Overview

ON THE OACPS-EU WOMEN’S AND YOUTH FORUMS

The OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) Women's Forum and Youth Forum represent the Assembly's long-standing commitment and support to gender and youth issues. The Women's Forum, organised since 2002 on the fringe of the JPA plenary sessions, has provided the JPA Members with a platform for exchange with NGOs operating in various countries on gender issues, and has advocated for women's rights and gender equality. The JPA Youth conference, held for the first time in 2016, has given voice to the young generation, to their ideas, their hopes and their needs and, thus, brings a fresh perspective into the Assembly's deliberations.

Regarded both by the Assembly and by external participants as very useful, relevant and innovative forums for open discussion, closely linked to the Assembly's work, at its meeting in Kigali in 2019 the JPA decided to incorporate the Women's and Youth conference as official components of the forthcoming JPA meetings. Under the new Rules of Procedure, the two Forums will play an important role in the parliamentary dimension of the OACPS-EU partnership.

In line with the Rules of Procedure of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, under the Samoa Agreement, a Women's Forum and a Youth Forum shall be held at each annual session of the JPA (in EU and in OACPS countries). In addition, the Rules for the Regional Parliamentary Assemblies (RPA Africa-EU, Caribbean-EU and Pacific-EU) foresee that these Forums may be held when the RPA plenary session takes place in an OACPS country and provided that the host country cooperates in its organisation. As envisaged in the Rules, the content/draft programme of the Forums' discussions shall be decided by the JPA Bureau and their deliberations shall be reported to the respective plenary.

The Women's Forum and the Youth Forum would be in-person meetings, involving local participants. The format would be similar to a "workshop", whereby the debate - with interpretation provided - takes place in a venue selected in cooperation with the host country.

The first Women's Forum (38th edition since 2002) and Youth Forum (11th edition since 2016) since the signing of the Samoa Agreement took place as part of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on 20 February 2024 in Luanda, Angola.


I. OACPS-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY - RULES OF PROCEDURE

Rule 27

Women's Forum

  1. At each plenary session of the Assembly, the Bureau shall convene an OACPS-EU Women's Forum. That Forum shall advocate for women's rights and gender equality in accordance with Article 36 of the OACPS-EU Partnership-Agreement.

  2. Participation in the Women's Forum shall be broad, independent, balanced and pluralistic, including individuals from academia, private sector, the government and from civil society groups, as appropriate, in consultation with the host country.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Women's Forum shall reflect those of the annual plenary session of the Assembly, as well as related topical global matters and general gender related issues relevant to powers of the Assembly.

  4. The draft programme of the Forum shall be informed by the interests of women in the country hosting the Forum and shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the two Vice- Presidents in charge of gender equality issues.

  5. The two Vice-Presidents shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions, deliberations and any recommendations of the Women's Forum.

Rule 28

Youth Forum
  1. At each plenary session of the Assembly, the Bureau shall convene an OACPS-EU Youth Forum, in which young people are invited by the responsible Vice-Presidents, in order to deepen the people-to-people dimension of the partnership and to promote youth empowerment and active participation of young people in accordance with Article 35 of the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.

  2. At least half of the participants invited should be from the country hosting the Assembly when the plenary session is held somewhere other than the seat or working place of the European Parliament. Local students' and youth organisations should also be invited to the Forum.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Youth Forum shall reflect those of the annual plenary session of the Assembly, as well as topical global issues of interest to young people.

  4. The Youth Forum shall present an oral opinion to the three Regional Assembly Reports during the annual JPA ACP-EU Youth Forum.

  5. The draft programme shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the Vice-Presidents.

  6. The Vice Presidents and a participant of the youth forum shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions and deliberations of the Youth Forum.

II. AFRICA-EU PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY - RULES OF PROCEDURE

Rule 23

Women's Forum

  1. At each plenary session held in Europe or in Africa, the Bureau may, in cooperation with the host country, convene an Africa-EU Women's Forum. It shall advocate for women's rights and gender equality in accordance with Article 40 of the Africa Regional Protocol to the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.

  2. Participation in the Women's Forum shall be broad, independent, balanced and pluralistic, including individuals from academia, private sector, the government and from civil society groups, as appropriate, in consultation with the host country.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Women's Forum shall reflect those of the Assembly's session, as well as related topical global matters and general gender related issues relevant to competences of the Assembly.

  4. The draft programme of the Forum shall be informed by the interests of women in the country hosting the Forum and shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the two Vice Co-Presidents in charge of gender equality issues.

  5. The two Vice Co-Presidents shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions, deliberations and possible recommendations of the Women's Forum.

Rule 24

Youth Forum
  1. At each plenary session held in Europe or in Africa, the Bureau may, in cooperation with the host country, convene a Youth Forum, to which young people are invited by the responsible Vice Co-Presidents in order to deepen the people-to-people dimension of the partnership and to promote youth empowerment and active participation of young people in accordance with Article 41 of the Africa-Regional Protocol.

  2. The Bureau shall define the number of participants to be invited, primarily from the country hosting the plenary session. Local students' and youth organisations should also be invited to the Forum.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Youth Forum shall reflect those of the plenary sessions as well as topical issues of interest to young people.

  4. The draft programme shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the responsible Vice Co-Presidents.

  5. The responsible Vice Co-Presidents and a participant of the youth forum shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions and deliberations of the Youth Forum.
III. CARIBBEAN-EU PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY - RULES OF PROCEDURE

Rule 23

Women's Forum

  1. At each plenary session held in Europe or in the Caribbean, the Bureau may, in cooperation with the host country, convene a Caribbean-EU Women's Forum. It shall advocate for women's rights and gender equality in accordance with Article 40 of the Caribbean Regional Protocol to the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.

  2. Participation in the Women's Forum shall be broad, independent, balanced and pluralistic, including individuals from academia, private sector, the government and from civil society groups, as appropriate, in consultation with the host country.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Women's Forum shall reflect those of the Assembly's session, as well as related topical global matters and general gender related issues relevant to competences of the Assembly.

  4. The draft programme of the Forum shall be informed by the interests of women in the country hosting the Forum and shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the two Vice Co-Presidents in charge of gender equality issues.

  5. The two Vice Co-Presidents shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions, deliberations and possible recommendations of the Women's Forum.


Rule 24

Youth Forum

  1. At each plenary session held in Europe or in the Caribbean, the Bureau may, in cooperation with the host country, convene a Youth Forum, to which young people are invited by the responsible Vice Co-Presidents in order to deepen the people-to-people dimension of the partnership and to promote youth empowerment and active participation of young people in accordance with Article 49 of the Caribbean-Regional Protocol.

  2. The Bureau shall define the number of participants to be invited, primarily from the country hosting the plenary session. Local students' and youth organisations should also be invited to the Forum.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Youth Forum shall reflect those of the plenary sessions as well as topical issues of interest to young people.

  4. The draft programme shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the responsible Vice Co-Presidents.

  5. The responsible Vice Co-Presidents and a participant of the youth forum shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions and deliberations of the Youth Forum.

IV. PACIFIC-EU PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY - RULES OF PROCEDURE

Rule 23

Women's Forum

  1. At each plenary session held in Europe or in the Pacific, the Bureau may, in cooperation with the host country, convene a Pacific-EU Women's Forum. It shall advocate for women's rights and gender equality in accordance with Article 40 of the Pacific Regional Protocol to the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.

  2. Participation in the Women's Forum shall be broad, independent, balanced and pluralistic, including individuals from academia, private sector, the government and from civil society groups, as appropriate, in consultation with the host country.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Women's Forum shall reflect those of the Assembly's session, as well as related topical global matters and general gender related issues relevant to competences of the Assembly.

  4. The draft programme of the Forum shall be informed by the interests of women in the country hosting the Forum and shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the two Vice Co-Presidents in charge of gender equality issues.

  5. The two Vice Co-Presidents shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions, deliberations and possible recommendations of the Women's Forum.


Rule 24

Youth Forum

  1. At each plenary session held in Europe or in the Pacific, the Bureau may, in cooperation with the host country, convene a Youth Forum, to which young people are invited by the responsible Vice Co-Presidents in order to deepen the people-to-people dimension of the partnership and to promote youth empowerment and active participation of young people in accordance with Article 41 of the Pacific-Regional Protocol.

  2. The Bureau shall define the number of participants to be invited, primarily from the country hosting the plenary session. Local students' and youth organisations should also be invited to the Forum.

  3. The themes and topics addressed by the Youth Forum shall reflect those of the plenary sessions as well as topical issues of interest to young people.

  4. The draft programme shall be adopted by the Bureau upon a proposal by the responsible Vice Co-Presidents.

  5. The responsible Vice Co-Presidents and a participant of the youth forum shall jointly report to the plenary session of the Assembly on the discussions and deliberations of the Youth Forum.