Brussels – 1 March 2017
AWEPA’s Section in the European Parliament (EP) has facilitated an exchange meeting with a delegation from the National Assembly of Mali. Hon. Bodil Valero, MEP and Head of the AWEPA Section in the EP welcomed the participants and led the discussions.
First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Mali Hon. Timbiné started by providing a number of insights of the political context and National Assembly in Mali. Mr. Timbiné briefed the audience on the main challenges that Mali is facing in terms of stabilization and security in specifically the northern part of the country, as well as opportunities for reform and reconciliation. Other members of the Malian parliamentary delegation added information about specific issues, such as the need for support to women equality and to strengthen women in decision-making positions and to combat climate change as it forms a threat to the security situation.
Mr. Antoine Brasset, AWEPA Programme Coordinator West Africa, spoke about AWEPA’s close cooperation and work with the National Assembly in Mali. Besides capacity building support for MPs, parliamentary staff and the Malian Network of Women Parliamentarians (REFEP) AWEPA’s work in Mali focuses on strengthening the links and relationship between the parliamentarians and citizens. An outreach visit to the regions of Ségou and Koulikoro took place the week before whereby the citizens were informed about the role of parliamentarians and the functioning of the National Assembly, Mr. Brasset noted. The parliamentarians interacted with representatives from various organisations, specific women and youth organisations and traditional leaders.
Amongst the distinguished guests was H.E. Cisse Sékou dit Gaoussou, Ambassador to Mali in Belgium and the EU, who addressed the issue of migration flows from Mali vis á vis the support needed by the EU to tackle the security challenges in the country.
A lively debate followed with MEPs Hon. Charles Goerens, Hon. James Carver and Hon. Michael Gahler. Topics of concern which were discussed amongst the group in relation to the developments in Mali included the new development policy of the EU, the Economic Partnership Agreements and migration issues as well as the development of a military exit strategy.
The Malian delegation was headed by First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Mali, Hon. Moussa Timbiné and composed of Hon. Fomba Fatimata Niambali, Hon. Moussa Coulibaly, Hon. Amadou Diekpile, Hon. Abdoul Malick Diallo and Mr. Bakary Ballo, Deputy Director Communications.
The meeting was part of the exchange visit by the Malian MPs to the European Parliament in Brussels which took place 27 February until 3 March. This activity is focused on empowering the Malian MPs in their work in standing committees and creating links and building synergies between the Malian MPs and European MPs and EP AWEPA Section. The visit has been organised in the framework of the Strategic Partnership Programme with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016-2020).