President Jacob Zuma had a successful participation at the African Union Summit in Ethiopia
His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has had a successful participation at the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU Summit) in Addis Ababa, in the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, where he led the South African delegation.
The AU Summit was held under the theme: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.”
The Republic of Zimbabwe was elected as the Chair of the African Union for this year, and will have the double responsibility of leadership of both the continent and the sub-region as chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Furthermore, the Summit decided that South Africa will host the 25th Assembly and related meetings in Johannesburg, in June/July 2015.
The AU Summit focused on peace and security matters and the escalation in terrorism in parts of the Continent; the endorsement and adoption of Agenda 2063, of which its 10-year action plan will be adopted at the next AU Summit; the AU’s coordinated response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa; as well as development and administrative-related issues with regard to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and on alternative sources of financing the AU and its programmes.
During the Summit, the AU Peace and Security Council met to discuss security on the Continent, focusing on the situation in the Great Lakes Region, South Sudan and the threat posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria and the surrounding countries.
As a member of the Peace and Security Council, President Zuma participated in the meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council. The growth and threat of terrorism by Boko Haram in certain parts of the Continent was discussed. President Zuma indicated that the countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger) established a multinational force and sought endorsement from the AU.
“The Council endorsed the establishment of this multinational force and decided that the requisite financial and material resources be provided for this mechanism,” said President Zuma.
With regard to the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a special meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) took place on the margins of the Summit to consider the current developments in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region. The matter was also discussed at Summit level, where it was decided that the negative forces in the region must be disarmed as a matter of priority.
President Zuma stated that the operationalisation and time frame for the disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation of these negative forces were one of the key issues during discussions.
On the current developments in South Sudan, President Zuma stated that member states of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) met on the sidelines of the AU Summit in an attempt to finalise the agreement related to the modalities on how the Government of South Sudan would be structured.
President Zuma stated that: “A report on the situation in South Sudan will be presented to the AU Peace and Security Council once negotiations, which are at a delicate stage at the moment, are concluded.”
The AU Summit reviewed the ongoing progress made in addressing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). President Zuma stated that the Summit reiterated the need to urgently establish the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention as a result of this epidemic. It was agreed that this Centre, which will coordinate medical research on the Continent, should be operationalised this year.
President Zuma elaborated on the AU Summit’s deliberations on the issue of alternative sources of financing the African Union. It had been agreed that assessed contributions will need to be adapted according to the GDPs of Member States. Domestic sources of funding will be the prerogative of each Member State according to their own financial structures.
President Zuma stressed that it was imperative that the AU independently fund and implement its own programmes without conditions. In this regard, President Zuma stated that in order to ensure the financial independence of the AU, the Summit established an AU Foundation, which is a mechanism to raise funds by Member States and in partnership with business.
The President was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Mr Collins Chabane, Minister of Public Service and Administration; Mr Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency for Planning and Performance Monitoring; Ms Susan Shabangu, Minister of Women in the Presidency; Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security and Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration.
Cell: 079 879 3203
SOURCE: South African Official News