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Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean is an international organization established in 2005 in order to improve the fifteen-year-long co-operation between countries in the Mediterranean region, dating back to 1990 within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean, under the auspices of Inter-parliamentary Union. As part of the Conference, meetings were held in Malaga (1992), Valletta (1995), Marseilles (1999), and Nafplion (2005), where the members of the Conference initiated the establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. The inaugural session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean was held in Amman (Jordan) in 2006, at which the first president of PAM, Abdelwahed Radi (Morocco), was elected and the Statute and Rules of Procedure of PAM were adopted.
The fundamental mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) is the gathering of representatives of Mediterranean countries for the purpose of promoting political dialogue, encouraging economic and cultural cooperation, deepening democracy and the rule of law, respecting human rights and developing dialogue between cultures, civilizations and religions with the aim of finding common solutions to challenges faced by the Mediterranean region and the creation of space for peace and prosperity of citizens. PAM's activities are complementary to the work of other regional and international bodies responsible for strengthening security, stability and peace in the Mediterranean.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean brings together 31 Member States, which are represented in the Assembly through their national delegations with equal decision-making and voting rights. They consider political, social, economic and cultural issues and make decisions of immediate importance for all countries in the region. The Associated States and Observers participate in the work of the PAM, but do not have the right to vote. The main Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean has its headquarters in Malta since September 2007.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean is managed and coordinated by the Bureau, which consists of eight representatives of equally represented northern and southern countries of the region. It is preferred that decisions in the Assembly are made unanimously, or, alternatively, by majority voting. Within the Assembly, there are three permanent committees dealing with political, economic and social issues. The Statute of the Assembly also provides for the establishment of ad hoc committees or special working groups. The Assembly and its operational bodies are served by the Secretariat.
According to the Statute of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean:
The Assembly meets once a year in a regular session. As a rule, the host of the annual session is one of the Member States. The composition of the Assembly and its decision-making process is based on the principle of equality of Member States. Delegations of parliaments of Member States are composed of a maximum of five members and should have representatives of both sexes. Each delegation has the right to five votes, provided that at least two members of the delegation are present. If only one member of the delegation is present, he is entitled to only one vote. Decisions in the Assembly are made by consensus, and in cases where it is not possible to reach a consensus, the Assembly makes decisions by a majority of 4/5. The Assembly elects the president and four vice-presidents for a period of two years, as well as the presidents of the standing committees.
The Bureau is responsible for coordinating and preparing the activities of the Assembly and its committees, and assists the President in performing his duties. The bureau consists of the president of the Assembly, four vice-presidents and presidents of three standing committees. The President of the Assembly convenes the Bureau at least three times during the year or when he deems it necessary. Decisions of the Bureau are taken by consensus. The Bureau is responsible for: providing recommendations on the admission of members to the Assembly, as well as the suspension of their membership, proposing the place and date of the Assembly’s sessions, as well as other meetings, determining the competence of standing committees, preparing the annual work program and budget, adopting the final account for the previous fiscal year (on the recommendation of the appointed auditors), nominating a candidate for the post of general secretary, appointing a Goodwill Ambassador on the proposal of PAM.
The Standing Committees make preparations for the work of PAM in the form of opinions or recommendations. They cover the following issues:
First Standing Committee: Political and Security related Co-operation – regional stability: Relations between Mediterranean partners based on eight principles (refrain from the use of force, peaceful settlement of international disputes, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of states, right of peoples to self-determination and peaceful life on territories within internationally recognized borders, sovereign equality of states and non-interference in internal affairs, respect for human rights, cooperation between states and fulfillment of international obligations), issues of peace, security and stability, confidence-building measures, arms control and disarmament, respect for international humanitarian law and the fight against terrorism.
Second Standing Committee: Economic, Social and Environmental Co-operation - Common development and partnership: globalization, economy, trade, debts, industry, agriculture, fishing, employment and migration, population, poverty, human settlements, water and energy resources, land desertification and environmental protection, tourism, traffic, science, technology and technological innovations.
Third Standing Committee: Dialogue among Civilizations and Human Rights: Mutual respect and tolerance, democracy, human rights, migration, gender issues, children and minorities’ rights, education, culture and heritage, sports, media and information, and 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 into two geopolitical groups – North and South – Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the North Geopolitical Group.
The Member States of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean are: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Cyprus, Qatar, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Syria, North Macedonia, San Marino, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates.
One of the initiatives originating from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean is the celebration of 21 March as the Mediterranean Day.
The official languages of the Assembly are English, French and Arabic.