Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – Last week the Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), Honourable Pierre Ngolo and Minister of State Ms. Miet Smet, President of AWEPA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) endorsing a partnership to strengthen parliamentary engagement with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The CEMAC Parliament considers this partnership to reflect its ambition to become an arena for active dialogue on poverty reduction and sustainable development and to promote integration and development of the CEMAC region. In a speech before the signing of the MoU, Ms. Smet emphasised that for AWEPA “Parliamentary institutions lie at the core of the democratic process and are instrumental to fair economic development.”
Following the signing of the MoU, a full-day seminar took place on the topic of sustainable development. Its main objective was to provide the participants with a better understanding of policies to protect the human, economic and ecological challenges faced by the people of the Lake Chad region in the face of drought and desertification. During the seminar parliamentarians, including Senator Josep Maldonado i Gili from Spain, and representatives of the Commission of the Lake Chad Basin, the CEMAC Commission and the FAO have expressed their concerns with regard to the preservation and management of natural resources in the basin.
The dialogue established between the CEMAC Parliament and experts was used to create an overview for parliamentarians of the legal framework governing Lake Chad, political actions already undertaken and projects under development. The parliamentarians noted that their commitment and follow-up on this issue are crucial to the region to embark on the path to sustainable development. They reaffirmed the need to encourage political action in the region and beyond for the survival of Lake Chad. All participants remain convinced that the survival of Lake Chad requires all decision-makers to seize this challenge now, whether African or European.
About the Programme
Endorsed on 8 February 2012, the partnership between the CEMAC Parliament and AWEPA will be geared towards the strengthening of this regional parliament in its engagement with the Millennium Development Goals and will involve a range of thematic activities under the umbrella of the AWEPA parliamentary support programme ‘Strengthening Regional Parliaments towards achieving the MDGs’ (2011-2015).
The purpose of this programme is to empower the CEMAC Parliament to contribute to the attainment of the MDGs on the continent and to foster exchanges with other African Regional Parliamentary Bodies and the Pan African Parliament. Within this framework, the CEMAC Parliament will define its own priorities for cooperation.
To read the seminar conclusions, please Click here
To read more about the AWEPA parliamentary support programme, ‘Strengthening Regional Parliaments towards achieving the MDGs’ please click here.