By: Kebba AF Touray

A five day workshop on the ratification of the Pan African Parliament’s Protocol and other African Union Human Rights Instruments, on Monday October 1st 2018 kicks off at a local hotel in Senegambia.

The Pan African Parliament sponsored workshop, is meant to create awareness on the ratification and domestication of the PAP Protocol and other AU Human Rights Legal Instruments, amongst the new Pan African Parliamentarians, create awareness on the ten year Action Plan on Human and People’s Rights in Africa, and to enhance the capacities of the new parliamentarians amongst others

The theme for the workshop is:- “Assessment study on the status of ratification and domestication of the PAP Protocol and other AU Human Rights legal Instruments.”

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Hon. Stephen Masele, the First Vice President of PAP, expressed gratitude to the Government and people of the Gambia, for their hospitality and warm welcome accorded them.

“The Pan African Parliament is the voice of the African people; the voice that expresses the legitimate concerns and rights of the African people. The honorable members are aware of the fact that we have continued to play our role in articulating the concerns of the African people. However, some of the resolutions and recommendations adopted, remains a major challenge and hinders our desire to progress at the level of the Pan African Parliament. The Pan African Parliament must endeavor to ensure, that actions are taken to implement resolutions and decisions emanating from them and from the national parliaments,” he said.

He added:-“Following the approval of the Pan African Parliament’s Revised Protocol by Heads of States and Governments in Malabo in 2014, we envisaged that the revised protocol would help PAP in achieving all its goals and objectives, and enable legislators to better focus on our continental mandate of implementing the policies and objectives of the African Union.”

The Speaker of the National Assembly Mariam Jack Denton in her remarks, stated that the theme of the event is timely; that a United Africa has been a dream for decades, and this vision has aspired the creation of the African Union; that one of the most important instruments of the AU, is contained in the said protocol.

“The Pan African Parliament as a legislative arm of the African Union, is established with the mandate to promote the ratification and domestication of the African Union Treaty, and other legislative Acts, which include human rights as well as to exercise oversight and advisory functions,” she said.

Speaker Denton added:-“This decision is strategic as the Pan African Parliament has a direct link with national parliaments, as well as strong collaboration and cooperation with the European Parliament, within the framework of the joint Africa-Europe Strategy.”

She cited that as elected parliamentarians, they must be aware of the responsibilities and challenges they face, if they are to serve the interest of their people; that the ability of the parliamentarians to fight for the interest of their people, will ensure the success of the Pan African Parliament; that PAP is the only continental parliamentary institution, that ensures Governments and States on the continent, implement the AU program through their oversight functions.

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