15 Jun 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 15 JUN (NAMPA) - The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states and European Union (EU) countries have called for an urgent co-ordinated initiative to improve the deplorable situation of migrants and refugees within the EU or en route to Europe.
This was one of the resolutions taken at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) which started in Windhoek on Monday.
Some 350 Parliamentarians attended the session to discuss issues affecting member states, which include economic integration, migration, social and environment issues, as well as the political situation in the member states.
Briefing the media on Wednesday, JPA Co-President Netty Baldeh noted that the Parliamentarians indicated that there is a complex link between climate change and migration which deserves special attention, adding that the countries concerned should get technical assistance.
The assembly reiterated the inalienable right to migrate in order to escape persecution and seek better living conditions.
They also stressed the importance of exploiting the possibilities offered by legal migration policies and inclusive reception programmes.
During the debate, members also called for renewed post-Cotonou architecture to adapt the ACP-EU partnership to new global challenges.
The assembly provided an opportunity for a strategic discussion on the future of partnerships between the EU and ACP countries after 2020.
The relationships between ACP and EU countries are based on the Cotonou Agreement, which will expire in 2020.
The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the EU and ACP countries aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty, while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy.
Members stressed the need to strengthen the parliamentary dimension and include civil society in the new form of cooperation.
During the debate, ACP-EU Parliamentarians were joined by Mozambique's former President Joaquin Chissano in debating the changing face of conflict and global security threats and their impact on global peace and stability.
The Parliamentarians discussed the prevention and management of epidemics in a post-Ebola context and in light of the Zika virus threat.
They also called for an end to impunity for perpetrators of violence against women and children during and after armed conflicts.
Military leaders should issue clear instructions that protecting civilians is a priority, they said.
The Parliamentarians expressed concern about the unstable pre-electoral climate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
They then voted for a resolution calling on the authorities in DRC to approve a timetable and budget for the presidential and legislative elections expected in November this year.
They called on the DRC to pursue its democratisation and voiced concern about the deterioration of security, the human rights situation and growing political violence.
The 32nd JPA is scheduled to take place from 19 to 21 December this year in the Central African region.