PLACE DU PETIT-SACONNEX
1211 GENEVA 19, SWITZERLAND
Final document of the
Ist INTER-PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE
Ist INTER-PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE
Organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union
2. Accordingly, security in the Mediterranean is directly and closely linked to the security of the States and peoples living in Euro-Asia and Africa.
3. The security of States and peoples is not restricted to the political and military spheres: it is inseparable from developments in international economic, social, ecological, cultural, humanitarian and other relations, to say nothing of the fact that national security and international security are increasingly interlinked.
4. The Conference, noting that the Mediterranean is currently a place of conflicts, some of which are in the form of armed confrontations sometimes resulting from military occupation, as well as economic, social and cultural tensions, considers that relations between all the coastal countries of the Mediterranean in the various fields of common interest must urgently be redefined comprehensively and step by step from the qualitative point of view.
5. The Conference acknowledges that it is not mandated itself to devise direct solutions to conflicts that have long been under way in the region, in some cases for decades; but its purpose is to launch a pragmatic process of co-operation which would gradually gain in strength and coverage, generate a positive and irreversible momentum and facilitate the settlement of those conflicts.
6. Whilst affirming that the principles it proclaims and the co-operation measures it advocates in its Final Document are applicable to the Mediterranean region as a whole, it is nonetheless fully aware that measures of concrete co-operation may not materialize among those countries of the region which are in a situation of open armed conflict until a process of definitive settlement of such conflicts has reached a point of no return.
7. It welcomes the Middle East peace process started in Madrid in October 1991 and expresses the hope that it will lead to a final, comprehensive and just settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 which make provision in particular for the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, and will make it possible to guarantee the security and stability of all States of the region and the achievement by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination.
8. It also calls for the immediate cessation of attacks against South Lebanon and the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 425.
9. It welcomes the United Nations efforts to promote a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem in accordance with the United Nations resolutions.
10. It expresses its concern at the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and urges all Governments to comply with United Nations Security Council measures regarding Serbia and Montenegro.
11. It also hopes that the other current disputes in the Mediterranean on which the United Nations has expressed a view, such as that concerning Libya, can be settled without further escalation and through peaceful dialogue and international co-operation.
12. It warmly welcomes the work for co-operation carried out since 1990 among the ten countries of the Western Mediterranean ("5 + 5") and feels that it is high time for broader-based action to be attempted.
13. The Conference therefore urgently recommends that the Governments concerned convene as soon as possible an inter-governmental Conference on Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean (CSCM) which could draw on the procedures and general experience of the CSCE process. Such a Conference would make it possible to tackle the problems of the Mediterranean region in a complete, gradual and comprehensive manner. It would be an instrument designed to create and manage common interests in the fields of security, co-operation and, as regards the human dimension, to stimulate the improvement of relations between countries of the region. Such a Conference would contribute to:
14. Wishing to lay, at its own level, the first foundations of
a process aimed at gradually transforming the Mediterranean into
a zone of lasting peace, security, stability and co-operation,
the Conference adopts this Final Document.
15. The Conference considers that the establishment of lasting stability in the Mediterranean is crucial for progress and peace in this region and for security in the world at large. It therefore feels that an intergovernmental CSCM should concentrate its efforts on that field with a view to the adoption of a set of principles governing the relations between the States participating in the CSCM, as well as concrete measures on the peaceful settlement of disputes, the prevention of crises, military confidence-building measures and arms control.
16. With this in view, the Inter-Parliamentary Conference proposes
the following possible outline:
I. POLITICAL ASPECTS OF REGIONAL STABILITY
(a) Principles governing the mutual relations between the States participating in the CSCM
17. The Conference considers that the relations between all the countries of the Mediterranean should fully and wholly conform to the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter and the 1970 United Nations Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States (hereinafter referred to as the Declaration on Friendly Relations), and confirms that their relations are based on these two primordial texts.
18. It also believes that the joint drafting of a text specifically adapted to the situation, nature and requirements of their Mediterranean-wide relations, drawing inspiration from the Declaration on Friendly Relations and the Dialogue of the CSCE, would of itself be an exercise that would engender confidence.
19. It considers that the following eight principles would be perfectly apposite in this connection:
20. It calls upon all the States of the Mediterranean to reaffirm
their commitment to these principles - which are all of equal
value and must each be interpreted in relation to all of the others
- and to express their firm resolve to respect them and to put
them into practice, regardless of their political, economic or
social system or their size, geographical location or level of
(b) Peaceful settlement of disputes and crisis management
21. The Conference considers that refraining from the threat or use of force should urgently be made effective in relations throughout the Mediterranean and that the principle of the peaceful settlement of international disputes should be given effect and expression throughout the region.
22. It therefore recommends that Governments study the possibility of setting up, when conditions are right, a Regional Centre for Stability in the Mediterranean which could be assigned attributes involving in particular crisis management and the peaceful settlement of disputes, as well as the follow-up of possible confidence- and security-building measures.
23. Lastly, it recommends that Governments study the possibility
of working out at the appropriate time a mechanism along the lines
of that adopted in February 1991 within the CSCE (Valletta Mechanism)
which would be applicable to differences relating to territory,
and to the problems of delimiting air space, territorial waters,
exclusive economic zones and continental shelves.
II. MILITARY ASPECTS OF REGIONAL STABILITY
(a) Confidence-building measures in the Mediterranean (CBMMs)
24. The Conference considers that the establishment of confidence can broadly contribute to increasing stability and security in the Mediterranean. It is also convinced, bearing in mind the entirely conclusive experience of the CSCE, that transparency in routine military activities - a basic condition for assessing the unthreatening nature of such activities - can engender and bolster confidence.
25. The Conference recommends that Governments consider positively the adoption of a package of CBMMs relating to the land-based dimension of security in the region, at least including prior notification of certain military activities carried out on a routine basis and the reciprocal invitation of military observers to such events.
26. It also recommends that Governments weigh the advantage of holding an annual meeting to assess the implementation of CBMMs, to study how they have evolved positively and to consider, for a later stage, the establishment of confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs), following the example of the process adopted in the CSCE context.
27. Moreover, the Conference recommends that co-operation be strengthened
between the Committees or other bodies responsible for defense
affairs within national Parliaments.
(b) Arms control
28. The Conference expresses its grave concern at the threats to peace in the Mediterranean and the world caused by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, whether conventional or not, in the Mediterranean basin, and recalls in this connection the conclusions and recommendations of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Disarmament (Bonn, 1990).
29. Aware that the process of confidence-building and that of arms control are interdependent and complementary, the Conference welcomes with interest the efforts designed to generalize arms control and disarmament in various regions of the world.
30. It considers that the States of the region should work for the reduction of their armed forces in proportion to their real defense and security needs.
31. The Conferences stresses the negative effects which a policy of excessive military spending has on the development process. It proposes the adoption of concrete measures to encourage the reduction of military spending with a view to increasing development projects of an economic and social nature. In this spirit, it considers that proposals such as that to increase aid to those countries which make substantial reductions in their military spending must be encouraged.
32. The Conference considers that for stability to be consolidated in the Mediterranean, Governments should work towards making the region a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
33. In this regard, it considers that the adherence of all States
to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
and the ratification, as soon as it has been signed, of the Convention
on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling
and Use of Chemical Weapons are measures that must be taken urgently.
CO-DEVELOPMENT AND PARTNERSHIP
34. The Mediterranean basin is an extensive zone of contact between the industrialized world and developing economies; it reflects deep gaps between North and South leading to imbalances on the economic, financial, demographic and technological level which, as they continue to widen, may seriously endanger the stability and well-being of the entire Mediterranean.
35. Bearing in mind the interdependence which nevertheless links the countries of the region, the Conference is convinced that an intergovernmental CSCM could help to reduce those gaps and ensure the stability and prosperity of the Mediterranean basin on the basis of common interest and mutual advantage, solidarity, co-development and partnership.
36. The Conference recommends that Governments promote an overall
programme of co-operation in the fields of economy, migratory
movements, environment, and science and technology; it considers
that this Mediterranean co-operation and particularly investment
and funding should be, to the extent possible, linked to objectives
of peace and arms reduction, and to confidence- and security-building
measures in each country and throughout the region.
(a) Food security
37. The Conference recalls that action to combat hunger and malnutrition constitutes the central objective of the International Development Strategy for the 1990s.
38. It asserts that food security constitutes a fundamental element of the overall security of each State in the region and of the region as a whole, while recognizing that reducing food dependency calls for direct aid to the countries concerned so that they may develop their industrial and productive sectors.
39. It also recognizes that achieving greater food security requires
close co-operation as regards natural resources (such as water),
vocational training, action to combat desertification, agricultural
research, as well as bringing together the processes of production
(b) Relief and co-management of debt
40. The Conference points out that the debt crisis is the consequence of both under-development and the worsening of terms of trade; it reaffirms that the problem of debt is inextricably linked to the general problem of development and that the economic and social progress of the countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean is inseparable from the alleviation of their debt.
41. It recommends that Governments seriously look into measures
to restrain the steep increase in debt, to envisage ways of decreasing
it and to improve the way it is dealt with and managed, particularly
by recycling debt to the benefit of the debtor countries, and
thus to promote debt-free development.
(c) Trade exchanges and industrial co-operation
42. The Conference considers that the first goal of economic and industrial co-operation in the region should be to contribute to the diversified development of the economy of the countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean.
43. It recommends that all the developed countries of the region encourage the opening of their markets to agricultural and manufactured goods exported by the region's developing countries, on the basis of the agreements between the Maghreb and the European Community.
44. It considers that Mediterranean-wide co-operation in the field of norms of product control and certification systems should be extended.
45. It hopes that the idea put forward in the framework of the
co-operation carried out by the ten countries of the western Mediterranean
for the creation of a Mediterranean data bank will rapidly become
reality, enabling the exchange and communication of information
in all fields of common interest, particularly those of trade
(d) Investments and financial mechanisms
46. The Conference recommends that Governments encourage direct investments in countries of the southern Mediterranean and also encourage their enterprises to strengthen co-operation with enterprises of those countries, local associations, Chambers of commerce and various economic agents.
47. It recommends that the ten countries of the western Mediterranean
give effect as rapidly as possible to the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean
(e) Transport, communications and civil engineering
48. The Conference recommends that all the Governments of the region consider, following the example of the ten countries of the western Mediterranean, interconnecting their transportation networks (land, air and sea), telecommunications systems, meteorological offices and postal services.
49. It further draws the attention of all Governments of the region to the importance of the following large projects considered in the framework of co-operation between the ten countries of the western Mediterranean: permanent link across the Straits of Gibraltar, completion of the Maghreb unity motorway, modernization of the trans-Maghreb railway, creation of fibre optical telecommunication networks on land and under water.
50. It also recommends that they consider, on the same basis,
jointly developing basic infrastructures such as large-scale hydraulic
engineering projects, the supply of drinking water, the improvement
of sanitation in urban areas, and the development of computer
data banks and computer networks for accessing other international
data banks of scientific and economic information.
51. The Conference reaffirms that tourism contributes to economic, social and cultural development while facilitating mutual understanding between individuals and peoples. It also recalls that tourism may endanger the physical and cultural environment.
52. It therefore recommends that Governments consider the planned
and integrated management of tourism so that its development may
be a source of socio-economic growth and enhancement of the cultural
heritage, as well as of the environment.
II. POPULATION AND MIGRATIONS
(a) Demographic growth and aging of the population
53. The Conference is concerned that the countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean are facing strong population growth while those on the northern shores are often facing the problem of aging populations.
54. It is aware that this growing imbalance - a factor of general instability - is made worse in the countries of the South by the disparities in economic development, the debt burden and the rise in unemployment.
55. It therefore considers that it is in the interest of the States
on the northern shores to help those on the southern shores to
implement socio-economic development policies taking account of
demographic factors likely to produce sufficient jobs and a standard
of living acceptable to the populations concerned.
(b) Migrant workers and migratory movements
56. Throughout history, the Mediterranean has been a crossroads for migratory movements which have shaped the features of the region. Indeed, the migrant workers from the South have made an important contribution to the development of the North and continue to have a hand in the good functioning of its economy. The Conference points out, however, that the migratory movements from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean basin have assumed such proportions that they are causing economic, political, social and human problems which call for joint efforts in the receiving countries and countries of origin.
57. It recommends that the receiving countries and those of origin jointly seek mutually acceptable solutions in order better to settle the juridical status and living conditions of immigrants in the light of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Family (1990) and drawing inspiration from the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (1977).
58. It believes that receiving countries and countries of origin should regularly exchange views on questions relating to clandestine immigration.
59. It recommends that all the countries concerned jointly consider taking long-term regulatory measures, particularly as regards planning, vocational training, financial aid and investments.
60. It hopes that the European Conference on Population (1993)
will recommend the convening of a special meeting on problems
of demography and migration in the Mediterranean, entrusted with
considering such long-term regulatory measures.
61. The Conference recalls that refugees and asylum seekers are a particularly vulnerable group who must be protected by adequate measures against persecution and threats to their life. It therefore urges States always to respect the principle of the non-refoulement of these persons and to grant them temporary asylum while their request is being decided on in accordance with the established procedures.
62. It also recommends that those recognized as refugees be admitted and helped to become integrated within their receiving communities, and that those whose request for protection has been found inadmissible be sent back to their original place of residence only under conditions which guarantee their safety.
63. With regard to those refugees referred to in UN General Assembly
resolution 194 (11 December 1948), the Conference recalls that
those wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with
their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest
practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the
property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage
64. The Conference is convinced that the protection and promotion of the environment in the Mediterranean, a common sea, call for a common policy and strategies that form an integral part of the socio-economic development plans of the countries of the region.
65. It points out that multilateral co-operation involving all of the coastal States in the sphere of environment is long-standing and that Mediterranean co-operation is more advanced in this field than any other, particularly through the action of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and, at the parliamentary level, the five meetings organized successfully between 1974 and 1982 by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in co-operation with UNEP.
66. This co-operation is based on the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (on land-based pollution and on pollution by oil and other harmful substances) and the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) and has been fueled by the undertakings given in particular in the context of the Nicosia Charter (adopted in June 1990 by the Commission of the European Communities and 12 Mediterranean coastal States), the CSCE Meetings (Valletta, Venice and Palma de Majorca) and the programmes adopted by the ten countries of the Western Mediterranean.
67. It reaffirms the pertinence of the instruments underlying this co-operation, supports the programmes that have been established and encourages all the States of the region to work for the integral implementation of these instruments and programmes.
68. It recommends that, in this action, these States give priority to the following as a matter of urgency:
69. Within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan, it recommends that they:
70. Lastly, it recommends the strengthening of measures designed
to increase the awareness of all levels of the public about protecting
the environment in the Mediterranean.
IV. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
71. The Conference, aware of the great importance of the new technologies for economic and social development, recommends that Governments consider, following the example of the ten countries of the western Mediterranean, a programme of scientific co-operation in the following priority sectors: support and development of scientific centers and universities and arrangement of programmes to exchange experts in different scientific branches; network of scientific and technological information; renewable sources of energy, such as solar energy; action against pollution and toxic products; development of information technology; micro-electronics and biotechnology.
72. It recommends that the same States consider the possibility
of joining the ten countries of the western Mediterranean in setting
up of a project along the lines of EUREKA for the entire Mediterranean.
DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
73. The coastal States of the Mediterranean are in a paradoxical
situation in that, while they are all closely interdependent,
the countries of the North are hardly aware of the in-puts which
have enriched and shaped their culture and their history, and
the countries of the South are distrustful of what was first imposed
on them and then left to them through colonialism and which they
sometimes reject violently. Dialogue among the civilizations is
therefore necessary to fill the gap of incomprehension between
the peoples of the Muslim world and Europe.
I. UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES AND COMMON VALUES OF CIVILIZATION
74. The Conference solemnly asserts that each culture and civilization has lofty values which constitute the spiritual heritage of all mankind.
75. It declares that the peoples on both shores of the Mediterranean are today duty bound to strive to define the lofty values which are common to their thousand-year-old cultures and civilizations.
76. It is convinced that those values encompass such notions as
respect for human life, the need for spirituality, human solidarity,
the dignity inherent in the human person and the duty of present
generations towards those that will come after.
II. PRINCIPLES OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND TOLERANCE
77. The Conference affirms that, through their shared past and their common values, the peoples of both shores of the Mediterranean have a greater moral obligation for mutual tolerance and better mutual understanding.
78. In consequence, it draws the attention of all the States of
the region to the urgent need to initiate, within the CSCM, a
wide-ranging dialogue for the enrichment of the respective civilizations
in full respect for their intrinsic originality, as well as to
reinforce awareness of shared values.
III. CO-OPERATION IN THE FIELDS OF CULTURE AND SPORT
79. The Conference reaffirms that cultural co-operation contributes to better understanding between the peoples and States while being of benefit to future generations.
80. It recommends that all the peoples and the States of the region develop their cultural exchanges bilaterally and multilaterally as regards both persons and artistic creations, in all cultural fields.
81. It recommends in particular that they:
IV. HUMAN DIMENSION
82. The Conference confirms that human rights and fundamental freedoms, which all stem from the dignity inherent in the human person, are universal in scope and that respect for these rights and freedoms is an essential factor of justice and development, as well as of the security and peace needed to ensure the promotion of friendly relations and co-operation between all the peoples and States of the region.
83. It asserts that civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms are indivisible and interdependent and must all be implemented integrally.
84. It stresses that the full and harmonious development of society and the well-being of all its members require complete and real equality between men and women which is, moreover, a fundamental element of a just and democratic society.
85. It likewise stresses that respect for human rights and the existence of pluralistic structures enabling all citizens, without distinction, to take part effectively in the political and economic life of their country are essential to ensure long-term stability and achieve sustainable development.
86. It recommends that all the States of the region:
87. The Conference reaffirms that questions relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms are a matter of international concern since respect for these rights and freedoms constitutes one of the foundations of international order, and declares therefore that respect for the undertakings given by all the States of the region in this field is a subject of legitimate concern for these States.
88. It recommends that all the States of the region:
FOLLOW-UP AND FUTURE ACTION
89. Being the first meeting to deal with all questions relating to security and co-operation in the Mediterranean, the Conference has highlighted the resolve of the representatives of the parties involved to work for the setting up of a continuous process designed to lay firm foundations for solidarity in the Mediterranean through meaningful and creative initiatives taking account of the specific realities and needs of the region.
90. The Conference considers that the action it has just initiated must be pursued and developed at the parliamentary level in order to strengthen dialogue, promote agreement and maintain the momentum of consultation in the Mediterranean and to lead to the establishment, at the intergovernmental level, of an effective and permanent mechanism for security and co-operation in the region. To that end, it proposes the following measures:
(a) It calls on the participants to bring this document to the attention of their respective Governments and, in doing so, to highlight the importance of convening an intergovernmental CSCM, as well as the various practical recommendations which it has made with a view to such a meeting.
(b) It also recommends that Parliaments pursue their action in this field with Governments and take whatever initiatives seem appropriate to foster the establishment of a CSCM process at the intergovernmental level and, subsequently, to support and nurture this process in order to guarantee its success.
(c) It requests the National Groups of the coastal countries to bring this document to the notice of their Parliaments, drawing their attention to the need to give practical effect to the various recommendations it contains and consider holding a debate on Mediterranean problems as a whole.
(d) It recommends that the National Groups of the coastal countries make the CSCM one of the priorities of their parliamentary diplomacy activities. It calls on them in particular to strengthen their bilateral contacts and benefit from these to foster Mediterranean co-operation along the lines indicated in the recommendations contained in this final document.
(e) It recommends that the Inter-Parliamentary Council:
(f) It recommends that the National Groups give wide publicity to this document among the national governmental and non-governmental bodies concerned and to make it known to the general public particularly through the media so that society as a whole may be associated with the CSCM process.
(g) It requests the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to circulate this document as widely as possible and, in particular, to transmit it to the various international and regional institutions concerned.