In Belgrade, parliamentarians from the Mediterranean National Assemblies have finalised theReports and Resolutions to be presented for adoption at the Annual Plenary Session of theParliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean to be held on 28-30 October, in Rabat, Morocco.The 5th Meeting of the 3 Standing Committees was inaugurated by H.E. Prof. Dr. Slavica DjukicDejanovic, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. In her welcomingspeech Dr Dejanovic, underlined the importance that Serbia gives to the Parliamentary Assemblyof the Mediterranean and reiterated her country’s support to the initiatives of the region’sparliament. “The establishment of PAM represents in itself, the essence of parliamentarydemocracy, and from such a forward looking vision we can all stand to gain. The intertwining ofParliamentary activity means that cooperation is necessary and useful at a regional and universallevel”, Dr Dejanovic said.In her opening speech the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia referred tothe achievements of the current legislature in her country, reminding that till now around 400acts have been passed covering different issues of great importance, of which many are similarlydealt with by PAM itself, inter alia, water resources, human rights, gender equality. The SerbianSpeaker also welcomed PAM initiatives on migration and refugees, which are also issues on theagenda of the Serbian Parliament.The two day meeting was characterised by a healthy debate on the topics dealt with by theStanding Committees during the year. Hon. Angela Napoli (Italy), rapporteur on OrganizedCrime, presented her Report on “Human Trafficking and Dumping of Toxic waste in theMediterranean”. The report on “The root causes of terrorism”, prepared by Hon. Aşkin Asan(Turkey), rapporteur of the Special Task Force on Terrorism, was introduced by key-notespeaker, Prof. Dragan Simeunovic, who delivered a reflection about the roots of terrorism.Another guest addressing the parliamentarians was M. Jean-Paul Laborde, Chief, CounterterrorismImplementation Task Force (CTITF), from the United Nations. Hon. George Vella(Malta), Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on the Middle East, presented his Report andbriefly delved into the PAM annual activities dedicated to issues of concern to the region,including the Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian peace, co-organised by PAM and the United Nations, in Malta on 12-13 February 2010.During the debates concerning the 2nd Standing Committee reports were presented by Hon. Dubravka Šuica, rapporteur on Environment and Climate Change, on “Addressing Environmental Challenges Facing the Mediterranean: a PAM workplan”, by Hon. Jacques Blanc (France), special rapporteur on Water, and by Hon. Mohamed Abou el Enein (Egypt) on “Energy and the global Economic Crisis: Opportunities for Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean”.Particular attention was also dedicated by Hon. Ridha Bouargoub (Tunisia) to the launching by PAM of its Panel on External Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean. The Panel was established on the occasion of a two day meeting in Lisbon (27-28 May, 2010), hosted by the Portuguese Parliament and co-organised with the Portuguese Business Development Agency (AICEP). PAM delegates from national Parliaments, national Trade and Investment Agencies, Employers and employees Associations, Banks, Financial institutions, and Chambers of Commerce, participated in the debate, following which, the Panel was established. On that occasion it was further unanimously agreed to set up an action group consisting of representatives of all economic actors in the region, which will prepare a structured plan, serving as a platform for the Panel’s future initiatives.In Belgrade, Hon. Aşkin Asan (Turkey), as rapporteur on gender equality issues, also presented her Report “Achieving Gender Equality”, dealing with the achievements and future challenges in gender equality in the Mediterranean. The Special Task Force on Migration provided further analysis on the issue with the Report on Palestinian Women Refugees, prepared by Hon. Mahmoud Muhaidat (Jordan). An interesting overview of the refugee situation in the Balkans was given by Mr. Vladimir Cucich, Commissioner for Refugees in Serbia. The report prepared by Hon. Justyne Caruana (Malta), on “The Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in the Western Balkans as a platform to strengthen and consolidate peaceful and good-neighbourly relations among its peoples”, was also discussed.At the conclusion of the Belgrade debates, PAM vice-President, Hon. Abdelkader Fedala, and Secretary General, Dr. Sergio Piazzi, thanked, on behalf of all the national delegations, the Serbian Parliament for their hospitality and excellent organisation of the meetings. Dr. Piazzi also thanked the parliamentarians of the Mediterranean National Parliaments, for their continued support and active participation in the debates during the years, and all the National Parliaments that had hosted these meetings.“We are particularly also pleased by the fact that, year after year, the parliamentarians are becoming more engaged in the proceedings of our Assembly, and thanks to this positive and active attitude, we are confident that, for the coming years, we can count on more parliamentarians from both sides of the Mediterranean, who are willing to involve themselves more directly in our work, and who can become rapporteurs on ongoing and new topics that the Assembly will identify as priority areas for further study and debate”, Dr Piazzi concluded.