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PR24/2024
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PAM addresses regional Security and Counterterrorism efforts in the 1st Standing Committee activities review, during its 18th Plenary Session.

Braga, Portugal - On 16 May 2024, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean concluded its 18th Plenary Session, generously hosted by the Portuguese Parliament in Braga.

The second day of the Plenary Session focused on the work of the 1st Standing Committee on Political and Security-related Cooperation. This session was chaired by Sen. Alia Bouran (Jordan), President of PAM 1st Standing Committee.

Hon. Alvaro Castello-Branco, Assistant Secretery of State for National Defence of Portugal, underscored the significance of regional diplomacy in fostering security through robust cooperation. Portugal actively participates in multilateral initiatives in the Mediterranean such as the 5+5 Defense initiative, along with joint training and cooperation for cybersecurity. He emphasized the role of the PAM 1st Standing committee on Political and Security-related Cooperation, as it serves as a cornerstone in addressing shared challenges in the region.

Insightful addresses were pronounced by Amb. Shaukat Fareed, PAM Permanent Observer at the UN in New York, who focused on the PAM support of the process towards the Summit of the Future next September; and Sen. Fernando Gutierrez Diaz de Otazu, Member of the Spanish Senate and Chairman of the Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group (GSM), in NATO PA, who emphasized the significance of enhanced South cooperation and the urgent necessity to combat hatred for a peaceful and secure world.

Hon. Pia Kauma (Finland), President of the OSCE PA, expressed her gratitude for participating in fruitful discussions at the occasion of the PAM 18th Plenary Session. She highlighted the solid relationship between PAM and OSCE PA, which provides a platform to share practices and perspectives among on the current challenges faced in the European and Mediterranean regions such, as climate change, terrorism and migration. She stressed that the link between security in Europe and in the Mediterranean is more relevant than ever in today’s interconnected world. She concluded by reminding the urgent need for collective action to achieve Peace and Stability having regard to the actual conflicts in the Middle East raising issues, including islamophobia and antisemitism. International cooperation, dialogue, and solidarity represent key tools for parliamentarians to address these challenges.

The two reports of the 1st Standing Committee, about “Geopolitical and security developments in the PAM regions” and “Terrorism and Criminal Threats Affecting the PAM regions” were presented by Sen. Ada Lopreiato on behalf of Hon. Deborah Bergamini (Italy) and Hon. Rita Theodorou Superman (Cyprus). Sen. Lopreiato stressed the necessity of a permanent ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and the efficient delivery of aid to Gaza.

Hon. Superman stressed the importance of sustainable development and human rights.  Terrorists benefit from organized crime as a source of financing and logistical support through the illicit trafficking, underlining the growing nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime. Then, in a context where the global counterterrorism coordination is weakened by current tensions and conflicts among States, she reiterated the need to strengthen cooperation to tackle terrorism and criminal activities.

PAM delegates participated to the discussion, including Palestine, UAE, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Algeria, Egypt, Türkiye, Romania, Portugal, Qatar.

The two resolutions on “Geopolitical and security developments in the PAM regions” and “Terrorism and Criminal Threats Affecting the PAM regions” were unanimously adopted. //

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