The Parliamentary Dimension of the 5+5 Dialogue plays a pivotal role in furthering the cooperation required among the countries of the Western Mediterranean Forum

The Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) convened the 4t
h High Level Meeting of the Parliaments of the Western Mediterranean Forum in Nouakchott,
Mauritania, on 15th April 2013.
PAM, responsible for the parliamentary dimension of the 5+5 Dialogue, organized the meeting at the
invitation of the Speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritania, H.E. Messoud Ould Boulkheir, on
the eve of the Conference of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Western Mediterranean (5+5)
Dialogue member states.
In his opening remarks, the First Vice President of the National Assembly of Mauritania, H.E. El
Arbi Ould Jidein, underlined the privilege for his country to host the Parliamentary dimension of the
Western Mediterranean Forum after more than six years since its last meeting. “This is happening
also at the opportune time for the region since PAM can look at the current and future challenges
with a new impetus, which calls for concrete and strategic actions”, Ould Jidein said.
PAM President, Sen. Francesco Maria Amoruso (Italy), in his national capacity as co-chair with
Mauritania of the 5+5 Parliamentary Dialogue, elaborated further on specific issues of concern, such
as the importance of cooperation, confrontation and especially the need for a concerted effort, and a
shared commitment to contribute to the resolution of the problems of the region, such as terrorism,
illegal migration, organised crime and unemployment. «Today is yet another occasion to underline
the convergence and complementarity of the legislative and the executive powers for them to foster
joint initiatives according to their respective mandates» Sen. Amoruso said.
During the meeting, key priority issues regarding the security and the stability in the Western
Mediterranean region were raised.
French MP, Hon. Michel Vauzelle referred to the situation in Mali, and stressed the role of
Parliaments in ensuring the legitimacy of countries within the rule of law, since they are the highest
expression of democracy. The role of France, he added, is particularly sensitive, and the decision by
French President, H.E. François Hollande, to intervene, was not an easy one due the colonial
experience. The threat to Mali’s security, unity and stability was such that it required the intervention
of the international community, and PAM, in close cooperation with the United Nations, has an
important role to play in order to contribute in the achievement of a long lasting peace, and in
establishing a strategic approach towards stability, stretching across the entire Sahelian region and
Saharan Africa.
H.E. Mohammed Djemiai, Vice President of the National People’s Assembly of Algeria introduced
the debate on the issue of terrorism in the region, and stressed the need to harmonise national
legislations in order to combat it in an effective and coordinated manner, including the need for a
more integrated control of the borders surrounding Mali to prevent terrorist groups from moving to
neighbouring countries.
The Syrian parliament and all the parties involved in the Syrian crisis were called upon to guarantee
the safety of civilians and to facilitate the passage and delivery of humanitarian aid from the
international community.
The contribution of parliamentarians for the recovery of economic growth in the Western
Mediterranean region was also discussed. PAM Vice-President and President of the Economic
Affairs Committee, Sen. Lhou Lmarbouh, (Morocco), highlighted the interdependence of stability
and development, where trade facilitation, job creation, support to SMEs, youth employment and
education are factors that need urgent actions.
PAM Secretary General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi, in presenting the final declaration adopted by the
parliamentarians at the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs the following day, reaffirmed the
pivotal role of the Parliamentary Dimension of the 5+5 Dialogue in furthering the cooperation
required among the countries of the Western Mediterranean Forum. In this way, they can strengthen
democratic institutions and deepen integration to make the region less vulnerable to instability.
“Representative democracies and parliaments are best placed to respond to political and economic
challenges, and to prevent divisions emerging between leaders and the citizens”, Amb. Piazzi added.
On their part, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Western Mediterranean Dialogue, in the
conclusions at the end of their meeting, invited PAM parliamentarians and local authorities to
increase their fruitful dialogue and to provide their precious contribution in the implementation of the
objectives and priorities agreed upon in Nouakchott for the well-being of the people of the region.
The next meeting of the Parliamentary 5+5 Western Mediterranean Forum will take place in Portugal
in April 2014, at the invitation of the Portuguese parliament.