The 42nd African Union (AU) ordinary session of the Executive Council has begun in Addis Ababa today.
The two-day meeting brings together ministers of foreign affairs and external relations from the 55 AU member states.
The Council sits to deliberate on the draft agenda, decisions and declarations with appropriate recommendations.
They are expected to refer to the draft agenda and draft decisions for approval to the heads of state and government during the 36th ordinary session set for February 18-19.
The executive council began the session with participants observing a minute of silence for victims of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
The recent earthquake led to the death of more than 30,000 people, leaving hundreds of thousands others injured and homeless.
“The whole of Africa sympathizes with the families of the victims,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC) in his opening remarks.
The Chairperson went on to highlight some of the challenges and achievements of the AUC made amid global shocks in health, economics and peace and security.
The AUC Chairperson said this global phenomenon has contributed to changes in global geopolitics causing more uncertainties, remodeling, structuring and restructuring of international configurations.
Notably, the worrying progression of terrorism, the return of non-constitutional changes, declining growth, constantly deteriorating climatic conditions among other challenges are issues which the continent is bent to consistently deal with.
“Despite this unfavorable context, Africa is showing remarkable signs of resilience and the African Union, in its various components, has maintained its operational dynamic in the implementation of programs and decisions”.
Taking into account the combined impacts of the various crises that have recently shaken the whole world, the Chairperson said that the African Union is determined to give priority to health and nutrition issues.
“While mitigating the effects induced by the urgency of meeting the needs of the populations, the Union is part of the search for long-term solutions aimed at setting up structures and capacities for food and medicine production,” he continued.
“It is in this logic that the operationalization of Africa CDC is nearing completion while the African Medicines Agency (AMA) has begun its own with the choice of its headquarters.”.
In the area of democratic governance, peace and security, the Chairperson stated that the AU relentlessly pursued its efforts to bring peace to the Continent.
These efforts has greatly contributed to reconciliation and its effectiveness in Ethiopia, he noted.
In Sudan, the Commission established a tripartite mechanism with IGAD and the United Nations which has contributed significantly in the progress towards a new, inclusive and consensual agreement.
In the Great Lakes region, in eastern DRC in particular, Mahamat noted that the Union has implemented two mechanisms in the search for peace and reconciliation.
“We are hopeful that this dual African mechanism will manage to resolve this crisis and demonstrate that there is no solution to African crises and conflicts other than peaceful solutions initiated by Africans themselves,” reiterated Mahamat.
As per Chairperson, the reconciliation process in Libya has also made progress in the preparation of the inter-Libyan reconciliation conference.
He stated that the High-Level Committee on Libya, chaired by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, has taken significant steps in the preparation of the inter-Libyan reconciliation process.
“I am convinced that the meeting of the high-level committee to be held on February 17 will give a strong impetus to this salutary action in solidarity with the Libyan people,” said Mahamat.
The Chairperson informed the meeting that the AU also organized an extraordinary session of the Conference on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in May and in Accra, Ghana, in March 2022.
“In order to enhance the effectiveness of peace support operations, a Common African Position on the financing of peace support operations led by the African Union has been developed,” he said.
“This common position will serve as a solid support for our international advocacy in favor of the management of African operations by permanent UN resources.”
In response to human security, the Chairperson noted that the Union initiated an institutional reflection on humanitarian emergencies through the extraordinary session held in Malabo.
The Pledging Conference saw pledged contributions of US$174 million to accelerate the process of effective implementation of the African Humanitarian Agency.
The Chairperson of the AUC in his speech, saluted the progress made on the way to the acceptance of the AU as a member of the G20.
“Such an accession will broaden the scope of our advocacy for the continent and open up real opportunities for Africa to contribute to the solution of the world’s problems,” he said.
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