10th Conference of Association of Secretaries-General of Arab Parliaments Concludes in Doha

13 September 2023

 The two-day 10th conference of the Association of Secretaries-General of Arab Parliaments wrapped up in Doha on Wednesday.

Organized by the Shura Council, the event witnessed the participation of over 80 participants from the general secretaries, representatives of parliaments, and Arab legislative councils, alongside several representatives of organizations and Arab parliamentary unions.

The second and final day of the conference included the convention of the 43rd general assembly meeting during which the statute was endorsed and amended, in addition to discussing and endorsing the guidance note of the Secretary-General's purview in Arab parliaments.

In addition, the event featured the signing of the draft general budget, approval of the final balance sheet, and discussion of a report on the outcome of the association's work since its last meeting held on the margins of the 34th meeting of the Arab Parliament Union convened in Baghdad, Iraq in February 2023.

The meeting discussed the proposal of changing the association's logo and decided to complete discussions in the upcoming meeting of the association.

In its meeting, the association approved the National Assembly of Mauritania's bid to join the Association of Secretaries-General of Arab Parliaments and decided to postpone the complementary elections for members of the executive committee.

On the second day of the conference, former general secretaries in several Arab parliaments were honored in appreciation of their efforts and services provided during their tenure.

In his remarks on this occasion, HE Shura Council Secretary General, and President of the Association, Dr. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Fadala confirmed the success of the 10th annual conference of the association which featured wide participation on the part of general secretaries, representatives of parliaments and Arab legislative councils, alongside several representatives of organizations and Arab parliamentary unions.

He pointed out that during its convention in Doha, the conference addressed a critical topic, namely digital democracy, social media, and the role of parliamentary councils in bolstering them, noting the importance of keeping up with the evolution of the digital age and utilizing the information and communication technology in developing, upgrading and facilitating the performance of the parliamentary action.

He outlined that the members discussed rich experiences in the tools of digital technology applied in their parliaments and legislative councils which enhance the participatory principle and share expertise among Arab parliaments.

His Excellency expressed his satisfaction with the conference outcomes, especially with respect to endorsing the amendment of the associations statute after thorough discussions, lauding the inputs and comments of the participating delegations that were considered, and praising their concurrence and respect for all opinions and perspectives.

HE Dr. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Fadala indicated that the growing role of the association in serving Arab parliaments and its active engagement in international parliamentary forums, along with its reaction to a variety of issues and topics underscore the confidence of Arab parliaments and legislative councils in the association.

He thanked and appreciated the heads of those parliaments for their support and interest in the association's work, along with their confirmation of its critical role in facilitating parliamentary action.

The participants held a session within the conference agenda on digital democracy, social media, and the role of parliamentary councils in bolstering them.

The general secretaries participating in the session from various Arab councils and parliaments stressed the importance of democratic principles of individuals and community as primary means of advancing the states and achieving equality among the community individuals, noting the importance of leveraging the technology in fostering the parliamentary action.

They stressed the importance of reaction among citizens and achieving participatory democracy, especially with the easy access to information and data given the age of digital prevalence and incredible expansion of its use, warning against the challenges of this age specifically with respect to cybersecurity and ethical dissemination of information by the public, which necessitate confronting and reducing them.

The participants presented a variety of work papers on the topic under discussion and discussed their experiences in utilizing cutting-edge technological and electronic systems to advance parliamentary action, which evidently promotes joint visions of Arab parliaments in sharing expertise among them and transferring knowledge, as well as capitalizing on each other's experiences.