INTRODUCTION: The Union of African Parliaments (UAP) began a two-day special session in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan on Monday (23 March) electing a new President and admitting Zimbabwe and Mali as new members.
GV & SV National Assembly building and flags
SV PAN FROM Zaire delegates PAST delegates from Tunisia, Togo
SV Delegates from Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Djibouti, Cameroun, Algeria, Nigeria
GV Delegates, and UAP President Henri Konan-Bedie arriving
SV Delegates from Gambia and Gabon
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Union of African Parliaments (UAP) began a two-day special session in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan on Monday (23 March) electing a new President and admitting Zimbabwe and Mali as new members. The new head is Mr. Henri Konan-Bedie, Chairman of the Ivory Coast National Assembly, who replaces fellow-countryman Phillipe Yace.
SYNOPSIS: The Union of African Parliaments was founded in 1975 in Abidjan by nine countries. Its first conference two years later in Nouakchott, Mauritania, was attended by 21 member states. Now, with the addition of the two new nations, membership in the parliament has risen to 25. Members of the Ghanaian parliament boycotted this conference in protest at the deaths of 46 Ghanaian while in police custody in Abidjan earlier this month. The Ghanaians, mostly fishermen had been seized during a police raid on Ivory Coast fishing villages and were accused of smuggling drugs into the country. They died of suffocation in a tiny cell.
The new President Henri Konan-Bedie in his opening address on Monday said the world situation is worsening in all respects, and makes the strengthening of ties among African countries all the more important. Some ten delegates each representing a group of nations also spoke of the dangerous situations currently brewing -- the Middle East, the situation in Chad, and Nambia's struggle for independence. The North-South dialogue was also carefully analyses.
An Egyptian proposal to modify the constitution to allow discussion on item other than those appearing on the conference agenda, was considered.