PLACE DU PETIT-SACONNEX
1211 GENEVA 19, SWITZERLAND
Final document of the
IInd INTER-PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE ON SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
Organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union
1. With a historical and cultural destiny nourished by myths and ideals shared by all the peoples on its shores, the Mediterranean remains a place of fruitful exchange and contacts in all fields of human activity but it is also a zone of political, economic, social, and religious tension and even a place of open conflict. While having a sense of belonging to the Mediterranean, the peoples of the region have not yet laid the bases of a communal destiny bringing together the wealth of their diversity and differences.
2. The Ist Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean, held in Malaga (Spain) in June 1992, highlighted the need for a dynamic process for security and co-operation specific to the Mediterranean so that the region which remains one of the pivots of peace in the world might become a place of encounter rather than a place of negative polarization and a fault line between North and South.
3. Since 1992, a real parliamentary dynamic process for security and co-operation in the Mediterranean has developed within the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and both the intermediate specialized conferences and the twice-yearly meetings held since then between all Mediterranean partners have provided an opportunity to verify the validity of the fundamental tenets of the process as defined in Malaga, namely, a process in which all those concerned participate on an equal footing and which aims to establish a true partnership between them in order to ensure peace and security in the Mediterranean as well as balanced sustainable development for all the countries in the region.
4. At the same time, the idea of Mediterranean co-operation has taken shape both within governments and, through non-governmental organizations, in civil society. On the northern shore, the OSCE, the European Union, NATO and the Council of Europe have to varying degrees outlined a Mediterranean policy. Concurrently, on the southern shore, there has been a heightened awareness of the external and internal causes of the shortfall in Euro-Mediterranean co-operation and the prospects and means of restoring a balance along the lines of partnership; bilateral or multilateral initiatives involving some of the Mediterranean protagonists have been taken recently such as the Mediterranean Forum held in Alexandria (Egypt) in July 1994.
5. Currently, initiatives are fast growing in the Mediterranean in all fields covered by this document: these initiatives have been taken by governments, parliaments, regional institutions or organizations of civil society, and are sub-regional or sectoral, multilateral or bilateral.
6. All the above confirm that what is now needed for the Mediterranean is a genuine comprehensive project underlaid by a sense of communal interest, backed up by human and financial resources. It is essential that all the Mediterranean partners, without exception, become involved in such a project on an equal footing thus making it possible for all Mediterraneans to draft a Mediterranean policy tailored to the specific characteristics and needs of the region.
7. The project would foster:
(i) Security and a climate of stability likely to nurture good-neighborly relations and mutual confidence;
(ii) The strengthening of democracy, political freedoms and human rights in the entire region;
(iii) All forms of co-operation, based on solidarity, shared responsibility and mutual interest;
(iv) Civilizational, cultural and religious dialogue and exchanges conducive to mutual understanding and respect.
8. To give shape to such a project it appears indispensable to provide the nascent CSCM with a solid institutional foundation, at both the governmental and parliamentary level.
9. While solemnly reaffirming the principles and recommendations
set out in the Final Document of the Ist CSCM (Malaga, June 1992),
the Valletta Conference decides, in order to advance the development
of this Mediterranean project, to complement and update them with
the following conclusions and recommendations.
POLITICAL AND SECURITY-RELATED CO-OPERATION:
I. THE CSCM AND SECURITY
10. Regional security and stability remain the prerequisites for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean countries and for a balanced partnership between them. Notwithstanding, there is no denying that hotbeds of tension and open conflict persist in the Mediterranean, jeopardizing the democratic equilibrium in the area and often leading to serious human rights violations. Today, these tensions and conflicts represent a serious obstacle to the development of the Mediterranean countries and compromise relations between them.
11. Regarding the Middle East conflict which has been for years a major obstacle to peace and stability in the Mediterranean, the Conference notes that the Agreements between Israel and the PLO and the Treaty between Jordan and Israel have initiated a peace process in the framework of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, aimed at the exercise of the Palestinian people's legitimate rights, including the right to self-determination and the right to return, and have thus created a new situation. It considers that, to put an end to the Middle East conflict, it will also be necessary to continue and strengthen the discussions between Syria and Israel in order to achieve a peace agreement based on Israel's withdrawal from the Syrian Golan. It further believes that the implementation of Security Council Resolution 425 will guarantee the full sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon, thus allowing a lasting, just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East which is essential for collective security and co-operation in the region.
12. The Conference supports the negotiations under the auspices of the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the European Union, among the Governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as the objectives that have been set for these negotiations.
13. The Conference regrets the persistence of the unacceptable situation in Cyprus. It firmly believes that the Cyprus problem should be resolved on the basis of the pertinent UN resolutions, and also supports the UN Secretary-General's efforts to this end in the framework of his good offices mission.
14. It also hopes that the other current disputes in the Mediterranean on which the United Nations has expressed a view, such as that concerning the embargo against Libya, can be settled rapidly through peaceful dialogue and international co-operation.
15. Having expressed these considerations, the Conference wishes
nevertheless to reiterate that, in conformity with its founding
principles laid down in the Final Document of the Ist CSCM, in
Malaga in June 1992, the CSCM process is not a mechanism for dealing
with conflicts directly. The CSCM is not conceived as an emergency
mechanism but rather as a long-term process aimed at creating
coherent and comprehensive co-operation and mechanisms for better
managing crises and diminishing them, with a view to bringing
about just solutions. In moving forward, the process should by
its very nature facilitate the easing of tensions and the solution
of conflicts underway and help to prevent crises which bear the
seeds of such situations.
II. BASIS FOR RELATIONS BETWEEN MEDITERRANEAN PARTNERS
16. The Conference reiterates that relations between all Mediterranean partners must be based on a specific platform, tailored to the region's own particularities and drafted jointly by the Mediterranean partners, all placed on an equal footing and working in a spirit of partnership towards a common interest. It confirms that these relations must be in accordance with the aims and principles of the United Nations Charter as well as the Declaration on the principles of international law relating to friendly relations and co-operation between States (1970), and reiterates that the following eight principles are all of equal value and are indivisible:
17. The Conference calls on all the States in the Mediterranean
to recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice
as this would be likely to foster conflict-prevention and ensure
a just and fair interpretation of international law.
III. ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL SYSTEM OF SECURITY AND STABILITY
18. There is a need to create a regional system of security and stability which would facilitate mutual predictability of the policies of the Mediterranean countries by means of transparency and ongoing dialogue, and the establishment of institutional mechanisms to manage crises in order to prevent them from deteriorating into conflicts and to settle, by peaceful means, differences and disputes between Mediterranean countries. To that end, the Conference recommends the setting up of a regional joint information Centre agreed upon by all parties, for stability in the Mediterranean which would be responsible for long-term prevention of conflicts.
19. It considers that an institutionalized Mediterranean inter-parliamentary forum would provide valuable support to this action. Besides being a place where parties could make known their views at regular intervals, such a forum could advise governments on means of managing crises in the Mediterranean and make available its good offices to parties to crises or conflicts.
20. Pending the establishment of such institutions, the participants
undertake to work towards the settlement, by means of dialogue
between the parties, of the conflicts and disputes which persist
in the region. They undertake further to develop bilateral and
multilateral parliamentary diplomacy to this end, in particular
within the framework of the IPU Conferences.
IV. CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES
21. The Conference reiterates its conviction that confidence-building measures can significantly increase security and stability in the Mediterranean. However, it is mindful that progress in this respect is closely linked to progress made elsewhere in preventing a widening of the gap between the countries of the North, which are making progress in various fields, and the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, which are lagging behind from a technological point of view and are having difficulty integrating their civil society.
22. These confidence-building measures include transparency in routine military activities, which helps to dedramatize them. The Conference reiterates its recommendation that governments consider positively the adoption of a package of confidence-building measures in the Mediterranean relating to security in the region, including at least prior notification of certain routine military activities and the reciprocal invitation of military observers to such events, in conformity with the principles set out in paragraph 16 above. Dialogue on defense and security concepts and doctrines would also facilitate mutual understanding. The Conference also recommends once again that governments hold an annual meeting to assess the implementation of such confidence-building measures, as well as co-ordinate efforts for participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
23. Lastly, it reiterates the importance of strengthening the
exchange of information and co-operation between the committees
or other bodies responsible for defense matters within national
parliaments. To this end, it recommends that the Inter-Parliamentary
Union prepare a World Directory of such parliamentary committees
V. ARMS CONTROL
24. The Conference notes with concern that since 1992 stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, conventional or otherwise, have proliferated faster in the Mediterranean and that such weapons are becoming increasingly sophisticated and deadly.
25. It once again urges the States in the region to eliminate their superfluous weapons and reduce their armed forces in proportion to their real security needs, and to channel the resources thus freed to objectives of peace and co-operation. It affirms the commitment of parliamentarians to act to this end.
26.* It recommends the adoption of a series of measures likely to ensure the transparency of arms transfers in the Mediterranean and urges all States to co-operate actively in the keeping and updating of the Register of Conventional Arms opened by the United Nations.
27. It urges all Mediterranean States which have not yet done so to adhere to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (1981), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (1972) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (1993).
28. The Conference expresses concern that Israel has not yet signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and has not yet submitted its nuclear facilities to the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It expresses the wish that the system laid down in this Treaty will be promptly and fully implemented in the entire region, and emphasizes more particularly the obligation to subject nuclear facilities to the supervision of the IAEA.
29. The Conference considers that these measures would help to eliminate a considerable number of the causes of the fear and mistrust which continue to characterize relations between Mediterranean countries. It feels that the goal of all the Mediterranean States should be to turn the area into a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction.
30. The Conference stresses that a confidence and transparency
régime should aim at reducing military activity in the
Mediterranean, should be comprehensive and also apply to foreign
fleets or bases in the region.
VI. RESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
31. The Conference urges all Mediterranean States which have not yet done so to adhere to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols I and II of 1977, or to establish the necessary instruments of succession. It further invites them to incorporate in their national legislation the principles of international humanitarian law and to promote at the national level the teaching and dissemination of the rules of such law, particularly among armed and security forces.
32. It encourages co-operation between Mediterranean States aimed
at preventing and punishing violations of the rules of international
humanitarian law in the armed conflicts which arise in the region,
and ensuring humanitarian aid for the victims of such conflicts.
It also recommends making more efficient use than previously of
existing national and international judicial bodies to ensure
the application of international law. It stresses the need for
judicial action to ensure that war criminals do not enjoy impunity
and supports to this end the creation of a permanent international
VII. FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
33. Terrorism in the Mediterranean is a particularly serious threat. Fueled by political tensions and economic and social disparities, it is utilized by extremist groups whose interests and networks often transcend national boundaries and which have access to the latest weapons and technologies to carry out their operations. In addition to its harmful effect on the security and stability of the countries of the Mediterranean basin, terrorism seriously jeopardizes their economic development, undermines their social equilibrium, helps to perpetuate disparities between them and has a deleterious effect on their political and economic relations.
34. The Conference recalls that the struggle for national liberation and independence from foreign occupation is a legitimate right laid down in international resolutions and that this objective does not of itself constitute a terrorist act. The Conference stresses however that no struggle can justify indiscriminate attacks, particularly involving innocent civilians, or any form of organized State terrorism.
35.* The Conference urges the Mediterranean States to strengthen co-operation between them with a view to combating terrorism, and reiterates that such co-ordinated action should include mutual police and judicial aid to prevent those responsible for terrorist acts and the authors thereof from finding refuge in other countries. It stresses that such co-ordinated action would be more effective if it drew on the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, and also took account of progress made in the technologies used by terrorists since that instrument was adopted in 1977. Effectiveness would also be enhanced by the implementation of the resolutions of the IXth United Nations Conference on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (Cairo, May 1995), in particular the resolution on the strengthening of international co-operation in order to eliminate any link between organized crime and terrorism, and by the adoption by parliaments of the Model Convention on the Extradition of Offenders, which was prepared in 1990 by the United Nations.
36.* The Conference calls on Mediterranean States to draft a convention on the fight against terrorism and on the extradition of terrorists, which would provide for political and economic measures against States directly or indirectly engaged in terrorism.
37. The Conference wishes to stress the vital need for anti-terrorism
security measures to be backed by structural measures designed
to further economic and social development and strengthen representative
democracy. The reinforcement of co-operation between Mediterranean
countries, in particular economic co-operation aimed at eliminating
disparities between the northern shore and the southern and eastern
shores, is one of the best means of preventing terrorism and eradicating
it in the long term through the extension of democracy and the
consolidation of human rights.
I. THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE ECONOMY
38. The relentless globalization of the economy and the resultant ever-growing interdependence of nations, by clearly revealing the strengths and weaknesses of production mechanisms in each country, starkly highlight the extent of imbalances in demographics, trade and technology which persist in the Mediterranean and threaten to create a fault line between the North and the South.
39. Economic disparities are particularly acute: per capita GNP
ranges from US$ 600 to US$ 20,000 in the Mediterranean region.
In addition, the population of the southern Mediterranean countries
will account for two-thirds of total population (450 million inhabitants)
of the Mediterranean basin by the year 2000 as against one-third
in 1950, while the population growth differentials (fertility
rate of less than 2 in the North and sometimes as high as 7 in
the South) that are behind this trend will widen the economic
gap even further. Migratory flows are a direct result of these
two phenomena and engender social and political tensions between
II. THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF EUROPE
40. In this context, the participants reiterated that the rapid strengthening and enlargement of a united Europe have an important impact on co-operation in the Mediterranean. While emphasizing again the positive nature of a united Europe, they reaffirm that both the construction and stability of a united Europe could be impaired without a forward-looking vision of relations with the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries and adequate development in those countries. Europe would be weakened if, by applying policies inspired by reflexes based on fear or the temptation to dominate, it were to "close itself off" to the South and let the countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean become mired down in poverty, political instability and economic stagnation.
41. The development of the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries would be insufficient or even impossible unless it is grounded on democratic structures guaranteeing the rule of law. In addition, the European countries are well aware that it is in their interest to support democratization projects which will encourage the peoples of the southern and eastern Mediterranean to remain in their countries. The democratic deficit in those countries is one of the factors aggravating migratory flows towards the North: in a context of rising unemployment, these flows are awakening reflexes of xenophobia and withdrawal as well as racist violence in the North. For their part the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries could embark on sustained development and ultimately become integrated in the world economy if, on the one hand, the North opens its markets up to their products, the most competitive of which are often the most heavily penalized by tariff barriers, and if, on the other hand, co-operation programmes are introduced to enable them to derive greater benefit from their human resources, in particular through training middle and top-level managerial staff.
42. All these considerations go to show the importance and urgency of linking economic co-operation initiatives in the Mediterranean to an overall project in which all States in the area participate on an equal footing and in a spirit of partnership, and of ensuring that such a project is drawn up on the basis of the realities specific to the Mediterranean and aims at the homogeneous and sustainable development of all States in the region. The Conference feels that the opening up of European institutions in Eastern and Central Europe and the development of a Mediterranean space, far from being opposites, are mutually complementary and supporting projects.
43. It specifically urges the participants in the Euro-Mediterranean
Conference to be held in Barcelona from 27 to 28 November 1995
by the European Union to take all these factors into consideration.
III. DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTRA-MEDITERRANEAN ECONOMIC AREA
44. One of the requirements for the Mediterranean to become a place of balanced economic and social development would be the establishment of an economic community leading to the economic integration of the countries in the region. Consequently, the Conference recommends setting up as soon as possible an inter-governmental technical committee with a brief to study the ways and means of creating a free trade area in the Mediterranean basin. It invites parliamentarians actively to support such a committee.
45. Mindful that such an area has yet to be created between a northern shore made up of countries with a comparable degree of development and whose policies and economies are by and large integrated within the European Union, and the southern and eastern shores composed of countries facing difficult development challenges and which do not belong at this stage to any regional unit comparable to the EU, the Conference wishes to stress the importance of ensuring in this connection that everything is done to prevent, in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, a sectoral destructuring of the labour market, a deterioration in the trade balance and a decline in tax receipts.
46. The Conference asserts that regional co-operation carried
out on a voluntary basis, particularly with a view to developing
trade between the partners, is a key factor in fostering the establishment
of a free-trade zone.
47. The Conference deems it urgent, in order to meet the needs of populations as much as market requirements, to co-ordinate national agricultural policies with the aim of removing barriers and fostering the growth of the less developed countries.
48. It considers that, in order to avoid worsening the present
imbalances which would inevitably have serious political and social
consequences, agricultural products from the southern and eastern
Mediterranean countries should be taken into account in the negotiations
for the establishment of a free trade zone.
V. TRADE AND INDUSTRY
49. The Conference stresses the urgent need for steps to alleviate the impact of the implementation of the results of the Uruguay Round which may negatively affect the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
50. It also stresses the urgency and validity of investing in
small and medium sized businesses in the southern and eastern
VI. INVESTMENTS, FINANCIAL MECHANISMS AND THE DEBT QUESTION
51. The Conference recommends the launching of a wide-ranging European investment scheme in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries over a period of 30 years. It suggests that the scheme should establish infrastructures in all priority areas and that investments give priority to labour-intensive projects so as to create productive employment and curb migration towards the countries of the North. It urges the countries of the North to show long-term vision and to ensure that these financial mechanisms do not exacerbate current imbalances but rather favour the sustainable development of the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
52. It advocates the creation of a Mediterranean Development Bank to be responsible for funding infrastructure projects.
53. It calls for the conclusion of pilot agreements for development and the revitalization of economic and trade co-operation between the shores of the Mediterranean.
54. It recommends the introduction of "ecotaxes" and "sociotaxes" which would replace in part the duties levied by the North on imports from the South and which would be channeled back to the countries of origin in order to finance programmes for the protection of the environment, social protection and education.
55. It advocates the establishment of advisory committees to be responsible for coordinating financial market activities.
56. It calls on creditor States to take initiatives to lighten
the debt burden, or to cancel debt, which is crippling the economic
development potential of the southern and eastern Mediterranean
1. Workers' rights
57. The Conference calls on all Mediterranean States to adhere
to the relevant Conventions of the International Labour Organisation
to which they have not yet adhered, or to establish the necessary
instruments of succession, and to incorporate the corresponding
provisions in their national legislation. It further invites them
to establish the relevant enabling regulations. It urges them
to take similar steps with regard to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child, Article 32 of which recognizes the right
of the child to be protected from performing any work that is
likely to be harmful to his or her health or development and calls
on States to provide for a minimum age for the admission of children
to employment and to regulate their conditions of employment.
2. Human resource management
58. The Conference calls for better management and development of human resources in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. To this end, it advocates the development and further improvement of educational and vocational training programmes aimed at youth and adults in the countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, and encourages the northern Mediterranean countries to support these programmes in the form of funding or technical assistance.
59. It further stresses that one of the means of preventing brain-drain from the southern to the northern Mediterranean countries is the implementation of large-scale development projects in the South.
60. These measures, taken together, would help to reduce the number
of migrant workers and favour sustainable development in the countries
3. Migrant workers
61. The Conference urges receiving countries and countries of origin jointly to seek mutually acceptable solutions in order better to define the legal 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).
62. It considers that receiving countries and countries of origin
should regularly exchange views on questions relating to clandestine
immigration. It urges them more specifically to co-ordinate their
efforts to combat and prevent the violent racist movements against
immigrants which have spread in recent years in certain European
63. The Conference recommends that the Mediterranean States take
into account, as appropriate, the recommendations made by the:
(ii) World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995);
(iii) Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, September 1995).*
64. To this end, it recommends that all Mediterranean States set up technical committees in all the fields concerned, or even create interministerial committees for population and development.
65. Likewise, it invites the competent parliamentary committees to take the conclusions and recommendations of these three world Conferences into consideration in their work.
66. It urges the Mediterranean States to set up a Mediterranean
Population Council within which they could consult with each other
on a regular basis, establish a data base, and prepare population
guidelines tailored to the situation in the Mediterranean, in
accordance with the results of the above-mentioned world Conferences
and with the assistance of the competent United Nations institutions.
IX. COMBATING POVERTY AND EXCLUSION
67. In accordance with the recommendations of the World Summit
for Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995), the Conference
recommends the adoption of policies to combat poverty, misery
and marginalization capable of limiting the harmful effects of
structural adjustment on the most vulnerable population groups.
X. HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
68. The Conference encourages all Mediterranean States to introduce human settlement policies which protect the Mediterranean landscape and environment and utilize modern technologies for the detection of high-risk zones.
69. It recommends the adoption of human settlement policies designed
progressively to improve housing conditions and the adequate delivery
of basic services such as piped drinking water, sewerage and electricity
for the entire population, and proposes that priority be given
to the question of precarious housing zones in consultation with
the inhabitants. To this end, it encourages all Mediterranean
States to participate actively in the preparation and holding
of the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II),
which will be held in Istanbul in June 1996.
XI. WATER RESOURCES
70. The Conference notes that proper water management is one of the fundamental factors of sustainable development and also contributes to the maintenance of good relations between Mediterranean countries. It stresses that integrated water management implies that national economic, agricultural, environmental and energy policies are worked out taking the status of water resources into consideration. It therefore urges all Mediterranean States to proceed to regular evaluations of these resources and to manage them from a long-term perspective. It further advocates regional co-operation in this respect wherever it is possible.
71. It notes with concern that the population growth and accelerating
urbanization of some southern Mediterranean countries will leave
them vulnerable sooner or later to the depletion of their conventional
water resources. Accordingly, it advocates the allocation of funds
designed to ensure the further refinement of technologies for
the use of alternative resources such as fossil tables, desalinated
sea-water and brine water, and for the processing of liquid waste
72. The Conference stresses that protection of the Mediterranean environment is a prerequisite for the sustainable development of the region.
73. It reiterates its support for UNEP achievements and initiatives concerning the Mediterranean, which have made it possible to introduce effective multilateral co-operation for the preservation of the environment in the Mediterranean.
74. The participants affirm their commitment to ensuring the implementation, through appropriate national laws and regulations, of the Barcelona Convention, the review of which was completed in June 1995, and its four Protocols (Immersion, Specially Protected Areas, Land-based Pollution, Critical Situations) as well as the Mediterranean Action Plan, also reviewed on the occasion of the updating of the Convention (MAP-Phase II, 1995-2005).
75. The Conference urges Mediterranean States to implement the Agenda 21 Programme adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio, July 1992) and urges more particularly the northern Mediterranean countries to follow up on the commitments they undertook in Rio with regard to resources and financial mechanisms as well as the transfer of ecologically sound technologies to the South. It considers that the future of the Mediterranean as a whole is at stake and affirms the commitment of the parliamentarians of the region to ensure the full implementation of this programme.
76. It considers that by offering assistance to the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries in the form of training of specialized personnel as well as through technical assistance for specific projects (e.g. for drought control, desertification control, the control of effluents, processing domestic and industrial waste, preservation of ground water, rehabilitation and protection of the marine environment, prevention of fire, reforestation, and natural risks), the countries of the North would be investing in the sustainable development of the Basin as a whole. It further considers that if the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries were to make available the knowledge gained and research carried out in this field as well as locally developed technologies, they would contribute greatly to the development of a balanced partnership with the countries of the northern shore in an area of cardinal importance for the future of the Mediterranean.
77. Since the problems of pollution in the Black Sea and in the Mediterranean are closely linked and the Black Sea is threatened by serious environmental degradation, the Conference attaches very great importance to co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (PABSEC) and recommends that the Union support PABSEC's initiatives in the context of the protection of these Seas.
78. It advocates the development of contacts and the exchange of expertise between governments and non-governmental organizations on methods of combating damage to the environment and preventive measures to be adopted to preserve the Mediterranean ecosystem.
79. It recommends the creation in all Mediterranean countries of specialized ministerial bodies or interministerial committees for environmental questions, wherever such mechanisms do not already exist. Likewise, it advocates the creation, where they do not yet exist, of committees, sub-committees and parliamentary groups on the same question.
80. It encourages co-operation and the exchange of experience and information between Mediterranean States on legislation to protect the environment in the Mediterranean, and recommends to this end using the World Directory of Parliamentary Environmental Bodies established by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1994.
81. It urges all Mediterranean States to make populations aware
of the pressing need to preserve the Mediterranean environment
and to adopt policies to this end. It suggests that such awareness-building
efforts start at the level of primary schools.
XIII. REMNANTS OF WAR
82. The Conference recognizes the negative impact on human life,
development and environment of the remnants of war left in some
Mediterranean countries, and stresses the need for understanding
and close co-operation among the concerned parties for their removal.
83. The Conference reiterates that, when managed with sustainable human development in mind and with a view to preventing harm to the economic, social, cultural and environmental equilibrium of the country concerned, tourism is a source of both economic development and human contacts and mutual respect in the Mediterranean.
84. It invites the Mediterranean countries to take into consideration
the recommendations of the World Tourism Organization and to co-operate
actively with it in gathering data on the characteristics of tourism
in the Mediterranean countries and their economic, social, cultural
and environmental impact, and further invites them, when they
deem it necessary, to solicit that body's advice with regard to
XV. TRANSPORT, COMMUNICATIONS AND CIVIL ENGINEERING
85. The Conference reiterates its recommendation that all States in the region consider, following the example of the ten western Mediterranean countries, interconnecting their transportation networks (air, land and sea), telecommunications systems, meteorological offices and postal services.
86. It also reiterates its conviction that implementing the following projects would be decisive for the sustainable development of the entire western Mediterranean area: a permanent link between Morocco and Spain across the Straits of Gibraltar; the installation of a natural gas pipeline linking the Hassi Rmel natural gas deposits in Algeria to Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France on the one hand, and to Tunisia and Italy on the other hand; the completion of the Maghreb Unity motorway; the modernization of the trans-Maghreb railways; and the creation of fiber optical telecommunications networks on land and underwater.
87. Lastly, it reiterates its recommendation that they consider
jointly developing basic infrastructures such as large-scale hydraulic
engineering projects, without neglecting to conduct prior studies,
on the short-, medium- and long-term impact of such works on the
ecosystem and to take the necessary disaster prevention measures.
XVI. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
88. Mindful of the great importance of science and technology for the economic and social development of the Mediterranean countries, and noting the present gap between the northern Mediterranean countries and the southern and eastern ones with regard to research and application of science and technology, the Conference recommends the following:
DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILIZATIONS AND
I. FOUNDATIONS AND PURPOSES OF DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILIZATIONS
89. The Conference reaffirms the universal principles and common values of civilization which were solemnly set forth by the Ist CSCM in Malaga. It underlines the need for a dialogue among the civilizations to fill the gap of incomprehension between the peoples of the Mediterranean shores. It also wishes to stress that the soundest foundations for dialogue among civilizations and respect for human rights are tolerance, mutual respect, justice and equality.
90. This dialogue should help the northern Mediterranean countries better to appreciate and value the contribution of the southern and eastern Mediterranean to their history, their culture and their development as well as enable the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries to incorporate in their development processes the past and present input of the northern Mediterranean countries without betraying their identity or denying their values.
91. The Conference wishes to stress however, that dialogue among
civilizations must not be centered only on the past but also and
particularly on the present and the future. It must aim at solving
present problems and help to prevent or curb the development of
II. CHALLENGES POSED BY EXTREMISM
92. Extremism is an acute manifestation of the frustrations of civil society that stem from the growing disparity in living standards and conditions between the northern shore and the southern and eastern shores and from the crisis in value systems. It generates intolerance, withdrawal into oneself and violence. It feeds on the absence of solidarity and understanding and can easily lead to terrorism which in turn generates repression, thus creating a vicious cycle. It undermines democracy and human rights, destabilizes the State, jeopardizes good-neighbourly relations and broadens the cultural gap between peoples.
93. The Conference urges the Mediterranean States to co-ordinate
their activities in order to combat extremism in all its manifestations.
It urges them to prevent it from taking root in peoples' minds
by disseminating information and promoting the concept of tolerance,
as well as by providing from early childhood education which promotes
respect for cultural and religious diversity.
94. Democracy, a concept born in the Mediterranean, implies the institutionalization of tolerance. It finds expression in the establishment of institutions which are representative of the diversity of the human components of society and of the plurality of opinions, by incorporating them in a community project. It requires that the problems in society be solved by dialogue, not by violence.
95. The Conference considers that anchoring the principles of democracy in minds and institutions in the Mediterranean is one of the keys to the sustainable development of the area. It reiterates in this context the sovereign right of every State to choose and determine freely, in conformity with the will of its people, its own political, social, economic and cultural systems, without interference from other States, in strict respect for the United Nations Charter.
96. It stresses that good governance, transparency in administration, the fight against corruption and measures to prevent the flight of public funds and the misappropriation at the source or the receiving end of resources for development aid are key factors in democracy and sustainable social development. It therefore recommends in particular the strengthening of national mechanisms for auditing public finance.
97. It also stresses that all persons have the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs in their country, either directly or indirectly through freely chosen representatives, to vote and to be elected in elections held by secret ballot, to submit, on an equal footing, their candidature for elections and to express their political views, on their own or with others. In this respect, it draws the attention of all States in the area to the Declaration on the Criteria for Free and Fair Elections adopted unanimously by the Inter-Parliamentary Council on 26 March 1994, and invites them to be guided by it.
98. It reaffirms the value for the Mediterranean of the principle set out in 1992 by the Inter-Parliamentary Council namely, that the concept of democracy will only take on real and dynamic meaning once political orientations and national legislations have been decided upon jointly by men and women taking equitable account of the interests and specific talents of both halves of the population.
99. It also stresses that educational programmes must aim at instilling
in students and pupils the principles and foundations of democracy
and helping them become familiar with the institutions of their
country. This education must aim at making young people aware
of their rights and responsibilities with regard to the administration
of public affairs and make them attentive to the need to participate
in the democratic process and empower them to do so.
IV. HUMAN RIGHTS
100. The Conference wishes to reaffirm that human rights, development and peace are indissociable.
101. It recalls the universal, indivisible and independent nature of human rights, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and confirmed at the World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, June 1993). It invites all Mediterranean countries to give effect to the Declaration and Programme of Action of that Conference, notably through the adoption of appropriate laws and regulations.
102. The Conference reaffirms that human rights and fundamental freedoms are a matter of international concern since respect for them is one of the foundations of international order, and declares therefore that respect for the undertakings given by any State of the region in this field is a subject of legitimate concern for all the other States.
103. It urges all Mediterranean States which have not yet done so to ratify the international human rights instruments, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, or to establish the necessary instrument of succession, and to adopt the appropriate implementing laws and regulations.
104. It recalls the constructive role played by national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, in particular in their advisory capacity to the competent authorities, their role in remedying human rights violations, disseminating human rights information, and providing education in human rights. It invites all the States of the region to set up national human rights bodies and to guarantee that they operate independently. Likewise, it invites all parliaments in the area to establish, if they have not already done so, committees or other parliamentary bodies for human rights, and encourages the exchange of information between these parliamentary bodies. It recalls in this respect that the Inter-Parliamentary Union published a World Directory of such bodies in 1993.
105. It stresses the commitment of the participants to take all measures likely to vitalize institutions of civil society, particularly associations concerned with the defense of human rights, and to guarantee their independence.
106. It advocates measures aimed at heightening the awareness
of society as a whole of international human rights criteria,
particularly through institutions for information, teaching and
training. It recommends to this end that centers for the teaching
of human rights be set up.
V. EQUALITY OF MEN AND WOMEN
107. The Conference reaffirms the principle of equality between men and women.
108. It endorses the conviction expressed by the Inter-Parliamentary Council in the Plan of Action to correct present imbalances in the participation of men and women in political life (March 1994) that it is possible, without destabilizing cultures or imposing values foreign to the national culture, to develop or rehabilitate women's dignity at the social level and allow the emergence of a more balanced image of the capacity of men and women to participate in the management of both public and private affairs. It also reaffirms that all of society's components must join forces to tackle and resolve the problems facing society, and considers that the contribution of Mediterranean women to all activities which touch on the economic and social development of the area should be better known and given their due worth.
109. It further invites all Mediterranean States to take the appropriate steps to follow up the results of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, September 1995) and the three preparatory conferences held for the region in Vienna, Amman and Dakar, and invites parliaments to adopt to that end the Beijing Parliamentary Declaration, adopted at the close of the Parliamentarians' Day held on the occasion of the World Conference, as well as the above-mentioned Plan of Action.
110. Lastly, it invites all Mediterranean States which have not
yet done so to adhere to the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), or to
establish the necessary instrument of succession, and to adopt
the appropriate enabling legislation and regulations.
VI. RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
111. The Conference invites all Mediterranean States which have
not yet done so to adhere to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child (1989), or to establish the necessary instrument
of succession, and to adopt the appropriate implementing laws
VII. RESPECT FOR MINORITIES
112. The Conference urges all Mediterranean States to see to it that the existence and identity of the national, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious minorities living on their territory is preserved and that members of these minorities enjoy full equality with other citizens in law and in practice, free from all discrimination. In this respect, it draws their attention to the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, adopted in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly.
113. It urges the parliaments of Mediterranean States to be particularly attentive to adapting national legislation to this effect and to see to it that the corresponding implementing regulations are introduced.
114. It recommends that the northern Mediterranean countries adopt measures promoting better integration of immigrants from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean, in particular young people and women.
115. It also encourages awareness-building public opinion campaigns
aimed at promoting tolerance and respect for differences.
VIII. CO-OPERATION IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION
116. The Conference considers that education is a source of individual and mutual respect and recalls that peace and tolerance are born in the minds of people, it therefore urges all Mediterranean States to ensure that their national curricula include contents which will furnish every student and pupil with knowledge of the cultures and religions of the Mediterranean and a general culture of peace.
117. It recommends strengthening co-operation between Mediterranean States in the field of education, in accordance with the recommendations and conventions of UNESCO. It stresses in particular the importance of university exchanges and mutual recognition of higher education degrees.
118. It welcomes the creation of the Euro-Arab Business School
in Grenada (Spain) as the first component of the Euro-Arab University,
as well as the constitution of a funding mechanism to finance
the activities of the Euro-Arab University.
IX. CO-OPERATION IN THE FIELDS OF CULTURE AND SPORTS
1. Preservation of cultural heritage
119. The Conference considers that knowledge of the Mediterranean heritage is one of the best sources of mutual respect of civilizations and awareness of a Mediterranean identity. It encourages the strengthening of cultural co-operation between Mediterranean countries in the fields of the preservation and enhancement of the common Mediterranean heritage and action to combat the illegal trafficking of antiques.
120. It invites all Mediterranean States to adhere, if they have
not already done so, to the Convention on the Protection of
Cultural Goods in the Event of Armed Conflicts (1954) or to
establish the necessary instruments of succession.
2. Co-operation in the field of the arts and publishing
121. The Conference likewise encourages co-operation in the field
of the arts and publishing, a source of better understanding among
peoples. It advocates the holding of cultural exhibitions and
fairs and Mediterranean festivals in all artistic fields. It encourages
the translation and circulation of books in all Mediterranean
languages. It proposes the creation of a Mediterranean Cultural
3. Sports co-operation for the specific benefit of youth
122. The Conference encourages the holding of Mediterranean
sporting events in the various sports disciplines, in the belief
that they favour human contacts and the development of mutual
X. THE MEDIA
123. The Conference notes that the media, especially audiovisual
media, play an increasingly important role in the lives of the
peoples of the Mediterranean. It urges all Mediterranean States
to respect freedom of the press and free access of persons to
information, recalling that the watch-dog role played by the media
makes a significant contribution to good governance. It notes
however an imbalance with regard to control of the flow of information,
and considers that this imbalance, which is favourable to the
media of the North, is instrumental in perpetuating factors of
tension and mutual mistrust. It urges the media to consolidate
the values of tolerance, respect and understanding among the peoples
of the Mediterranean and to respect cultural differences and cultural,
ethnic and religious diversity in the area. Finally, it urges
the Mediterranean States to facilitate the development of an intra-Mediterranean
XI. DIALOGUE BETWEEN RELIGIONS
124. The Conference recommends the strengthening of dialogue between religions, particularly through meetings of representatives of the three monotheistic religions existing in the Mediterranean - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - and other ecumenical activities.
125. It urges the Mediterranean States to ensure that religious
instruction is moderate and tolerant, to guarantee respect for
the values and symbols of collective and individual religious
convictions, and to respect the religious rites and holidays of
the immigrant and expatriate populations.
INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE PROCESS OF SECURITY
126. In the light of the above, the Conference confirms the urgent need to harmonize isolated efforts in the fields of security and co-operation in the Mediterranean by setting up a mechanism for co-operation to encourage an ongoing dialogue between all the peoples whose destiny is linked by this Sea.
127. With this goal in view and on the initiative of Malta, it recommends the creation of an association of Mediterranean States, open to all the Mediterranean coastal countries and to those countries whose destiny is directly linked to that Sea, according to modalities to be defined.
128. The mission of this association would be to foster relations of confidence between Mediterranean States so as to ensure regional security and stability and to unite their endeavours in a true spirit of partnership with a view to the harmonious development of the different States.
129. This association would have an appropriate structure for
maintaining a permanent political dialogue at the intergovernmental
and inter-parliamentary levels, and decision-making mechanisms
in all fields of co-operation as identified, in particular, in
the Final Document of the Ist Inter-Parliamentary Conference on
Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean (Ist CSCM, Malaga,
June 1992) and in this Final Document of the IInd CSCM (Valletta,
FOLLOW-UP TO THE IInd CSCM AND FUTURE
1. The Conference participants decide to work for the earliest implementation of the recommendations set out in the Final Document of the IInd Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean (Valletta, 1-4 November 1995) and to use to that end all parliamentary machinery at their disposal.
2. They commit themselves to taking the following steps more specifically:
(a) Bring the Final Document of the Valletta Conference to the attention of their respective Governments, stressing the importance and urgency of establishing an association of Mediterranean States as recommended in paragraphs 127 to 129 of the Final Document;
(b) Bring the Final Document of the Valletta Conference to the notice of their respective parliaments, encouraging them to:
3. The Conference entrusts its Co-ordinating Committee with the task of ensuring that the recommendation regarding the institutionalization of the CSCM process contained in the Final Document be followed-up and implemented.
4. The Conference recommends that the representatives of the parties to the CSCM process give wide publicity to the Final Document of the Valletta Conference among interested national governmental and non-governmental institutions and make it known to civil society, particularly through the media.
5. It requests the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to circulate the Final Document of the Valletta Conference as widely as possible and, in particular, to transmit it to the various international and regional institutions concerned.
6. It expresses the wish that this Final Document be brought to the attention of participants at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference organized by the European Union in Barcelona (Spain) on 27 and 28 November 1995, and requests the National Group and Parliament of both Malta and Spain to facilitate this transmission.
7. Pending the creation of the above-mentioned association of Mediterranean States, the Conference recommends:
(a) To the representatives of the parties to the CSCM process that they continue their consultations on the occasion of each of the IPU statutory Conferences so that they may take stock of progress as regards the institutionalization of the CSCM process, promote constructive initiatives and examine the information gathered by the IPU Secretary General on follow-up action and contacts made in the light of the Final Document of the Valletta Conference;
(b) To the Inter-Parliamentary Council that it authorize the holding of specialized meetings relating to security and co-operation in the Mediterranean and the holding, if possible on a yearly basis, of an Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean. The objectives of the Conference would be, more especially, as follows: