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PES calls for an Arab Social and Economic Development Plan in Jordan Conference

Jordan Conference

PES Vice President Jan Royal calls for “fully integrated and democratic plan”

Taking part in a conference held in Amman, Jordan, the Party of European Socialists (PES) Vice-President Jan Royall remarked that; “democracy must be an absolute precondition for economic development”.

The conference, titled “Middle East and North Africa: Building partnerships for social and economic development”, brings together progressive forces, civil society and trade union representatives from the EU and from the region over two days. The aim is to formulate an Arab Social and Economic Development Plan.

The event is a concrete outcome of the 2012 PES Conference and the “Tunis Declaration”, an important PES coordinated document, which laid the political priorities of progressives across the Mediterranean.

PES Vice-President Jan Royall said that; “after the revolutions, all actors must recognise that genuine economic development cannot exist without a strong democratic base. Our task with this development plan is to ensure that the ordinary people of the region feel economically emancipated and socially engaged. This is the real investment in democracy. A successful transition process will be possible only if it goes hand in hand with social justice. Hundreds of thousands of decent people are looking to progressive forces to give them a better standard of living. By working together with civil society and trade unions the progressive political parties can provide the answers needed. An Arab Social and Economic Development Plan will then exist not only on paper, but will be fully integrated in the society it is helping to build.”

Ms. Royall also expressed her solidarity for the people of Syria, stating that; “it is tragic that so many innocent lives are being lost in the name of a regime of oppression and brutality. The bloodshed must stop. The international community needs to take responsibility to help bring this atrocity to an end. We are with those courageous people who fight for freedom and democracy every day”.

In the framework of the conference, the PES will also hold a fact-finding mission to the Zaatari Refugee Camp and a Demining Project. This mission will assess the humanitarian situation of the Syrian refugees and the landmine concerns along the northern borders with Syria.

BACKGROUND NOTE

Since the onset of the Arab Spring, the PES has worked in synergy with progressive parties in North Africa and in the Middle East. The PES has been present in the region with two major international conferences in Tunisia and has set up a permanent Task Force on the Arab Spring. With Fatah and Ettakatol, it has also co-organised a seminar on constitutional challenges and reform. Both parties became members of the PES during the last PES Congress held in Brussels on the 28th and 29th of September.

The conference, titled “Middle East and North Africa: Building partnerships for social and economic development”, brings together progressive forces, civil society and trade union representatives from the EU and from the region over two days. The aim is to formulate an Arab Social and Economic Development Plan.

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