PAP Bureau commended for restoring the Parliament to full functionality - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

PAP Bureau commended for restoring the Parliament to full functionality

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa (DIRCO), Dr. Naledi Pandor has commended the leadership of the Pan-African Parliament for restoring the parliament back to full functionality after the 29 June 2022 Bureau session.

Minister Pandor delivered a keynote address as the Guest of Honour on the opening day of the Joint PAP-PRC Retreat in Johannesburg, South Africa Monday on “The Role of the Pan-African Parliament in the Integration and Economic Development of Africa: Giving Full Effect to the Dream of the African Union Founding Fathers.”

She noted that under the leadership of H. E. Hon. Chief Fortune Z. Charumbira, the Legislative arm of the AU's drive to reinvigorate and re-energize itself is yielding positive results.

The Retreat was approved by the Executive Council in 2020 to reflect on the challenges affecting the effective exercise of PAP’s mandate within the AU institutional architecture.

Minister Pandor further recalled that the launch of the AU in 2002 was underpinned by the continental body’s resolve to become a people-centred organization. She emphasized that the PAP has a critical role to play in realizing this objective given its unique capacity to connect with constituencies and African citizens across the continent and beyond.

Continuing, she disclosed that the African Union was not established to be a Bureaucracy, but rather an engine to advance the continent’s developmental goals. This is precisely why the PAP is called upon to monitor the achievement of these goals, especially as the AU embarks on a review of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) of Agenda 2063 (2013 – 2023).

“We are encouraged by what the Parliament has achieved so far under the new leadership. The PAP must now effectively play its role as the Continental Parliament to ensure that AU programmes are implemented in line with the aspirations of the African citizenry. For instance, we must ask how the AU's budget of USD 650 million benefits the people of Africa. "What has this money bought us?" she asked. "Has it helped develop Africa? Has it built schools and solved the food crisis? Are these funds directed at development?" Minister Pandor inquired.

She added: “The PAP is also expected to play an active role in strengthening democracy, upholding human rights and respecting the rule of law. The PAP’s voice should also be heard even on unpopular issues such as unconstitutional changes of government and corruption.”

In his remark, Ambassador Lamine Thiaw, Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) also congratulated the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) for returning to normalcy, following the disruptions in 2021. He commended H.E Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union; H. E Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa; and H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission for their personal intervention in ensuring that normalcy is restored.

“We look forward to working closely with the Bureau to ensure that the Parliament delivers on its mandate to provide a platform for African citizens to be involved in the affairs of the Union. The PAP is one of the most critical organs within the African Union architecture and the Africa we want cannot be achieved without it.“

Earlier in his opening remarks, President of the PAP H.E Hon. Chief Charumbira, thanked the Guest of Honour, Minister Pandor for taking time from what is a very hectic schedule to officially open the Joint Retreat.

He also commended the Chairperson of the PRC, Ambassador Thiaw, for agreeing to convene the PAP-PRC Joint Retreat at a time when most institutions are closing shop for the festive season. The President appreciated the entire membership of the PRC for such an impressive turnout for the Retreat.  Chief Charumbira saw it as an indication that the PRC is taking the work of the PAP and its relationship with the Parliament seriously.

 “We need to change the image of the PAP which has taken a battering over the last few years. We are committed to changing this. This has been our focus since June 2022 and our resolve is starting to bear fruit. The PAP-PRC Retreat provides a platform for earnest reflection on the role of the Pan-African Parliament in the continental governance matrix and the PRC’s expectations with respect to what the Pan-African Parliament can and should deliver within this mandate. At the end of it all, the Retreat must culminate in a convergence of minds in recognition of the fact that both institutions have important complementary roles to play in the African Union governance architecture and in the achievement of the objectives of the AU, including Agenda 2063.”

Chief Charumbira concluded by reminding the gathering that whatever both Organs are doing is, ultimately, for the greater good and benefit of the people of Africa. This is particularly so for the Pan-African Parliament which is made up of the people’s elected representatives and should thus firmly keep its eyes focused on the needs of the African citizenry. It thus behooves on both institutions to work together seamlessly and more effectively in spurring the economic development and integration of the continent.


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