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Meeting of the African Parliaments on the Pan African Parliament

Cape Town, South Africa

1 July 2003

DECLARATION

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We the representatives of Parliaments of Africa meeting in Cape Town on 30 June to 01 July 2003:

Recalling

  1. The Statement adopted at the Meeting of African Parliaments in Cape Town on 28 June 2002, which was submitted to the Assembly on 09 July 2002.


  2. The Commitment by the Assembly of the African Union to accelerate the ratification of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan African Parliament.


  3. The establishment of the Steering Committee on the Pan African Parliament on 28 April 2003.


  4. The decision of the Steering Committee at its first meeting in Addis Ababa on 28 April 2003 on the necessary steps to expedite the process of ratification and the operationalisation of the Protocol.
Noting that

  1. Although much progress has been made with the number of ratifications of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan African Parliament, the number of instruments deposited to enable the entry into force of this Protocol has not been achieved.


  2. The objectives of the African Union cannot be realized effectively without the full involvement of the peoples of Africa.


  3. The Pan African Parliament will contribute towards the realisation of the aspirations of the African peoples for greater unity, solidarity and cohesion that transcends the gender, cultural, ideological, ethnic, religious and national diversities.
Convinced

  1. Of the critical role that the Pan African Parliament can play in furthering the objectives of the African Union and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and in ensuring the meaningful participation of the African peoples in the economic development and integration of the Continent.


  2. Of the need to promote democratic principles and popular participation.


  3. Of the critical role played by democratic institutions in the socio-economic development and the renewal of the African Continent.
Congratulate

Member States and the Commission of the African Union on the promising and impressive progress made in establishing the Organs of the African Union.

Urge National Parliaments

  1. To monitor developments in the African Union and to establish working groups or committees that will look into issues relating to the African Union, Pan African Parliament and the New Partnership for Africa's Development and to engage the electorate in this process.


  2. To engage in the political processes towards the establishment of Regional Parliaments where appropriate, to facilitate deliberation on matters of common interest with the Pan African Parliament.
Request the Steering Committee

  1. To work closely with the Commission of the African Union in making all necessary preparations for the early establishment of the Pan African Parliament, including the preparation of all documents for consideration and debate by National Parliaments.
Strongly urge

  1. Member States that have not deposited the instrument of ratification to do so by 31 December 2003.


  2. The Assembly of the African Union to determine the seat of the Pan African Parliament and target date for its first session.


  3. Member States to expedite, where appropriate the establishment of Regional Parliaments with lawmaking powers.


  4. Governments to submit early drafts of Protocols and other documents related to the African Union to Parliaments of Member States for consideration and input prior to adoption.
Cape Town, 1 July 2003



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