The Speaker of the House of Representatives hosts the final meeting organised by the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) on the Role of Parliamentarians to counter terrorism within a Rule of Law Framework.

This morning Speaker of the House of Representatives, Parliament of Malta, An?lu Farrugia, welcomed honourable members from various European and African national parliaments participating in the conference organised by the IIJ in Valletta between the 8th and 9th November 2016.

During the opening session which was hosted by Parliament, the Speaker underlined that this meeting is going to mark the conclusion of the European Union-funded project ‘Enhancing the Role of Parliamentarians in Building Effective Counter-terrorism systems within a rule of law framework’ and is an important milestone in the IIJ’s work to promote greater participation and cooperation between parliamentarians. Inaugurated in Valletta in May 2015 with successive meetings held in Brussels, Istanbul and Rabat, this project brought together and facilitated dialogue between parliamentarians, national and international experts. The discussions revolved around the importance to enact appropriate legislative tools and measures to successfully counter-terrorism within a human rights and rule of law framework. This work, consolidated through the publication of the Valletta Recommendations document is now being presented as a complete set of contributions and written recommendations aimed to guide parliamentarians’ work in the field of counter-terrorism.

The Speaker highlighted the unique and pivotal role played by parliamentarians and the centrality of promoting a more active approach. Speaker Farrugia highlighted that the unique nature of the parliamentarian stands in the various roles they occupy in their respective countries, thus varying from responsibilities at a local constituency level to a continuous exchange of ideas and practices on the international and regional stage. Continuing to speak on parliamentary diplomacy, Speaker Farrugia recognised that the Parliamentary Dimension of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the European Council is committed to provide a strategic platform for parliamentary discussion and exchange of ideas on issues of common concern. Furthermore, it will also seek to identify areas for mutual cooperation aimed towards the fruitful development of Europe, but also neighbouring southern states.

Addressing members present during the opening session were also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, George W. Vella, the Chairperson of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee Luciano Busuttil, IIJ Executive Director Mr Robert Strang and European Commission Representative Ms Maria Sanchez Gil-Cepeda. Members of Parliament Jason Azzopardi and Michael Falzon are also participating in this two-day conference.

Source: Government of Malta.