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Final Declaration of the 12Th Plenary Sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean

> 29/05/2016

Under the chairmanship of Mr. Rachid Talbi El Alami, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, and at his invitation;

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The 12th session of the PA_UfM was held  in Tangier, on May 29th , 2016, on the theme:

'' TOGETHER FOR A COMMON FUTURE IN THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN SPACE '': An ambition to bring about a better intercultural environment in the Mediterranean,conducive to shared development,forthe promotion of peace security and sustainable development, taking into account climate change and environmental protection in the Mediterranean;

  

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Driven by a common desire to continue the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, this 12th plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean seeks to consolidate the efforts already made to turn the Mediterranean region into an area of ​​peace, democracy, cooperation and prosperity; it decides to send the Summit recommendations to the institutions of the European Union and to the Heads of State and Government of the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean;

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The PA-UfM 12th Session and Heads of delegation emphasize, once again, their firm belief in the importance of finding concerted answers to the challenges and threats facing the region; they reiterate their commitment to work together to inject fresh momentum into the Union for the Mediterranean and further promote the European Union’s neighborhood policy by making the most of all cooperation prospects in this area for the achievement of sustainable security and shared prosperity for Mediterranean peoples; and to this end, they;

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Agree to strengthen parliamentary relations and support the Euro-Mediterranean process, using an approach that can help bring about a better intercultural environment in the Mediterranean, conducive to shared development for the promotion of peace, security and sustainable development, making sure Mediterranean populations are fully engaged through special university programs, local and regional management and tangible projects from which they can benefit;

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- On the one hand, the 12th Session of the PA-UfM meeting in Tangier, agree that:

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Local and regional authorities are key players both in facilitating the development of sustainable local policies suited to specific local conditions, and in implementing practical, inclusive projects;

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Calls on UfM members to strengthen the exchange of experience and best practices in order to facilitate decentralization in the South Mediterranean as a lever for development and democratic participation;

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Consider it appropriate that parliaments, together with local authorities, academia, social partners and civil society, support government efforts to promote regional integration in the South Mediterranean;

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On the other hand, through this 12th plenary session which aims to consolidate the strong momentum generated by PA-UfM Member States, they call for the following:

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Combat extremism and terrorism, wherever they may be, making sure there is full awareness of the seriousness of the situation and of the need to join efforts in order to tackle growing terrorist threats, which should not be attributed to any specific faith or country; to be involved in international efforts designed to shore up security and promote stability in the world, and to defend universal human values lest many countries continue to suffer from painful blows;

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Ensure greater coordination, cooperation and optimization of the resources available to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of joint action against extremist gangs and terrorist groups that are carrying on with their despicable plots, endangering innocent lives, wrecking economic infrastructure, destroying centuries-old symbols of human heritage and civilization and undermining the territorial integrity of States; the aim is to tackle the alarming expansion of this global scourge which represents a concern for us;

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Develop a comprehensive strategy, involving a social and development dimension as well as educational and religious components based on promoting a culture of tolerance and moderation, good faith partnerships, sincere cooperation and fulfilled commitments;

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Combat this scourge by relying on strong, collective will, on bilateral and regional cooperation and coordination and on combining integrated national strategies; address the illusions nurtured by extremist ideologies through the rehabilitation of religious, spiritual, cultural and human values while remaining unswervingly committed to the belief that this global scourge is not to be associated with any religion, civilization or culture.

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Recognizing that the fight against terrorism and extremism require answers tailored to rapidly evolving terrorist threats, Mediterranean countries are called upon to promote intercultural and inter-faith dialogue in order to ward off radicalism, this dialogue should be part of a participatory, preventive approach focused on the citizens’ endorsement of the measures undertaken by state institutions; they should also adopt comprehensive strategies combining preventive action to eliminate the factors and causes of extremism as well as the imperatives of safeguarding security and stability.

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Lastly, as well as denouncing and vigorously and unreservedly condemning the despicable terrorist attacks in several Mediterranean cities -and in whatever other city around the world - we reiterate our solidarity with and support to all victims of terrorist attacks; we call for unity and rallying together to confront all forms of violence, which are inconsistent with the moral values ​​of Islam - a religion of mercy, compassion, tolerance, peace and respect for human dignity and human rights; we also call for striving doubly hard in the fight against terrorism and radicalization so as to counter terrorist ideologies and promote tolerance and dialogue between cultures and civilizations, non-discrimination, fundamental freedoms and solidarity, thereby ensuring the security of Mediterranean populations and fostering the development of a democratic, stable and prosperous Euro-Mediterranean region committed to international legality and the use of peaceful means to resolve inter-State disputes.

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Aware that issues of irregular migration, drug trafficking and circulation of illicit financial flows have been compounded by other, far more unsettling threats that might engulf the entire Mediterranean basin and reverberate inside the African and European continents, the 12th session of delegation:

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Point out, once again, that in order deal with the multiple challenges plaguing the region, particularly the security threats arising from growing extremism and the spread of terrorism, it is their moral and political duty to make sure a new, large-scale project is launched by the Union for the Mediterranean, involving actual engagement by Mediterranean populations and based on human security as a multi-faceted concept that includes spiritual security, which is designed to help prevent as well as tackle security risks.

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To this end, we call for comprehensive, coherent migration policies conducive to improved mobility in the Euro-Mediterranean region, together with a common European policy for legal migration based on new legal mechanisms and allowing for more humanitarian channels in the Mediterranean countries most affected by migration, in accordance with Mediterranean countries’ migration policies;

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Furthermore, the PA-UfM 12th session meeting in the city of Tangier, express concern over the impacts of climate change on the environment in the Mediterranean.

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To this end, they:

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Urge parliaments, local authorities, social partners and civil society to support the efforts already made by governments to address the future of climate change in the Mediterranean, encourage all types of renewable energy and consider energy saving measures.

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Agree to work together to define an appropriate Mediterranean action plan on global warming; they fully realize the geographical nature of the Mediterranean basin as a virtually closed sea, which is considered to be among the most sensitive regions, and which is suffering from severe pollution, whose consequences include rising temperatures, declining rainfall, an increase in the number and intensity of extreme events and a possible rise of sea level, all of which overlap and compound the pressure already exerted by human activity on the natural environment.

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Concerned about the scarcity of water resources in the southern Mediterranean basin, the parliaments of Mediterranean countries call for quick, joint action allowing for the identification and implementation of adaptation options to address the crucial issue of scarcity of water resources, which is set to have serious consequences in the 21st century on human activities, especially agriculture, the fisheries, tourism, infrastructure, developed coastal areas and hydro-electrical power generation, in order to minimize damage and economic losses as much as possible.

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To this end, and given that the challenge for the UfM is to bolster parliamentary relations and support the Euro-Mediterranean process to make sure it leads to concrete projects:

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Recognize the importance of the pivotal role played by the UfM in promoting regional cooperation and regional integration in the Mediterranean; they express satisfaction with the progress made by the UfM to carry the regional agenda forward, to consolidate the regional political dialogue by facilitating the implementation of several projects that have a direct impact on the population, and to interact with all actors involved in cooperation in the region.

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In this regard, we call on governments to increase their political and financial support to the UfM and its General Secretariat to increase impacts and contribute more effectively to regional socio-economic and human development.

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The PA-UfM 12th session note with satisfaction that the European neighborhood policy (ENP) stresses that regional cooperation in the Southern neighboring countries has achieved progress through the Union for the Mediterranean, and that the UfM has proven to be a valuable forum for political and economic debate, providing a framework for cooperation on issues of common interest as well as on operational projects in the region. In this respect, they call for further complementarities and synergy between ENP and UfM activities. They also call on the ENP to increase its support for UfM’s regional cooperation efforts.

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In this regard, we call on governments to increase their political and financial support to the UfM and its General Secretariat to increase impacts and contribute more effectively to regional socio-economic and human development.

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The PA-UfM delegations note with satisfaction that the European neighborhood policy (ENP) stresses that regional cooperation in the Southern neighboring countries has achieved progress through the Union for the Mediterranean, and that the UfM has proven to be a valuable forum for political and economic debate, providing a framework for cooperation on issues of common interest as well as on operational projects in the region. In this respect, they call for further complementarities and synergy between ENP and UfM activities. They also call on the ENP to increase its support for UfM’s regional cooperation efforts.

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As well, they encourage stronger partnerships and synergies with other groupings and forums, such as the Arab Maghreb Union, the 5 + 5 Dialogue, ARLEM and the Arab League of Mediterranean, making sure strategic relations with African countries is taken into account.

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Finally, the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean reiterate their support for the resumption of peace talks and all international efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue based on the solution the two states as well as the international  references signed agreements

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Wishing a peaceful resolution of the crises, including Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.