Expectations ahead of the start of PAP

Image: Flickr, waf1on1
Image: Flickr, waf1on1

With the opening of the Pan-African Parliament's (PAP) third session tomorrow, there are many expectations of what will be on the agenda for PAP.

Ayesha Kajee of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), says three major issues that will be touched on. These include the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process, peace and security issues as well as democracy processes around the continent. The APRM is scheduled to begin next month and the country visit for Ghana will be happen in the first week of April, says Kajee. She says that the peace and security issues will focus a great deal on Darfur and the United Nations report on the situation. Kajee says there will be some recommendation as to whether the case should be referred to the International Criminal Court or to an African Court, but that consensus may be towards an African Court.

Kajee says there should also be discussions on conflict-zones on the continent, particularly Congo and Uganda. ‘The first ICC case on war-crimes in the Congo opened about two weeks ago, and is certain that this will come up on the agenda. Kajee is confident that there will be discussions on the processes of democracy on the continent, specifically on elections as there have been many elections in the past six months,’ she says.

How is SA faring with APRM codes?

The APRM has specific standards and codes based on certain indicators, ie. political governance, economic governance, socio-economic governance and corporate governance. South Africa has shown some promise in terms of legal compliance to the standards and codes, she says. ‘SA has over the last 11 years made attempts specifically in the area of constitutionality and human rights, to actually align domestic legislation with continental legislation’, Kajee says.

She does however state that SA has fallen short sometimes in the actual enforcement of the legislation. ‘We do not always implement them effectively and part of it is perhaps weaknesses in the criminal justice system’, enforcing legislations may not be as easy as it sounds, she adds.

Kajee says that PAP is still in its infancy as it is still setting up in terms of processes and standards. She says that once the organisational structure is in place, PAP has the potential to make its mark on the continent.