NEWS

Ocean Top Focus At Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Major issues related to seas and oceans will be the subject of a keynote debate by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) this week in Suva, Fiji, covering development-related dimensions
14 Jun 2015 13:31
Ocean Top Focus At Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Major issues related to seas and oceans will be the subject of a keynote debate by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) this week in Suva, Fiji, covering development-related dimensions of climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, fisheries, maritime security, oil and seabed minerals.

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which meets for its 29th session from June 15 to 17, brings together lawmakers from across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as Members of the European Parliament to engage politically and take joint stances on a number of issues of common concern.

The event is scheduled to be opened formally tomorrow (Monday) by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the Speaker of the Fijian Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, along with JPA Co-Presidents Louis Michel for the European Parliament and Fitz A. Jackson (Jamaica) for the ACP.

It also follows separate meetings of the ACP Assembly from June 10 to 12, and meetings of the joint standing committees (on Political Affairs; Economic Development, Finance and Trade; and Social Affairs and the Environment) from June 13 to 14. Given the location of the session in the Pacific region, the keynote debate will focus on “Seas and Oceans”, with the participation of the President of Kiribati Anote Tong among other high-level speakers. Rebuilding after Cyclone Pam, which devastated several Pacific countries in March this year, will also be one of two urgent topics on the agenda, in addition to discussions on the political situation in the Central African Republic.

“We will discuss issues that affect Small Island Developing States such as climate change, and the particular vulnerabilities that may not be faced by countries on the continents. There needs to be recognition of the unique challenges SIDS face, which affect their long-term sustainable development,” said JPA Co-Chair Fitz Jackson.

There will also be two debates without resolutions – on natural resources, with the expected participation of the Minister for Planning of Papua New Guinea Charles Abel, and on improving internal revenue generation capabilities in ACP states.

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a democratic, parliamentary institution which aims to promote and defend democratic processes in the ACP-EU partnership framework through dialogue and consultation, and facilitate greater understanding between the peoples of the European Union and those of the ACP states.

It meets for full plenary sessions twice a year, alternating between a European country or an ACP country as host.

The JPA plays a unique role of parliamentary scrutiny over the other institutions, debates with the European Commission and the ACP and EU Council Presidency every session.

It holds important powers of scrutiny over the Country, Regional and Thematic Strategy Papers for the ACP regions and countries, ensuring there is proper parliamentary discussion and analysis of current and planned spending of the European Development Fund.

As a consultative body, the JPA adopts resolutions and make recommendations to the ACP-EU Council of Ministers with a view to achieving the objectives of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.


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