FINAL PRESS RELEASE OF THE 21ST ORDINARY SESSION OF THE SUMMIT OF THE AFRICAN UNION.
SUMMARY OF KEY DECISIONS ADOPTED BY THE ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT.
Addis Ababa 27 May 2013- The historic 21st Ordinary session of the Summit of the African Union, which incorporated the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity/ African Union has ended, today Monday 27 May 2013, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, with AU Chairperson Mr Hailemariam Desalegn declaring the celebrations a resounding success.
A major outcome of the summit was the adoption of the Declaration of the OAU/AU 50th anniversary, in which the leaders committed themselves to achieve the AU goals of an integrated and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and with the world; an Africa whose development is driven by its own citizens and which is a significant player on the world stage. The leaders have also pledged to translate the provisions of the declaration into action in their different countries, said Mr Desalegn.
The summit also adopted the strategic plan of the African Union Commission (AUC) for the years 2014 to 2017, and considered a report on alternative sources of funding, which are expected to ensure that Africa takes ownership of its Pan African strategies.
The key decisions taken by the 21st Ordinary Summit of the African Union are summarised below. The full decisions will be released as soon as they are available.
ON THE AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
The Assembly invited Member States to provide inputs and contributions towards the elaboration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Assembly called upon all Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to support, promote, own and build alliances for the African Common Position to enable Africa to speak with one voice during the discussions at the UN General Assembly aimed at defining the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HIGH LEVEL COMMITTEE OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ON THE POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
The Assembly decided to establish a High level Committee of Heads of State and Government to sensitise and coordinate the activities of African leaders and members of the High Level Panel, and build regional and inter-continental alliances on the African Common Position on the post 2015 Development Agenda. It appointed Her Excellency Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of the Republic of Liberia as the chair of the High Level Committee which comprises two Heads of State and Government per region in consultation with Regional Deans. The High Level Committee was requested to further cristalize and synthesize, and even further consult as deemed necessary, so as to finalize the African Common Position and ensure that the priorities identified in the said African Common Position are integrated in the New Global Agenda
ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION STRATEGIC PLAN 2014-2017 AND THE AU AGENDA 2063
The Assembly adopted the Strategic Plan 2014-2017 of the AU Commission and called upon Member States to support the implementation of the plan. It took note of the progress in the development of AU Agenda 2063 and endorsed the recommendation by the Executive Council, calling upon the Commission to present the Framework Document for consideration by AU Policy organs in January 2014 and the final Agenda 2063 for adoption in June 2014
ON THE REPORT OF AIDS WATCH AFRICA (AWA)
The Assembly urged Member States to ensure the effective implementation of the Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa and to report on progress made. Assembly called upon countries and all partners to take action in support of achieving the USD 15 billion target and to fully fund the Global Fund in order to completely control the three diseases and save lives. It requested AU Member states to develop a sustainableinvestment plan for health, particularly AIDS, TB and Malaria, with year on year increases in domestic funding. The Commission was also requested to convene a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA) Consortium including the pharmaceutical private sector in Africa during the Abuja+12 Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, TB & Malaria in Abuja, Nigeria in July 2013.
ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GLOBAL AFRICAN DIASPORA LEGACY PROJECTS
The Assembly welcomed and approved the proposal by the Republic of South Africa for the establishment of a self-funding Technical Committee of Experts for the implementation of the Diaspora Legacy Projects. It is composed of the Heads/Representatives of the following Institutions:
i) African Union Commission;
ii) NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA);
iii) African Development Bank;
iv) United Nations Development Programme;
v) United Nations Economic Commission for Africa;
vi) Regional Economic Communities;
vii) Africa Capacity Building Institute;
viii) Representatives of the Private Sector;
ix) Representatives of the Diaspora;
x) Heads/Representatives of Implementing Agencies (to be identified)
ON THE NEED TO STRENGTHEN AFRICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (UNCCD) PROCESS
The Assembly invited Member States to include land degradation, desertification and drought related issues on the list of priorities for their sustainable development. It urged
Member States to place desertification, land degradation and drought related issues at the centre of the debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and recognize it as one of the sustainable development goals, particularly the neutralization of land degradation (Zero Net Land Degradation). Assembly recommended the Secretary General of the United Nations ensure that African leadership is maintained at the helm of the UNCCD Permanent Secretariat. It urged Member States to participate actively in the Conference organized on the UNCCD in Namibia next September 2013.
ON “SUPPORTING FILM PRODUCTION FOR INCREASED CONTRIBUTION TO AFRICA’s DEVELOPMENT”
The Assembly urged Member States to join forces for a more dynamic pursuit of public policies for the African film industry, focusing on priority and innovative actions that could, most expeditiously, allow for the production, dissemination and distribution of African film and audio-visual products; to establish a credit fund in each Member State as a way to step up film production; to implement the legal instruments and tools provided for in national cultural policies; and to ensure progressive and sustainable systematization of co-production with all TV networks; the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities to support African film production, promote free circulation of African film industry products and activate movie production tools and instruments.
ON THE ELECTION OF FOUR (4) MEMBERS OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS (ACHPR)
The Assembly, appointed the following Members of the ACHPR for a six (6)-year term:
No Name Country
1. Ms. Lucy Asuagbor Cameroon
2. Ms. Soyata Maiga Mali
3. Mr. Lawrence Murugu Mute Kenya
4. Mr. Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen Mauritius
ON THE ELECTION OF FOUR (4) MEMBERS OF THE AFRICAN COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF THE CHILD (ACEWRC)
The Assembly appointed the following Members of the ACEWRC for a five (5)-year term:
No Name Country
1. Ms. Azza Ashmawy Egypt
2. Ms. Suzanne Aho-Assouma Togo
3. Ms. Sidikou Aissatou Alassane Moulaye Niger
4. Mr. Joseph Ndayisenga Burundi
ON THE TWELFTH REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF TEN ON UN SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
The Assembly underscored the overriding need to ensure that the interest of Africa continues to be maintained and safeguarded at all times in the on-going intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform. It reiterated its call for Africa to continue to speak with one voice and cohesively on all issues relating to the UN Security Council reform and related matters.
ON ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF FINANCING THE AFRICAN UNION
The Assembly agreed that the African Union should be provided with adequate and predictable resources to enable it fund its programmes, thus reducing the dependency on external resources in this regard. It approved in principle the report submitted by the High Level Panel on Alternative Sources of Financing the African Union and requested the Commission to submit to the Conference of Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning for their urgent consideration and concrete proposals of financing and on the implementation modalities of different options proposed including exploring increased assessed contributions and other additional proposals by Member States, and report to the Assembly at tits next ordinary Session in January 2014.
ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AFRICAN UNION FOUNDATION FOR VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS FINANCING THE AFRICAN UNION
The Assembly welcomed the proposal of creating an AU Foundation for voluntary contributions towards financing the African Union. It decided to establish an AU Foundation to accommodate the private sector, individuals and any other donations or contributions. Assembly called upon Member States, private sector, donors, philanthropists, and individuals to contribute towards the Foundation to ensure its operationalization.
ON THE REPORT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ORIENTATION COMMITTEE (HSGOC) ON NEPAD
The Assembly welcomed the offer of the Republic of Senegal to convene a High-Level Summit and Business Conference on Financing NEPAD programmes and projects in Senegal at a later date, to taking forward to the domestic resource mobilization agenda with a view for focused discussion at the High Level Conference. It affirmed the critical need to include key regional infrastructure projects covering the Central and East African sub-region in the PIDA Priority Action Projects (PAP) which was raised during the BRICS-Africa Dialogue. It welcomed the key outcomes of the 5th BRICS Summit reflected in the eThekwini Declaration and the path being forged to strengthen partnership between the BRICS countries, AUC, NPCA and RECs and the proposition to convene similar BRICS-Africa Retreat during the upcoming 6th BRICS and G20 Summits to be hosted by Brazil and Russia respectively. It endorsed the 2013 African Union accountability report on Africa-G8 commitments focusing on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as a firm demonstration of Africa’s pledge to advance mutual accountability in its partnership engagements. It reiterated the need for Africa’s partnership engagement with the G8 and G20 to remain focused on the continent’s development priorities especially in agriculture and infrastructure development.
ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AFRICAN CAPACITY FOR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO CRISES
The Assembly recalled the challenges encountered in the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) and decided in principle to immediately establish, as a transitional arrangement and pending the full operationalization of the ASF and its RDC, an African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises, to provide the AU with a flexible and robust force, made up of military/police capabilities, force enablers and multipliers, equipment and resources to be voluntarily provided by Member States on the basis of their willingness and capabilities, to be deployed very rapidly to effectively respond to emergency situations, within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). It further decided that the contributions, referred above, will be promptly provided by individual Member States and/or by the regional capabilities being developed within the framework of ASF. It also decided that Member States willing and ready to immediately contribute military and police capabilities, force enablers and multipliers, as well as equipment and financial resources and any other necessary assets, or make a contribution in any specific area among the above, will make appropriate notification to the AU Commission at their earliest convenience. The Assembly determined that this strategic endeavor of historic value and scope, aimed at helping in bringing about African solutions to Africa’s problems, calls for continued commitment and involvement of Heads of State and Government themselves.
ON THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL REPORT ON ITS ACTIVITIES AND THE STATE OF PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA
The Assembly welcomed the significant progress made in the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) while noting challenges encountered in its full operationalization. It recommitted to accelerate the full operationalization of the APSA, including refinement, where necessary, of existing provisions to facilitate their implementation. It endorsed the establishment of the Pan-Wise network consisting of the Panel of the Wise, similar structures within the RECs/RMs and all other African actors contributing to peacemaking through preventive action and mediation. It undertook to make renewed efforts to address the root causes of conflicts in a holistic and systematic manner, including through implementing existing instruments in the areas of human rights, rule of law, democracy, elections and good governance, as well as programmes relating to cooperation, human development, youth and employment. In this respect, the Assembly called on all Member States that have not yet done so to become parties to these instruments, by the end of 2013. It committed within the framework of the African Solidary Initiative, to extend full support to those African countries emerging from conflict, to assist them to consolidate their hard-won peace and avoid relapse into violence. It committed to increase substantially our contribution to the Peace Fund, for Africa truly to own the efforts to promote peace, security and stability on the continent and encouraged Member States to make exceptional voluntary contributions to the Peace Fund on the occasion of the OAU Golden Jubilee. It stressed the need to build an innovative, flexible action-oriented and balanced partnership with the international partners, notably the United Nations, to ensure that Africa’s concerns and positions are adequately taken into account by the Security Council when making decisions on matters of fundamental interest to Africa. Assembly welcomed the progress made in the relations between Sudan and South Sudan, with the signing of the Implementation Matrix for the Agreements signed of 27 September 2012; in Somalia, with the consolidation of the security and political gains recorded over the past few years; the Great Lakes Region, with the signing of Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework; and in Mali, with the liberation of the northern part of the country and on-going efforts for the holding of elections. It welcomed the progress made in peace building and post-conflict recovery in Burundi, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It reiterated the AU’s concern at the continued challenges in the peace processes between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the relations between Eritrea and Djibouti. It also reiterated its concern at the continued impasse in the conflict in Western Sahara, and called for renewed efforts based on relevant OAU/AU and UN resolutions, in order to overcome this impasse. It also expressed concern at the prevailing situation in Madagascar and supported the PSC and SADC decisions on the issue of candidatures to the forthcoming presidential elections. Assembly condemned the illegal seizure of power in Central African Republic and the serious violations of human rights committed by the Seleka rebel group. It stressed the need for the early return to constitutional order in Guinea Bissau, noting with satisfaction ECOWAS, AU, CPLP, EU and UN coordinated efforts. It reiterated its support to the sovereignty of the Union of the Comoros over the island of Mayotte, as well as the sovereignty of the Republic of Mauritius over the archipelago of Chagos. Assembly pledged its full commitment to the effective implementation of Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the Special Session on the Consideration and Resolution of Conflicts in Africa to adopt new measures so as to open a new chapter in our collective action in favor of peace, security, stability and shared prosperity throughout Africa and the rest of the world.
ON THE LIFTING OF THE ECONOMIC AND TRADE EMBARGO IMPOSED ON THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Heads of State and Government of the African Union reiterated its call to end the economic, financial and commercial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba and invited the Government of the United State of America to lift long-standing and unjustifiable economic and trade embargo imposed on the Cuban people.
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