PAP President and Bureau meet with African Ambassadors
5 October 2012
Midrand, Johannesburg – The Pan-African Parliament’s (PAP) President, Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi, met with African Ambassadors and Diplomats accredited to the Republic of South Africa. The meeting was also attended by the Third Vice President, Hon. Loide Kasingo and the Fourth Vice President, Hon. Juliana Kantengwa.
The Hon. President welcomed the African diplomats to the PAP and informed them that the intention of the meeting was to inform them about the various developments and activities that concern the PAP.
On the process to review the Protocol of the PAP, Hon. Amadi informed the meeting about the progress made so far and explained the main features of the proposed new Protocol. In this regard, he said that the main feature was that the PAP would be making model laws at the request of the African Union’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government. These model laws would then be sent to the Member States for domestication. This will enhance the process of integration of the Continent.
He said that this was not giving the PAP legislative powers; rather it was giving a legislative function. He added that a stronger PAP will not in any way threaten the sovereignty of the Member States.
Hon. Amadi said that the African Parliamentary Speakers, in their recent Conference here at the PAP, gave their full support to the proposed Protocol and did not feel in any way that it was going to infringe their national parliaments’ sovereignty and independence.
The Hon. President also informed the meeting about the new administrative structure of the PAP, which was adopted at the last Summit of the AU. He said that it was for the first time since the PAP was inaugurated that an approved structure was now in place. He expressed concern, however, at the conditions attached to the implantation of this structure in that it might not protect the acquired rights of the current staff who have been here for many years.
Hon. Amadi requested the support of the African diplomats in South Africa in conveying the various concerns of the PAP to their governments and assisting the Parliament in moving forward.
Finally, the Hon. President briefed the Ambassadors about the programme of the forthcoming First Ordinary Session of the Third Parliament, which is expected to be addressed by H. E. Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi, the current Chairperson of the African Union and the President of the Republic of Benin on Monday October 08, 2012, and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana on Monday October 15, 2012.
On their part, the Ambassadors lauded the PAP and its current leadership for the work accomplished so far and for what they are planning to do. They further expressed their support and promised that they would report to their countries the concerns raised in the meeting.
At the suggestion of the Ambassador of the Republic of the Sudan, H.E. Ali Youssif Ahmed, the meeting resolved that there should be closer links between the PAP and the body of African Ambassadors in Pretoria. It was agreed that a more regular consultation mechanism would be instituted for the two bodies to dialogue.