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Khartoum, Oct. 24, 2002 (SUNA)

The African Parliamentary Union(APU) has endorsed a motion presented by the Sudanese parliament for the speedy launch of the Pan-African Parliament as the legislative arm of the African Union(AU).

The proposed Parliament is the most important of nine other organs adopted by the AU. The blueprint detailing the prerogatives and jurisdictions of the proposed parliament was endorsed by African parliamentarians in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2000. The African Parliamentary Union and the Pan-African Parliament are two different organisations governed by different legal regulations. Whereas the African Parliamentary Union is an organisation for cooperation among the Continent's parliaments, the Pan-African Parliament is an organisation for integration. The African Parliamentary Union emanates from the national parliaments constituting an African parliamentary institution, while the Pan-African Parliament is a collective institution drawn from African member states. The Pan-African Parliament represents the African population through members elected by direct vote while the African Parliamentary Union represents the national African parliaments.

In spite of consultative nature of the Pan-African Parliament in the first stage, the Parliament will acquire legislative powers in the long run. In addition, the Pan-African Parliament can serve as a vehicle through which the national African parliaments can expose the problems of African citizens through the elected national deputies. To guarantee the launch of the Pan-African Parliament, the Sudanese parliament says African states must be urged to endorse the protocol of the founding pact of the African economic community. Sudan is also of the view that African parliaments enlighten the population of their respective countries about the proposed parliament. Sudan has also proposed the formation of units within the African parliaments to follow up procedures for the Parliament launch. A committee could be set from the African parliaments to follow up the formation of the Parliament.