The speakers or presiding officers of the Senates and Equivalent Councils in Africa and Arab World assembled in Rabat on 6-7 June 2002,
1- Noting with satisfaction the spread of bicameral parliamentary system in Africa and the Arab World, and the desire of several countries to apply this system in the near future;
2- Awareness of necessity for joint values of democracy, and to reach state of law;
3- Keen to see these Councils play an effective role in strengthening cooperative ties between Arab and African countries, holding cultural variation in high regard, and contribute to the promotion of the role of second chambers in enhancing democracy;
4- Looking forward to promoting the position of Arab and African countries in respect of rapid changes which the world is witnessing in different fields, and complying with the logic of unity and conglomeration imposed by the tempo of globalization;
5- Actual desire to play a more effective role in relation to international efforts that aimed at annihilating reasons of tension and violence, and to contribute to peace and settlement in Africa, Middle East and World.
6- Aspiring to supporting efforts exerted to alleviate poverty and strive, to combat all kinds of backwardness, and the reinforcement of the role of women so that to realize comprehensive and constant development for all people.
Agreed on the following:
The establishment of the Association of Senates and Equivalent Councils in Africa and Arab World which consists of the following councils:
- National Council of Provinces of South Africa.
- The House of Counsellors of Morocco.
- The Council of the Nation of Algeria.
- The Senate of Lesotho
- The Senate of Mauritania
- The House of Chiefs of Botswana
- National Council of Namibia
- The House of the Federation of Ethiopia.
- The Senate of Nigeria
- The Senate of Gabon
- The Senate of Swaziland
- The Senate of Jordan
- The Senate of Yemen
The Association is open to full membership for African and Arab Senates and Equivalent Councils applied for membership.
The Association welcomes non-African and non-Arab similar assemblies as well as parliamentary organizations to participate in the conference as observers.
Article (2( Objectives:
Association of Senates & Equivalent Councils in Africa and Arab World is mainly interested in supporting bi-parliament and enhancing economical, political, and cultural cooperation between peoples, supporting and complying with Arab and African parliamentary efforts, and contributing to parliamentary activities of the Arab, African, Islamic and World parliamentary Association along with dialogues derived from such activities so that to realize purposes.
The Association of Senates and Equivalent Councils in Africa and Arab World shall :
- Organize at least an annual meeting for its members to discuss issues of common concern.
- Carry out joint studies, and facilitate cooperation and exchange experiences
between parliamentary departments.
- Have the right to make a decision, suggested by a member of its, to make a specific parliamentary study.
Article (4) Ways of Deliberation:
The Association decides, as for issues brought up, by reconciliation or by the majority of 2/3 of its members.
Article (5): Association Meetings :
1. The Association holds its annual meeting in a member state in alphabetical order, otherwise in a member country which suggests to hold the meeting.
2. Until the next meeting of the Association is convened, the current conference undertakes coordination between all member councils.
3. An extraordinary meeting shall be held on the request of one of the Presiding Officers and the approval of two-third majority, in the initiating presiding officers.
Article (6) Agenda:
1. The Association\'s Agenda is agreed upon after being suggested by the hosting country.
2. Member Councils are advised on Date and Agenda of normal Conferences two months before the conference.
3. Date and Agenda of extraordinary Conferences are advised one month before the conference.
4. Literatures, in both cases, are generalized one week before the conference, taking into consideration suggestions presented by chairpersons.
Article (7) Conferences\' Minutes:
Conference is chaired by chairperson of the hosting council with previous and next chairpersons members, and the conference is summarized and advised to the Association\'s members by hosting council.
Article (8) Conferences Language:
Arabic, French and English are languages of the Association, and the hosting council
provides instant interpreters from and into such languages.
Article (9): Amendments:
1 - This constitution can be amended by a suggestion by a council\'s member chairperson, and the suggestion is to be presented to next conference for approval under reconciliation or, if cannot, majority of 2/3.
2 - An amendment suggestion shall be offered by the Association\'s President to all members.