AIPU Conference "a venue" to voice out Arab aspirations towards a better life -- Al-Rashed
KUWAIT-- The Arab world is facing numerous challenges due to the spread of corruption, lack of social justice and scarcity of job opportunities for Arab youth, President of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union and Kuwaiti House Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed stressed at the 19th Arab Inter-Parliamentary Conference, kicked off here earlier Tuesday.
These challenges paved the way for the so called movement of the "Arab Spring" that stormed various parts of the Arab countries and created tension in the region, Al-Rashid noted in his opening speech.
He explained that the revolutions of the Arab Spring, which were initially aimed at protecting human rights and rejecting discriminations among the people, have not changed the face of democracy "for the better" nor improved the living standards in the Arab countries.
He further noted that "these revolutions that toppled unjust leaders will not accept new unfair leadership, they will only demand new era of justice and a better change," He called on new ruling systems to draw a road map that will fulfill peoples' needs.
All efforts should be exerted, within the frameworks of parliamentary organizations and institutes, to put an end to armed-disputes and spread peace and stability, Al-Rashed said, " I hope all Arab lawmakers would take on their shoulders humanitarian and national responsibilities, to better understand the demands of the people, afar from any violence." "Democracy is not a smooth road nor an easy task. To achieve it, there should be a pressing need for change, socially, economically and politically, that would restructure the whole society." "Therefore this parliamentary event should voice out the aspirations of every Arab who would want to see positive changes in his life", Al-Rashid further stressed.
At the Palestinian front, daily Israeli aggression and the expansion of settlements led to a fallback in the Middle East peace process. According Palestine non-Member Observer State status at the United Nations is an acknowledgement of a Palestinain independent state, and an incentive to pressure Israel to commit to international laws.
Al-Rashid reminded the assembly of the ongoing humanitarian crisis that is currently taking place in Syria. Reports show frightening facts of destruction and increasing violence against the Syrian people. "These acts of violence are not only threatening the unity and solidarity of this brotherly Arab country but also the entire Arab region." Hence, "It is of utmost importance to find a transitional mechanism that is more effective, to pressure the international community to put a halt to this constant bloodshed." The increasing number of Syrian refugees, Al-Rashed continued, need further aid to ease off their daily sufferings. As an outcome of this human distress, Kuwait hosted earlier this year a UN-sponsored donor conference for the Syrian people. " I seized this opportunity to remind donor countries to honor their pledges" to speed up the process of elevating the Syrian pains.
The AIPU President also stressed the need for development reform that would boost the economy and investment in Arab states and face any future challenges. He encouraged to benefit from youth capabilities, to improve Arab economies. As an incentive, Kuwait established a two-billion dollar fund for entrepreneurs to launch their medium to small businesses.
The State of Kuwait has also paid attention to investing in education, early childhood care facilities as a gesture to take under its wing the younger generations by protecting their rights.
Women, also, have given care and attention from the Kuwaiti leadership, Al-Rashed note. "Women are the core of any society; therefore, they have been encouraged to engage in all realms in order to be part of the country's development process."
Effects of Arab Spring continue to gain influence - Bouchkouj
KUWAIT-- The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) conference is being held "in the mist of extremely delicate and dangerous circumstances for the Arab world," said its Secretary General Noureddine Bouchkouj on Tuesday.
"The effects and repercussions of the Arab Spring continue to gain influence across the whole of the Arab region, in the midst of calls for freedom and democracy," he said in a keynote speech at the opening of the 19th AIPU conference currently being held in Kuwait.
The event, attended by lawmakers from across the Arab world, is being held over a two-day period under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
"The calls of the people for a state of institutions and law, which tackles unemployment and poverty and aim to put an end to the suppression and corruption of their leaders, grow louder in achieving a change in the pyramid of the former regimes and in moving aside all the injustice brought about during former decades," he added.
He expressed profound anxiety over the "growing violent struggle in Syria that is burning all in its path and is leading daily to the death of dozens and the injury of hundreds of innocent civilians in addition to destruction of all forms of life." He also expressed sorrow over the inability of Arab and international efforts, up to until now, to put a stop to "this bloodbath", calling on these efforts to resume in ratcheting up a peace initiative aimed at ending the struggle.
"This initiative should combine all the sides of the struggle in fruitful dialogue sessions aimed at finding an exit from this dangerous predicament and dark fate, which threatens the unity of the Syrian land and community," he suggested.
On the Palestinian issue, he noted the importance of what has been achieved so far on the international front, after Palestine received the status of non-member observer nation at the UN General Assembly.
"This accomplishment paves the way for a new stage in the Palestinian struggle. We need to invest in this achievement and build upon this, through achieving inter-Palestinian reconciliation between all of the different political parties," he urged.
On the broader Arab region, he said that it "is being faced with dwindling challenges like the absence of its own integration and terrorism that is increasing in ferocity and is threatening the inner stability of its nations, in addition to the continuing deterioration of living standards in its most of its nations." This is being met with "the inability of officials from the West to solve the Arab world's ailments and challenges," he suggested.
Addressing Kuwait, he praised the economic, social, cultural, democratic and parliamentary accomplishments it has achieved, under the wise leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, "who leads the ship of this friendly nation to the shores of safety." He also expressed his best wishes of success for the AIPU President and Kuwaiti parliament speaker Ali Al-Rashed in his noble role and thanked the Kuwaiti people and government for their warm reception and organization of the event.
Arab Parliament keen on boosting regional parliamentary relations -AlShamsi
KUWAIT-- President of the Arab Parliament, Ahmed Al-Jarwan Al-Shamsi, praised on Tuesday the work of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) since its establishment in 2005, aimed at achieving the Arab nations' democratic development, unifying the Arab stand and bridging relations with other national parliaments.
Al-Shamisi's speech comes at the opening of the 19th AIPU Conference hosted by Kuwait for the next two days, where he stressed on "the importance of Arab parliaments in supporting the Arab parliament to enable to fulfill its goal in unifying the Arab stand in various fields." "We aim to visit other national parliaments in aim of strengthening relations through memos of understanding to what serves the Arab region," he said.
"Some of the Arab countries witnessed the 'Arab Spring', which we hope would accomplish the people's aspirations", adding, in the name of the Arab Parliament "to stop the daily killings and violence in Syria, assuring full support of all Arab and International efforts to save the Syrian people from additional bloodshed, and achieving the country's stability and security." "We congratulate Palestine for the United Nations General Assembly endorsement of an upgraded UN status for the Palestinian Authority, from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state", an important step towards achieving the Palestinian peoples' aim of an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital," he added, calling on the Iranian parliament "to advise its leadership to end the occupation of the UAE Islands, and seek peaceful solutions through bilateral negotiations under a set time frame, or through the International Court of Justice, and also committing to the UN resolutions concerning nuclear weapons, and full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)." Al-Shamisi called upon participants to encourage their governments in presenting aid for Somalis and Comoros. Meanwhile praised the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia for approving the assignment of 30 women in the Saudi Parliament, highlighting the importance of women role in politics and democracy.
He also praised King Hamad bin Essa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain for the launch of a national dialogue, and the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir's decision to release all politician prisoners, and his call for a national dialogue with all political factions in the country.
Al-Shamisi hailed the recent parliamentary elections in Djibouti, the launch of a national dialogue in Yemen, "aimed at achieving national consensus and constructing a democratic state".
"The Arab Parliament opens its door for additional discussions among arab parliaments, towards stronger relations and cooperation to overcome all challenges, and boost stability and security in the region," he concluded.
IPU, AIPU play major roles in serving Arab causes -- Al-Radhi
KUWAIT-- The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) have played major roles in serving Arab causes that led to greater cooperation in setting peace, stability and democracy in the world, IPU chief noted Tuesday at the 19th AIPU conference currently held in the State of Kuwait.
Abdulwahid Al-Radhi, who thanked the Kuwaiti leadership for hosting such event and praised the gulf country for pioneering the parliamentary life and democracy in the region, emphasized in his opening address the importance of improving the performance of all Arab parliaments that have been strive to reach the level of international parliaments.
He noted that, last year, the IPU sent a team of experts to Egypt to help with the writing of new parliamentary laws. Another team was also sent to Libya to ensure a smooth transition to forming a new parliament and formulating a new constitution.
Arab parliamentary life has witnessed positive changes by increasing the number of female parliamentarians and encouraging them to engage in the political process, as it is seen in Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The 19th AIPU conference is being held under critical circumstances, regionally and internationally, where world economies are falling apart and terrorism is surging in many countries, therefore there is a dire need for solidarity to build a better life for future generations, Al-Radhi pointed out. The "Arab Spring" movement, he noted, is facing afresh challenges since its demands have failed to be met, due to clashes in governments' agendas.
On the Syrian front, "we are concerned over the ongoing bloodshed and the destruction of the infrastructure that forced thousands of Syrians to flee their homeland," he expressed. "We are saddened that all Arab and international efforts have not yet found a solution for this humanitarian crisis." The Palestinian cause, meanwhile, has made a vital improvement as Palestine was granted a non-member observer State status at the United Nations - an international acknowledgement of the rights of the Palestinian people. He called on resuming the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations to achieve stability in the Middle East.
World parliaments have seen constant developments over the years since they are the backbone of democracy and the voice of the people, "through parliamentary bodies development and social justice would be achieved," he pointed out.
He noted that this conference will discuss many political, parliamentary, social and organizational matters, aimed at pushing cooperation among Arab parliaments further. "I have total confidence that Arab parliamentarians will discuss these matters seriously to serve the people's interests."
Kuwait’s Amir receives Arab parliamentary figures
KUWAIT-- His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and National Assembly Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed received at Seif Palace on Tuesday Speakers of Arab Parliaments participating in the 19th conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU), hosted by Kuwait.
His Highness the Amir welcomed the delegations and wished them success and prosperity.
His Highness the Amir also received Arab Parliament Speaker Ahmad Al-Shamisi, also attending the 19th conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU).
His Highness the Amir then received Jordanian Parliament Speaker Saad Hayel Al-Suror.
Later, His Highness the Amir received Iraq's Parliament Speaker Osama Al-Nujaifi.
The meeting was attended by National Assembly Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed and Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah.
In a statement during the reception, Al-Rashed thanked His Highness the Amir for his sponsorship and attendance in the conference.
For his part, President of the Saudi Shura Council Dr. Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al Sheikh and member of the Egyptian SHura Council Ali Fath El-Bab thanked His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince for their sponsorship of the conference and their attendance.