shoora Council of Yemen – Chairman

b.     Shoora Council of Saudi Arabia

c.      Senate of Nigeria

d.     Senate of Swaziland

e.     Senate of Burundi; and

f.       Council of States of Sudan.

The Council has received and reviewed the report of the Review Committee and has effected necessary amendments.  Accordingly, the Council invites the Conference to:

a.     Express unreserved gratitude to the Committee headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Shoora Council of Yemen.

b.     Approve temporarily for one year the administrative structure and financial regulations of the Association with prerequisite that annex 2 be circulated to member countries to respond within three months, forwarding their proposed amendments to the General Secretariat of the Association. These amendments will be tabled and discussed  at the next conference in 2010.

15.4.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

15.5 Study Visit Exchange Programme

The Council has reviewed the participation of member Senates and Councils in the Study Visit Exchange programme for two years 2008 and 2009.  The Council agrees that the programme has not been well supported and utilized during those years.  It is also observed by Council that the programme is intended to strengthen bilateral and multi-lateral relationships among members.  It will give invaluable opportunity for member Councils and Senates to share experiences on national and international developments, compare notes on the demands of the work at the apex legislative or advisory institution and identify areas of cooperation and assistance.

Accordingly, the Council invites the Conference to note that:

a.     there has been noticed drop in the enthusiasm of member Senates and Councils to participate in the Study Visit Exchange Programme;

b.     the importance of the programme is crucial for consolidating the bilateral and multi-lateral friendly relationships among member countries;

c.      there is need to invigorate the interest of member Councils and Senates in the programme.

Accordingly, the Council invites the Conference to approve that the programme continues  to be organized by the Association and urge member Senates and Councils to renew their interest in the programme in consideration of its importance.

15.5.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

15.6 Annual Retreat

The Council has observed that the Association uses its annual retreat to deliberate on wide ranging, regional and international concerns.  The programme affords members the opportunity to interact with varied participants on socio-economic, political and cultural topical questions of the period.  The Association takes appropriate resolutions on these issues in accordance with its Statute.

The Council deeply regrets that due to unavailability of venue, the Association could not hold a retreat in 2009.  Accordingly, the Council invites the Conference to approve that:

a.     the retreat for 2010 be held during the second quarter of the year;

b.     in the absence of an offer of venue  by a member Council or Senate for the retreat, the event should be organized in Sana’a where the General Secretariat of the Association is situated;

c.      the General Secretariat is by this resolutions authorized to invite friends and brother organizations of the Association to the retreat.

 

15.6.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

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

The Council has noted with pleasure the sustained effort being made by the General Secretariat to attain the objectives of the Association.  For the purpose of strengthening economic cooperation between African and Arab countries, the General Secretariat, in 2008, in collaboration with the Bank for Economic Development in Africa, organized the first meeting of chambers of Commerce and Industry in Africa and the Arab world.

As is well known, the formation of economic cooperation blocs poses severe challenges essentially because nation states are conservative about economic policies and protocols. They hesitate to change partners in economic relationships or add to their existing commitments especially, where some countries are better endowed than others.

The inspiration for the Association’s objective of seeking closer economic cooperation between Africa and the Arab world is drawn from the imperative of consolidating regional competence as has been espoused by even developed economies, in order to be relevant in the scourge of globalization.

Africa and the Arab world are near neighbors by nature and have identifiable similar cultural, social and climatic underpinnings determining economic activities.  ASSECAA believes that a strong economic cooperation arrangement between the two regions is possible.

The Conference is accordingly, invited to note that:

a.     the Association in collaboration with the Bank for Economic Development in Africa has organized the first  meeting of chambers of commerce and industry in Africa and the Arab world;

b.     by the first meeting, ASSECAA has blazed the trail for future meetings on economic cooperation between the two regions;

and accordingly, the Council invites the Conference to approve that the General Secretariat of ASSECAA continues to take part in the organization of future meetings, on this noble venture in pursuit of the realization of one of the fundamental objectives of the Association.

15.7.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

15.8 Declaration of Support to the Republic of Yemen

The Council brings to the  attention of the Conference, the need for ASSECAA to identify with, support and encourage the great Republic of Yemen in these days of national trial.  It has been observed that the leadership of the country tried everything possible for several years, including unexpected concessions to some elements in the Saada governorate of the country, in order to avert open war but the rebels were hell-bent on disrupting the peace of the country and violating its territorial integrity.

The government was therefore compelled to govern, to defend the unity of the country and its territorial integrity and to neutralize the insurgence of the rebels.  An open confrontation has therefore broken out during the past few months.  Reports indicate that the country is making tremendous success in quelling the rebellion.

But there has arisen humanitarian problems of displaced citizens in need of shelter, food, clothing and medical care while the conflict lasts.  Several countries and organizations around the globe have expressed support for the unity of Yemen, identified with the action of the government of Yemen and are dispatching relief materials to the country.

The Council therefore urges the Conference to:

a)     declare unflinching solidarity with the government and people of Yemen at this time of national trial;

b)    condemn, in no mistakable terms, any act of insurrection and rebellion aimed at undermining the unity of the Republic of Yemen and its territorial integrity,

c)     condemn, in very strong terms, any outside involvement, covert or overt, in the rebellious attempt to undermine the unity of Yemen; and

d)    accordingly, call on all countries in Africa and the Arab world to:

i)          rally round the Republic of Yemen by regular expression of support for the action of the government of Yemen to maintain the unity of the country and protect its territorial integrity

ii)     send material aids to the country to avert humanitarian crisis that  could result from the displacement of citizens due to the conflict.

15.8.1 The Conference approved the proposal nemine contradicente.

16.0 Speeches by Heads of Delegations

16.1 Heads and representatives of the following member Councils/Senates delivered speeches at the Conference:

-         Shoora Council of the Kingdom of Bahrain

-         House of the Federation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

-         Senate of the Republic of Gabon

-         House of Counselors of the Kingdom of Morocco

-         Senate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

-         Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

-         Advisory Council of the State of Qatar

-         Shoora Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

-         Council of States of the Republic of Sudan

-         National Council of Provinces of the Republic of South Africa

-         Shoora Council of the Republic of Yemen

-         Representative of the Republic of Senegal

16.2 The representatives of the Arab Parliamentary Union and the Shoora Council of Maghreb Union addressed the conference as well.

16.3  In their speeches, delegates emphasized the importance of supporting and encouraging the Association in a way that strengthens relations among their countries and serves the interests of their nations.  They maintained that utmost efforts should be exerted to surmount all social and cultural hurdles to the empowerment of women and their participation in politics, attainment of decision-making positions and comprehensive development.  They urged the Association to support the democratic approach based on harmony between originality and the internationally recognized democratic values.

16.4 In the same vein, delegates stressed the importance of supporting mutual interdependence, the south-south cooperation and the launching of new north-south mechanisms based on justice and principles of human rights.

16.5 further, the delegates expressed their unequivocal support for all nations’ struggle for freedom and emancipation, notably the Palestinian People’s struggle to regain their inalienable rights and to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

16.6 The President of Senate of the Republic of Gabon in her presentation, announced inter-alia, that the Senate of Gabon had offered to host the Association’s Conference and Council meeting in 2010. (The Conference applauded)

17.0              RESOLUTIONS

The fourth conference of ASSECAA held in Rabat, Morocco on 13th November 2009, noting that the holding of the Conference in Rabat, the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco which is a bridge of cooperation and communication between the two regions is evidence of the Association’s appreciation of the pioneering role played by Morocco, regionally and internationally, in supporting the just causes of nations and the importance of the nationwide reforms initiated by the Kingdom of Morocco in an effort to establish a democratic system that creatively marries originality with contemporaneity,

the conference urged that:

-the diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving crises and tensions in Africa and the Arab world and the world at large be supported in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and demands of international law;

- the mechanisms of south-south cooperation among ASSECAA member states should be supported for it to be harmonious with those of the north-north cooperation based on justice and the principles of human rights;

- the principles of reasoned dialogue between civilization and religions be adopted in order to achieve rapprochement among nations;

- the Arab Peace Initiative aimed at resolving the Palestinian question be supported in a way that achieves security and stability in the Middle East;

accordingly, the Conference resolved that:

a.             the royal message of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI be adopted as a road map for the Association’s future activities;

b.            the Republic of Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia be supported in their struggle to neutralize rebellious movements in their countries, maintain their unity and preserve their territorial integrity;

c.             the term of office of the Secretary-General and the Assistant Secretaries-General be extended for one year while the General Secretariat shall inform member countries to send their nominations to the General Secretariat ahead of the Association’s Conference in 2010;

d.            His Excellency Mohammed Cheikh Baidallah be congratulated on his assumption of the chairmanship of the Association.

The Conference by unanimous consent, expressed sincere gratitude to:

a.             His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, his government and the people of Morocco for hosting ASSECAA’s fourth conference and fifth Council meeting through a telegram.

b.            His Excellency Mohammed Cheikh Baidallah, Speaker of the Chamber of Counsellors of Morocco and his honourable Council for hosting the meetings, the lavish hospitality and the warm reception accorded the delegates.

c.             His Excellency Ali Yahiya Abdallah, Speaker of the Council  of States of Sudan for the impressive results achieved during his tenure as the Chairman of the Association.

d.            The President and the Senate of the Republic of Gabon for their kind offer to host the Conference and Council meeting of the Association in 2010.

e.            The Secretary-General and other officials of the Chamber  of Counsellors of Morocco for the impressive efforts they made to make the meetings very successful.

f.              His Excellency, Livinus I. Osuji, Secretary-General of ASSECAA, his Assistants and staff for the commendable arrangements they made for the meeting and the great initiatives they are taking to achieve the objectives of the Association.

18.0 The Conference adjourned sine die.

 

ASSECAA Secretariat

 13th November 2009.