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Tuesday, May 14, 2019


The Pan African Parliament (PAP) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the sidelines of the Second Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of PAP in Midrand, South Africa.

President of the Pan African Parliament, H. E. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang signed on behalf of PAP while Mr. Cosmas Chanda, UNHCR Representative to the African Union signed on behalf of the UNHCR.

The MOU is intended to “establish a general framework of cooperation for the parties to engage in mutually beneficial information sharing, consultations, knowledge exchange and to cooperate on projects, studies and events of mutual interest”.

Areas of cooperation include “learning and capacity building programs targeting members of PAP and members of parliaments of individual African Union member states; joint field visits; advocacy for accession to the UN Convention on Refugees and Statelessness as well as support to the forthcoming African Protocol on the Rights to Nationality and Eradication of Statelessness”.

Other areas of cooperation, according to the signed MOU are “the Participation of UNHCR in PAP Conferences including the Speakers’ Conference and strengthening the linkage between the executive and parliamentary arms of governance on issues of concern to the UNHCR”.

On the implementation of the MOU, PAP and UNHCR agreed to “develop a joint Plan of Actin to advance the areas of collaboration outlined in the MOU within three months of signature. The Plan of Action and any other subsequent amendments, will be annexed and form an integral part of the MOU which will be for an initial period of five years”.

Speaking after the signing of the MOU, PAP President H.E. Roger Nkodo Dang described the move as a step in the right direction and promised that he and members of PAP Bureau will visit all the refugee camps in Africa and other countries of the world where African refugees are camped to see their living condition.

Hon. Dang noted that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has gone ahead of the other regional bodies on the refugee issue and hoped to learn from the experiences of ECOWAS and possibly build on it.

On his part, Mr. Cosmas Chandu who is the UNHCR Representative to the African Union expressed gladness with the AU for their leadership on the issue. He recalled that the collaboration with the UNHCR dates back to the days of the OAU noting than it had continued since then. He promised that the UNHCR will ensure a 100% implementation of the MOU.

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