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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA)
17 March 2007

Third Session

Tunis 16-17 March 2007

Final Declaration of the Presidency

The third session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly held in Tunis on 16 and 17 March 2007, upon the invitation of the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies and under the presidency of Mr Fouad MEBAZAA, President of the Chamber of Deputies and President of EMPA in the presence of guests of honor:

- Mr the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia.
- Mr the Secretary General of the League of Arab States.
- Mr the German Deputy Minister of State for European Affairs.
- Mr the Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union.
-Mr the Executive Director of Anna Lind Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the dialogue between cultures.
-Mr the Principal Advisor on regional cooperation in European Commission.

And Members of the EMPA (herewith the list of participants).

The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) considers that the results achieved by Barcelona Process do not comply with the determined objectives and reiterates the commitments of Euro-Mediterranean parliamentarians to achieve this process.

In the framework of discussions on the topics of terrorism, situation in the Middle East, dialogue between civilizations and religions, migration, economic and social development within commissions, working groups and Ad hoc committee on women rights in the Euro-Mediterranean countries, in addition to the plenary session.

In the light of discussions and recommendations adopted, the EMPA:

- Reaffirm that the Arab-Israeli conflict can not be settled only through fair, global and permanent solution of the Israeli /Palestinian, Israeli /Lebanon and Israeli /Syrian tracks, based on the foundations of Madrid conference including the principle of land for peace as it is confirmed in the Resolutions of United Nations Security Council and the Road Map;

- Considers that the situation of Palestinian people requires to carry on, in collaboration with the international community, providing human aids of first necessity for this people, in addition to the reinforcement of Palestinian institutions;

- Praises the resumption of International Temporary Mechanisms (MIT) and demand the reinforcement of its resources and prolongation of the necessary period of its implementation;

- Condemns and expresses its firm indignation vis-à-vis the arrest of Mr Aziz Dweik, Speaker of Palestinian legislative council members of Palestinian government and the Members of legislative Palestinian Council and demands their immediate release;

- Condemns kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers and calls for their immediate release and that of all Palestinian Political prisoners in particular women and minors.

- Praises the constitution of the Palestinian government of National Unity and doesn’t doubt that this government will be committed in a program that reflects quartet principles, hopes that this agreement could put finally an end be all armed confrontations and requests the two concerned parties to do their best in order to put an end to violence and maintain and extend the cease fire, demand to Israel according to the decision of International justice Court to give up the building of the separation wall.

- Expresses its satisfaction with the results of the International Conference on Lebanon held on January 25, 2007, supports all the efforts aiming at the reconstruction of Lebanon and insists on the positive role that can be played by a democratic and sovereign Lebanon in the implementation of a settlement for the crisis in the Middle East and development of Euro-Mediterranean partnership;

- Considers that any terrorist act is not acceptable in any circumstance and does not explain the defamation for achieving political and religious objectives; besides fighting against terrorism must not justify the stigmatization of any culture, civilization or religion in particular;

- Takes note of the existence of sixteen international conventions and protocols on fighting against terrorism and calls to all the States that have not yet ratified them to do so as soon as possible;

- Call for holding an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations Organization to elaborate a world code of conduct to fight against terrorism, facilitate the settlement of a responsible dialogue in order to establish a common denominator for fighting against this phenomenon in an fair way;

- Considers necessary to promote cooperation of the international community to fight against terrorism and eradicate its deep reasons on the basis of a global approach settled on dialogue and solidarity and development;

- Demands the partners countries and the institutions of Barcelona Process to cooperate more closely in order to consider concrete solutions for the problem of landmines and anti- personal mines on the territories of several States of the region as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria on the human level as well as the economic and the environmental ones;

- Considers that a realist finance plan of the cooperation program must be examined and demand that the efforts in the framework of intergovernmental negotiations should be intensified in order to better apply with the needs of affected countries by land mines and anti personal mines;

- Underlines that fighting to eradicate poverty through achieving the millennium objectives for development and the application of the millennium declaration must be absolutely in the center of all the Euro-Mediterranean policies, bilateral and multilateral cooperation programs which are based on the development, and the creation of an Euro-Mediterranean fund of solidarity in order to help the partners to contribute to the achievement of objectives relative to the reduction of severe poverty, starvation and dangerous and contagious diseases amelioration of reproductive health, and generalization of primary education.

- Congratulates the four States members of EU who have fulfilled their commitments relative to the allocation of 0.7% of the Gross National Revenue for aid and encourage the European Union State Members to continue making efforts to rise the level of aids oriented to development;

- Encourages public authorities of partners' countries to carry on their important efforts in terms of Education and invites, in this respect, partners' countries and Members' States of the European Union to consecrate a substantial quota of public spending to National Education, to grant a particular attention to girls' Education and to look after the application of the objective announced by the commission "to raise of 50% at least the part of funds consecrated to Education on and after 2007";

- Insists on the fact that questions dealing with environment should be tackled in an appropriate manner at national and regional levels so as to contribute to the realization of the objectives of the millennium for development on integrating expressly environment and sustainable development into strategic national and regional documents just as into the different Euro-Mediterranean programs of cooperation;

- Reaffirm the Central feature of Mediterranean sea in its double signification of symbol-element, Unifying different peoples and cultures, and environmental resources that require protection.

- Demands to governments to take the necessary measures in order to fight against ecological threats in relation with human activities which increase desertification, drought and soil pollution;

- Encourages partners' Mediterranean Countries and the European Union to strive for the harmonization of their positions in the framework of WTO's negotiations that will permit to build a common Euro-Mediterranean agricultural policy integrating truly the two Mediterranean shores;

- Demands to members' states and their Euro Mediterranean partners to take a new initiative whose objective is the transformation of FEMIP into an Euro-Mediterranean investment and development Bank ; In order to reiterates the appeal to make the necessary studies relative to the transformation of FEMIP into an Euro-Mediterranean Development Bank in collaboration with the European Bank of investment owing to the importance of this Bank in the reinforcement of the private sector and the development of investment in the region;

- Underlines that dialogue between cultures, civilizations and Religions represents an absolute priority insisting on the valorization of a better knowledge and a deepened development of cultural relations based on trust and mutual cooperation ;

- Requests a propellant role of parliaments of Euro Mediterranean countries in the phase of implementation and concrete application of the convention relative to the protection and promotion of cultural expressions' diversities adopted by the 33rd conference of UNESCO held in 2005;

- Underlines the importance to strengthen and valorize the role of the Mediterranean Cultural heritage so as it would more and more become a tool of dialogue and the propellant of Economic and social development for countries of the Euro Mediterranean Region;

- Takes notice with satisfaction that in the recent acts of the European Commission, it is pointed out that for taking up opportunely the current challenges, dialogue between cultures shall become a visible and a sustainable priority for the European Union;

- Recalling the fundamental principles of 1972 UNESCO convention relative to the protection of worldwide cultural and natural heritage and the convention relative to the protection of cultural assets in case of armed conflicts(La Haye 14 May 1954), just as decisions of the worldwide patrimony committee during his last session held in Vilnius in 2006, underlines the necessity to protect sites inscribed on the list of world patrimony as well as on the list of UNESCO world patrimony in danger, situated on territories of current conflicts, notable the recent development in the old city of Jerusalem in the full respect of inhabitant communities and international law; in this context welcomes with favor the decision of UNESCO regional director KOICHIRO MATSURA to send a technical delegation to the old city of Jerusalem and welcomes favorably the report established on 12 March 2007 by UNESCO at the end of its mission works.

- Reveals his full support to the shared course development in terms of higher education and to the different wide forms of cooperation between Universities as fundamental tools for consolidating common values among the youth of the two shores of the Mediterranean through the creation of an Euro-Mediterranean University;

- Considers that international migration is a key component of globalization processes and that it represents a valuable potential of growth and development for both welcoming countries and countries of origin;

- Invites parliaments to appeal to their governments to ratify and adopt international judicial tools relative to migrants and particularly the international convention on the protection of rights of all migrants' workers and their families' members adopted by the UNO'S General Assembly held in 1990;

- Requests Euro-Mediterranean Parliaments and Governments to put an emphasis on promoting integration and on recognizing diversity through launching information and sensitization campaigns for the sake of a better understanding of migrants on highlighting their positive contribution in welcoming societies;

- Invites to parliaments as well as governments to promote immigrants' women integration, to guarantee the protection of their rights and to put into practice full gender equality as a fundamental human right;

- Stresses the urgent need to improve the situation of women in the Euro-Mediterranean countries, taking into consideration these rights are considered fundamental human rights and the respect of these rights is necessary for equality and democracy and for the success of political and economic objectives of the Barcelona Process through amelioration of the legislations in the partners countries, and calls to the involvement of an action plan in order to find the financial resources as it was included in the action plan of the 1st Ministerial Conference on "Strengthening the role of women in Society" held in Istanbul (14-15 November 2006).

Participants expressed their sincere thanks to the Republic of Tunisia just as to the Chamber of Deputies for their hospitality and the excellent organization of EMPA third session.

They also expressed their particular thanks to Mr Fouad MEBAZAA, EMPA President, for his praiseworthy efforts made during the term of his presidency.

The Assembly has entrusted his President with making Presidents of Parliaments, Members' states governments of the Barcelona process and all the participating institutions, follow up and comply with this declaration just as the joint enclosure.

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