Draft of JAES Action Plan: Democratic Governance and Human Rights Partnership

AU and EU The draft of the JAES Action Plan 2011-2013 for the Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights as communicated in the report of the 11th meeting of the Joint AUC-EC Task Force (JTF) reads “Democratic Governance and Human Rights are key for sustainable development and for cooperation between partners, and are an integral part of both the EU’s and AU’s core values.

The Africa-EU Partnership on Governance and Human Rights will enable a comprehensive continent to continent dialogue and cooperation on aspects and concepts such as local capacity strengthening , the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, democratic principles, the rule of law and equitable access to legal systems , management of natural resources, the fight against corruption and fraud, accountable management of public funds, institutional development and reform, global governance and security sector reform.

I. Overall Objectives

•    To strengthen the open and inclusive Africa-EU dialogue on democratic governance and human rights. This shall also contribute to enhancing the joint influence of Africa and the European Union in international fora and at global level in these fields.
• To contribute to the establishment and strengthening of the African Governance Architecture with coordinated EU support
•    To strengthen the close cooperation between Africa and the EU in the area of cultural goods and other cultural activities
• To strengthen synergies and linkages between human rights and democratic governance in its political, economic and social dimension and other areas of the Africa/EU partnership

II.    Specific initiatives and activities of Action Plan 2011-2013 by priority area

Priority 1: Enhanced dialogue and cooperation at the global level and in international fora

1. The Africa-EU DGHR Platform for Dialogue will act as an open and inclusive forum on governance with a view to promoting dialogue and contributing to the formulation of shared governance agendas and recommendations that can feed the political dialogue between Africa and the European Union and deepening their partnership

2.    Exchange views and best practices on matters of joint interest within international fora, including NY, Geneva, Vienna and Paris, in particular on UPR, rights of the child, rights of persons with disabilities, economic and social rights and combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and incitement to hatred and other areas of mutual interest

3.    Continue a dedicated AU-EU Political Human Rights Dialogue in Troika format, flanked by the Africa-EU Civil Society Human Rights Seminars

4. Cooperate with other thematic partnerships to promote sectoral governance and strengthen synergies to cover cross-thematic issues

Expected Results
•    Open and regular dialogue which builds trust, mutual understanding and contributes to developing common agendas and approaches that feed into the political level and decision making process
•    Extended dialogue to issues where diverging views prevail
•    Enhanced coordination and cooperation on issues of common interest in international fora such as the 2nd and 3rd Committee of UNGA, the UN Convention against Corruption and the Human Rights Council
•    Increased awareness of the importance of the relevant governance and human rights dimensions in the other partnerships Actors
•    African States, AU Commission/NEPAD, Pan African Parliament, African Court of on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, other Pan-African Institutions, RECs, African think tanks;
•    EU Member States and Council, European Commission, European Parliament, other EU Institutions and Agencies, European Court of Justice;
•    Decentralized authorities, Parliaments, and Civil society organizations;
• UN agencies and programmes and specialised international organisations including the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Priority 2: Cooperation in the area of Governance Initiatives Activities

1.    Step up and coordinate support to the African Governance Architecture, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in line with Africa’s priorities

2. Strengthen the dialogue on the APRM process and the cooperation on the implementation of its recommendations

3.    Strengthen cooperation with and among Parliaments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector

4. Strengthen capacities of the AU, regional, national institutions and public authorities in the field of election organisation/observation and of civil society and media in election observation

5.    Support the role of public and private media to foster democratic governance

Expected Results
•    The African Governance Architecture is consolidated and operational
•    Coordinated EU actions to support pan-African governance initiatives
•    Balanced and effective support to the APRM at the continental and national level, including to the implementation of the national plans of actions
•    The core International and continental instruments related to Governance and Human Rights are ratified, domesticated and implemented
• A structured dialogue about the role of media with a view to strengthening the
regulatory framework for the development of free and independent media
•    African States, AU Commission/NEPAD, APRM Secretariat, Pan African Parliament, other Pan-African Institutions, RECs;
•    EU Member States and Council, European Commission, European Parliament, other EU Institutions and Agencies;
•    Local and decentralized authorities;
•    Civil society actors, universities and research institutes;
•    UN organizations and specialized international organizations.

Priority 3: Strengthen cooperation in the area of cultural goods and other areas of cultural cooperation

1. Finalize and validate the outcomes of the inventory of cooperation in the area of cultural goods and identify consequent priority actions of cooperation between African and the EU

2.    Conduct an effective dialogue and cooperation in the area of the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural goods in line with the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and other relevant international conventions, including the exchange of experiences on the return of illegally exported or acquired goods to their countries of origin and encouraging setting up relevant mechanism1 and sharing best practices [including on the restitution of national archives]

3.    Facilitate the access to information on important African cultural goods in EU and African countries,

4.    Identify pilot Museums and cultural institutions in Africa and EU and facilitate the establishment of cooperation, twinning and capacity building agreements on cultural goods including inventory systems, security and safety systems, sites management

5. Extend and institutionalize joint cultural events and cultural exchanges programmes between Africa and EU, such as the Africa-EU Cultural week

6. Develop and launch joint advocacy and communication campaign for the ratification and implementation of cultural goods related international instruments

Expected Results
• Enhanced cooperation to facilitate the protection and promotion of cultural expressions and cultural diversity as well as intercultural dialogue
• Common positions on policies, strategies and cooperation in the area of cultural goods;
•    Progress in the implementation of relevant international instruments to facilitate the protection and promotion of cultural goods, and in the joint fight against illicit trafficking of cultural goods.

•    AU Commission/NEPAD, African States, Pan African Parliament;
•    European Commission, EU Member States, European Parliament;
•    UNESCO and other international organisations;
•    Civil society actors in the field of culture and sports;
•    Museums, Universities and Research institutions.”

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