Ivanković Lijanović, Jerko
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) has emerged from the Conference on Security and Cooperation on Mediterranean, which took place from 1990 under the auspices of Interparliamentary Union. The last Conference on Security and Cooperation in Mediterranean was held in Greece (Nafplion) in 2005 when the Statute of PAM was adopted. The main objective of PAM is to gather representatives of Mediterranean peoples to forge cooperation, dialogue and better understanding. PAM currently has got 26 members with equal rights in the Assembly, consider all issues and adopt decisions of great importance for all countries in the region.
The goal of PAM is to promote political dialogue, cultural and economic exchange, fostering democracy and the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights.
PAM is managed and coordinated by PAM Bureau composed of eight members who represent North and South countries on equal footing. The Assembly preferably adopts its decision unanimously, or alternatively, by majority of votes. There are three Standing Committees within the Assembly involved in political, economic and social issues. The Statute of the Assembly also provides setting up of ad-hoc committees or special working groups. The Secretariat provides services for the Assembly and its operational bodies. The Headquarters of PAM Secretariat is in Malta.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Mediterranean is an ideal place for organization of discussions between parliamentarians, actors of civil society and private sector and politicians. Its objective is to become parliamentary center for Mediterranean issues. PAM Committees held their meetings on a regular basis and discuss various issues related to cultural, economic, political and social conditions in the region. These issues include regional stability, cultural dialogue and efficient management.
According to the Statute of PAM, the Assembly meets once a year at its regular sessions. In general, host of annual session is a member country. The composition of the Assembly and decision-making procedure has been based on equal footing. Delegations of member parliaments are composed of maximum five members; both sexes should be represented. Each national delegation has the right on five votes, providing that at least two members of delegation are present. If only one member is present, he/she has the right on one vote only. Decisions of the Assembly are taken by consensus; in instances where it is not possible to reach consensus, the Assembly shall take decisions by a fourth-fifth of votes cast. The Assembly appoints its President and four vice-presidents for two-year mandate, as well as chairmen of standing committees.
PAM Bureau is responsible for the coordination and preparation of the activities of the Assembly and its Committees; it assists the President in performing his/her functions. The Bureau is composed of the President of the Assembly, four Vice-Presidents and the Presidents of the three Standing Committees.
The President of the Assembly conveys the Bureau meetings at least three times a year or whenever he/she deems it necessary. The Bureau makes its decisions by consensus. The Bureau is responsible for the following: providing recommendations on the admission and readmission of members to the Assembly as well as on suspension of their affiliation; proposing the date and venue of Sessions of the Assembly and all other meetings, setting the terms of reference of the Standing Committees; development of annual work plan and budget, adoption of final statements for preceding financial year (on the basis of appointed Auditor's recommendation); proposing candidates for the position of Secretary General, appointment of Goodwill Ambassadors on PAM's proposal.
The Standing Committees make preparations for the work of PAM in the form of opinions or recommendations. They cover the following issues:
Standing Committee on Political and Security (The First Standing Committee) - regional stability: Relations between Mediterranean partners are based upon eight principles (refraining from the threat or use of force, peaceful settlement of international disputes, inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity of states, right of peoples to self-determination and to live in peace in their territories within internationally recognized; sovereign equality of states and non-interference in internal affairs; respect for human rights, cooperation between states, fulfillment of international commitments), questions regarding peace, security and stability, confidence-building measures, arms control and disarmament, respect for international humanitarian law and the fight against terrorism.
Standing Committee on Economic, Social and Environmental Cooperation (the Second Committee) - Common development and Partnership: globalization, economy, trade, finance, debt issues, industry, agriculture, fisheries, employment and migration, population, poverty and exclusion, human settlements, water and energy resources, desertification and environment protection, tourism, transport, science, technology and technological innovation.
Standing Committee on Dialogue among Civilizations and Human Rights (the Third Committee): Mutual respect and tolerance, democracy, human rights, gender issues, children, minorities' rights, education, culture and heritage, sports, media and information, dialogue among religions.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a full member of PAM and its delegation composed of three members actively participates in the work of this parliamentary association. Considering the fact that the members of PAM are divided in two geopolitical groups – North and South – Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the North geopolitical group.
The following countries are members of PAM: - Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monte Negro, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Cyprus, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Syrian Arab Republic, Macedonia, Tunis, Turkey.
One of PAM's initiatives is to celebrate March 21, as the Mediterranean Day.
PAM Official languages are English, French and Arab.