The 16th ordinary session of the EC begins
(AU Monitor)-- The 16th ordinary session of the executive council (EC) of the African Union (AU) officially began this morning at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission Jean Ping, while addressing delegates, recalled that Africa has not been spared form the impacts of the global financial crisis and reiterated his commitment to strengthening the Commission’s actions on the ground, especially in the sector of development ‘in the common perspective of a united, peaceful and prosperous Africa’.
According to Ping, four majors events have marked the activities of the AU Commission during the year 2009:
1. The special session of the assembly of the Union on the consideration and resolution of conflicts in Africa on 31/8/2009 in Tripoli, Great Socialist Peoples’ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which resulted, on the one hand, on the Tripoli Declaration on the elimination of conflicts in Africa and the promotion of sustainable peace, and the decision to proclaim 2010 the Year for Peace and Security on the continent, on the other hand.
2. The meeting of the peace and security council, at the level of the heads of State and government, on 21/8/2009 in Abuja, Nigeria to analyse the report of the AU High Level Panel on Darfur led by President Thabo Mbeki.
3. The AU special summit on refugees, returnees and internal displaced persons in Africa that took place 22-23 October 2009 in Kampala, Uganda and adopted the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.
4. The participation on behalf of Africa in the United Nations meeting on climate change by the Committee of Ten African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change.
Other main speakers included Vuk Jeremic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. ‘My country has stood firmly with Africa throughout its contemporary history’, said Jeremic. He thanked all African countries that did not recognised the independence of Kosovo and urged them to stay on course.
Paavo Vayrynen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland, on his part, told delegates that Finland has many similarities with African countries.
‘…We suffered a lot in the Second World War and after the war we were still a developing country…by following the principles of sustainable development already long before the term was invented, we have been able to develop into one of the leading well-fare societies. This should serve as an encouraging example for many African countries’, he added.
The EC meeting is expected, among other things, to adopt the report of the Permanent Representatives Committee that proposed a budget for the year 2010, propose names for the peace and security council, consider reports of the commission on unconstitutional changes of government and on the year of peace and security as well as on Africa’s strategic partners. The EC session ends on 29/01/2010.