By Yankuba Jallow
The Head of the Delegation to the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Honourable Sidia Jatta has presented a report of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the 4th Pan-African Parliament which took place in Midrand, Republic of South Africa from May 8 to 19, 2017. The Delegation comprised Hon. Sidia Jatta as the Head of Delegation, Hon. Alhagi Sankung Jammeh, Hon. Alhagie Mbow, Hon. Fatou K. Jawara and Hon. Alhagie S. Darboe. The PAP Session was presided over by its current President, Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang.
Honourable Jatta, in his opening statement before law makers said the Bureau and the PAP organs were to look into the formulation of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. The PAP also examined its activity report, the state of the AU report, the draft model law on policing in Africa among other issues. He said the Presidents of Burkina Faso, Malawi, a good number of other African Ambassadors, the Chairperson of the African Union, his Excellency Moussa Faki, the Permanent Representative of the African Union to the United States of America, H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombor, the President of the National Assembly of Serbia, Mrs. Maja Gojkovic and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, H.E. Pedro Roques, graced the occasion. Some even delivered goodwill messages of solidarity at the event.
“At least 30 new Members of Parliament (MPs) from seven African Countries, namely Botswana, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somalia and the Republic of The Gambia were sworn in as members of the Pan African Parliament” he said.
In his deliberation, Hon Jatta said the main objectives of the Session were in principle to strengthen the capacity of PAP and the members, as well as improve the quality of services offered by the staff. Further to this growth component, it was envisaged that this drive would further consolidate the Bureau and the Standing Committees in their strategic activities.
He said there were presentations and debates on thematic areas. The first he mentioned was the report on Participation of the Pan-African Parliament in the 22nd UNFCCC Conference of the parties to the Paris Agreement (COP 22) that was held in Marrakesh in 2016 which was delivered by Hon. Jacqueline Amongin (Uganda). He added that report centered on many issues such as cooperating to prepare to adapt to climate change effects, determining the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries, Implementing national strategies and nationally determined contributions [NDCs] and many others.
He said the presenter also challenged PAP to specifically advocate for the promotion of the uptake of technologies that minimise high carbon pollution, create awareness on green economy, support ecological innovative practices, policies and programs and finally advocate for environmental regulations and enforcement and support.
He said the parliamentarians are asked to advocate for the ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote Climate Legislation and Budget approval for climate activities.
It is recommended that PAP should position itself in future COPs negotiations given its advocacy role for the ratification and domestication of the legal framework relating to the Paris Agreement and secondly PAP should consider increasing the number of Members attending the future COPs for maximum coverage of the different thematic areas in order for it to move at the same level with other participants.
Subsequent presentations include Presentation of the Report on the Brainstorming Session on the Sustainable Development Goals, Debate on Peace and Security in Africa, on the Rotation of the Presidency of PAP, on the Report of Palestine’s request to be granted ‘Special Observer Status’ in PA, on the Report of the joint workshop on combating Gender-Based Violence among many others.
The contributions made by the members of the delegation were also reported. The National Assembly members also expressed their opinions on the report before the motion for its adoption was put and approved by the members.