African leaders sign AU proclamation

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President Michael Sata yesterday joined other African Union (AU) Heads of state and Government in signing the Proclamation of the 50th Organisation of African Unity (OAU), /African Union (AU).

The signing ceremony was held at the Africa Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

In the proclamation, African leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Pan-Africanism ideals and Africa aspirations for “Great Unity.”

They have also reaffirmed their ‘determination’ to build an integrated, a prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force, including those of equality between men and women and a union of people.

The African Union countries also reaffirmed their commitment to Western Sahara’s right to self- determination and working to ‘full and find’ completion of the process of Africa decolonization started by the founding fathers of the Organization of Africa Union, OAU/Africa Union, (AU).

They also called for a quick end to the illegal occupation of Western Sahara territory while insisting that the United Nations (UN) and Security Council assume their responsibilities vis-a vis this lingering issue.

The heads of state and government have also expressed their determination to achieve the goal of an Africa without conflict to make peace a reality for all African people and to clear the continent of wars, civil disturbance, human rights violations and humanitarian disasters.

The 2063 proclamation frames the key objectives for the next five decades around the themes of Africa identity and renaissance, integration, social and economic development, peace and security, democratic governance, self-reliance and Africa’s place in the world.

In each of these areas, the proclamation spells out the continents, mission and strategic objective for the next 50 years.

Meanwhile African leaders meeting at the African Union (AU) have unanimously adopted the Vision 2063 to help forge a strategy for Africa’s growth and stated that it will not accept unconstitutional change of governments on the continent.

A rapid response involving military intervention has also been agreed by the 53 member organization to ensure peace and stability around the continent.

Speaking during the official closure of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa today, AU chairperson, Hailemariam Desalegn, said the continental body has taken a strong stance to raise among others funds to sustain its own operations and lessen dependency on handouts.

Mr. Desalegn, who is also Ethiopian Prime Minister, endorsed the landmark document before addressing a gathering at the AU headquarters.

President Michael Sata joined other African Leaders and at the closing ceremony.  

Mr. Desalegn said the signing of the declaration to foster deepened growth for Africa indicated the commitment by leaders to better the lives of its people.

He said the issue of contributing to funds for the AU had been handed over to the committee of the Ministers of Finance for deliberation.

This committee will have to come up with tangible and sustainable ways of implementing the programme, with leader of the panel, Olusegun Obasanjo stating that it was important that the union gets its own base for funding unlike the current trend where it depended more on external financing.

On peace and security, Mr. Desalegn said positive headways had been recorded in ensuring peace in war affected countries such as the crisis in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He noted that it was however of great concern that the security situation had persisted but that the AU would remain resolute to defuse the tension.

He explained that, with the proposed standby security force for Africa, it was envisaged that interventions would be responded to quickly.

Mr. Desalegn said the unconstitutional changes of government have continued to be a challenge in Africa.

He added that the situation in Madagascar and recent developments in Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau and Niger are reflections of this worrying trend adding that non-acceptance of unconstitutional changes of governments will remain AU‘s firm position as reflected in the Lome Declaration and Constitutive Act.

On the international front, the AU said it would continue to cooperate with its partners and participate in global economic issues and also remain committed to attaining positive scores in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Commenting on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute some of the leaders on the continent, the AU said it took great exception on this issue, adding that African judicial systems were capable of handling their own affairs.

“We take great exception on the stance by the ICC to always want to prosecute African leaders. This is because we believe the whole system is fraud and we will not support such a system,” he said.