Pakistan

ECO Parliamentary Assembly Conference adopts Islamabad Declaration

ECO Parliamentary Assembly Conference adopts Islamabad Declaration

ECO Parliamentary Assembly Conference adopts Islamabad Declaration on Wednesday.

It adopted it on the conclusion of the 2nd General Conference of Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) in Islamabad.

ECO Parliamentary Assembly Conference adopts Islamabad Declaration

The National Assembly of Pakistan hosted the 2nd General Conference of the PAECO under the theme “Promoting Parliamentary Partnership for Regional Integration”.

Speakers and Parliamentarians from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan attended.

Speakers from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan signed the Islamabad Declaration because they physically attended the concluding session.

The Islamabad Declaration recognized the grave human rights violations of the oppressed peoples of Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

It also emphasized to further enhance cooperation within the framework of PAECO for enhancing trade, regional connectivity, and people-to-people contact.

Parliamentary dialogue and interaction called for

The declaration recognized the need to enhance Parliamentary dialogue and interaction as an effective tool in fulfilling ECO’s socio-economic objectives.

The participant countries agreed to emphasize on the need of further enhanced cooperation within the framework of PAECO for enhancing trade, regional connectivity and people to people contact.

Furthermore, they strongly supported and encouraged the implementations, operationalization and strengthening of the mechanisms and arrangements within the ECO as building blocks for regional cooperation and integration as well as increase in the intra-regional trade and connectivity among ECO member states.

It was agreed to support various steps for the purpose like ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA), ECO Trade and Development Bank, ECO Reinsurance Company, ECO Regional Institute for Standardization, Conformity Assessment Accreditation and Metrology (ECO –RISCAM), Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investments among ECO Member States, ECO Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) and adopt other institutional and regulatory ECO frameworks dealing with regional integration in terms of trade, finance and investment.

PAECO Secretariat

The early establishment of the general fund for PAECO Secretariat was agreed in accordance with Article 7(a) of the charter, for making the Secretariat fully functional. The participant countries appreciated efforts of PAECO Secretariat for associating PAECO with Inter-Parliamentary Union as an observer.

They agreed to establish a Committee in accordance with Article 4(h) of the charter to examine issues impeding complete operationalization of PAECO’s inter parliamentary diplomacy aspect and recommend resolution thereof.

It was agreed to establish PAECO Branch (ECO Parliamentary Group) in the respective parliaments of the Member States in accordance with Article 2(c) of the charter to coordinate inter parliamentary activities in the region and follow up of PAECO matters in their respective parliaments.

According to the Islamabad Declaration, the participant countries agreed to encourage the early establishment of the ECO Reinsurance Company to promote growth of national and regional underwriting and retention capacities, minimize the outflow of foreign exchange from the region and support economic development of the member states;

ECO Reinsurance Company

It agreed to recognize that the trade is an engine of economic growth and vital for sustainable socioeconomic development as well as to boost regional economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19.

It urged Member States to take effective measures for enhancing intra-regional trade through early implementation of ECOTA.

Moreover, it underscored the importance of transit trade, reducing the cost of doing business, and financial infrastructure in expanding intra-regional trade volumes.

It was agreed to encourage the Member States and the Secretariat to take effective steps in implementation of regional infrastructural projects, ECO Transit Trade Framework Agreement (ETTFA), and operationalization of ECO corridors. It acknowledged the significance of regional connectivity in transforming landlocked countries into land-linked countries and emphasized on the need of simplification of visa processes for businessmen and tourists.

According to the Islamabad Declaration, it have been agreed to comprehend the important role of tourism in strengthening people-to-people contact, cultural cooperation and regional development. It was decided to invite the relevant authorities of the Member States to undertake concrete measures to facilitate intra-regional tourism by promoting youth/cultural exchanges, encouraging health tourism, enhancing linkages among professional bodies, facilitating visa arrangements and relaxing visa insurance.

Participation of women in socio-economic development

The participants agreed to underline the importance of participation of women in socio-economic development and suggest activities like operation of web-portal for women entrepreneurs, exchange of delegates, holding of exhibitions and organizing training workshops;

Highlighting the importance of cooperation between the PAECO Secretariat and the ECO Secretariat, it reaffirmed solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and condemn their gross human rights violations.

It deplored the unilateral economic sanctions and extra-territorial jurisdiction or political pressures as tools applied in violation of the United Nations Charter and International Law and expressed full support to ECO Member States affected by such illegal tools.

The Speakers of other counties expressed thanks to the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for hosting the 2nd General Conference of PAECO and welcomed the offer by Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to hold the 3rd General Conference of PAECO in 2022 in Kabul.

GTV

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