Hon. Ibrahim Rassin Bundu, former Majority Leader of Parliament And Head Of Sierra Leone Parliamentary Delegation to the ACP-EU was unanimously nominated to serve as ACP President and Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA). This event took place in Malta where members of the ACP and EU gather to hold the 46th Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly (PA) and 33rd Session of the ACP-EU JPA.
The ACP-EU JPA is one of the organs of the Joint Institutions provided under Article 14 and 17 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement).
|Hon. Bundu and his international parliamentary colleagues
It was created in order to bring together the Elected Representatives of the European Parliament and those of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific. Article 17.2 of the Cotonou agreement defines the objectives of the JPA, stating that the role of the JPA, as a consultative body, shall be to:
·Promote democratic Processes through dialogue and consultation;
·Facilitate greater understanding between the peoples of the EU and those of the ACP States and raise public awareness of evelopment issues;
·Discuss issues pertaining to development in the ACP-EU Partnership, including partnership agreements, other trading agreements, the European Development Fund and Country and Regional Strategy Papers. To this end, the commission shall transmit such strategy papers to the JPA;
·Discuss the Annual Report of the Council of Ministers on the implementation of this agreement, and adopt resolutions and make recommendations to the council of ministers with a view to achieving the objectives of this agreement;
·Advocate for Institutional Development and capacity building of national parliaments pursuant to article 33 (1) of this agreement Hon. Bundu has been head of Sierra Leone Parliamentary Delegation to the ACP-EU JPA since 2007. From 2007 to 2012, the delegation comprised himself, late Hon.Augustine Bockarie Torto, Hon. Alhaji Buya Kamara and Hon. Eric B. Jumu. after the elections in 2012, the composition of the delegation was reconstituted and is now made up of Hon. Bundu (Hod), Hon. Alpha Babatunde Lewally and Hon. Helen N’gla Kuyembeh.
|Hon. Bundu flanked by the other Salone MPs
From 2007 to date, Hon. Bundu has served in all the Standing Committee of the JPA
Committee on Political Affairs;
Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade; and
Committee on Social Affairs and Environment
From 2009 to 2011, Hon. Bundu served as Vice President in the Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade.
From 2014 To 2015, he was nominated by his colleagues in the committee on Social Affairs and Environment to serve as Co-Rappertuer on the topic ‘How to improve Economic and Social conditions in developing countries, including the contribution of family businesses in order to prevent health disaster’
Recognizing his outstanding performance and long service to the group, he was nominated to the Bureau, the Executive Arm of the JPA. This nomination, therefore, made him one of the two Vice Presidents.
Recall that in 2011, Hon. Bundu convinced the JPA to host the 22ndsession of the ACP-EU JPA in Freetown. Unfortunately, that ambitious dream failed as a result of the failure of the contractors of the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown to meet the deadline of completing their work. Not relenting in his quest to market his country at the international stage, he also convinced the JPA to approve the hosting of the West Africa Regional meeting of the ACP-EU JPA which was successfully held in Freetown from 21-23 February 2017.
The Bi-Annual ACP Presidency and Co-Presidency is done rotationally and 2015 to 2017 is the run of the West African Region. In 2015, the West African Cacous Nominated Hon. Netty Baldeh from the Gambia, the longest serving member from the region, to this enviable position. Unfortunately, the National Parliamentary mandate of Hon. Baldeh came to an end following the Parliamentary Elections held on 6th April 2017 in the republic of the Gambia. The former ACP President and JPA Co-President did not contest in those elections and thereby ceased to be a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of the Gambia.
As per the rules and procedure, any member of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly who loses his seat in his National Parliament by any means, automatically cease to be a member of the group. Therefore, Hon. Baldeh’s position was declared vacant and the West African Region was requested to nominate a member from the region to complete the rest of the term held by Hon. Baldeh, that is up to December 2017 when the next rotation of the presidency, membership of the Bureau and committees of the ACP pa is due.
Prior to his nomination and as one of the two Vice Presidents, Hon Bundu nominated his colleague Vice President, Hon. Memounatou Ibrahima from Togo to serve as interim ACP President and Co-President of the JPA from April to June 2017 in tandem with the rules of procedures.
At the Consultative Meeting of the West Africans, Parliamentarians unanimously nominated Hon. Bundu not only on the basis of being the longest serving member but also most familiar with the rules of procedure of the ACP Pa and ACP-EU JPA.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.