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African Diaspora Parliamentarians Summit ends its deliberations and issues Statement

By Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
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JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, May 24, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The First Global African Diaspora Parliamentarians' Summit ended its two-day deliberations at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) today. A joint statement was issued by the PAP and the African Parliamentarians in the Diaspora in which the need for closer cooperation was stressed. The statement called for developing “policy frameworks that will enable all peoples of African descent in the Diaspora to participate in the development of Africa”.

The statement also called on the African Union (AU) to “ensure that parliamentarians are fully integrated into the policy development processes pertaining to the Diaspora,” and that they should “monitor the implantation of all policies pertaining to the Diaspora”. In addition, the statement also called for the reintegration of Africans in the Diaspora into African society by granting them dual citizenship. It was agreed by the participants that this meeting should be an annual event.

The meeting was opened on Tuesday by a statement from the President of the PAP, Hon. Dr. Moussa Idriss Ndélé, read on his behalf by Hon. Francoise Labelle, Second Vice President of the PAP.

In his remarks, the President explained the rationale behind the holding of this meeting. He reminded that the African Heads of State and Government had decided to include the African Diaspora in the AU structures as the Sixth Region of Africa. He added that in the AU Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2011, the Heads of State and Government endorsed the holding of the Parliamentary Summit of the Diaspora.

Hon. Ndélé hoped that the meeting would be “the beginning of a concrete dialogue forum on the issue of the African Diaspora”. He concluded that “the expected outcome of the meeting is a recommendation to the Heads of State Summit Meeting on 25th May on the role of parliamentarians in the Diaspora”. This, he said was because “parliaments, civil society and local government institutions are the representatives of the people”.