AM 2002 Madrid bigOn the 3rd and 4th of October, 2002, in the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held a Conference dedicated to ensuring peace, democracy and prosperity in the region of the Mediterranean. Close to 150 parliamentarians took part in the Conference, representing over 40 countries, including parliamentarians from Mediterranean Partner States. In addition, a number of expert guest speakers gave interventions addressing a variety of Mediterranean security concerns. The Conference was hosted by the Spanish Parliament, and chaired by the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Bruce George.

The two day Conference, divided into three thematic sessions, explored a range of issues relevant to security in the Mediterranean region. Both in presentations by guest speakers, and in discussions, the participants considered what has been done to enhance Mediterranean security, and what still needs to be achieved. Much attention was devoted to examining past and present international initiatives on the Mediterranean, as well as to migration flows, and democratic development in the region.

The three sessions were chaired by Adrian Severin, OSCE PA President Emeritus; Oleg Bilorus, Chairman of the Second General Committee; and Ahmet Tan, Vice-President of the Assembly. A need for greater on-going dialogue on Mediterranean issues was a recurring theme raised during the Conference. The proposal that the model set during the Madrid Conference would be continued in an annual Mediterranean forum was positively received by the participants.

The OSCE PA Conference in Madrid, which was preceded by a meeting of the OSCE PA Standing Committee, was the eighth in a series designed to enhance inter-parliamentary dialogue on important topics related to OSCE commitments and values. Previous seminars and conferences were held in Tbilisi (1995 and 1999), Vienna (1997), Tashkent (1997), Antalya (2000), Limassol (2000), and Sintra (2001).