African Union website. “The Africa – European Union Partnership is the most varied, most accomplished and most important agreement.” said Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), during an audience he granted to Mr. Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, on Friday 7 May 2010, in his office at the headquarters of the African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who is on a two days official visit to Ethiopia.
The meeting, which was held in the presence of the Director General for Development and Relations with ACP states, Mr. Stefano Manservisi, and the Permanent Representative of the European Union to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Mr. Koen Vervaeke, amongst other personalities, was an opportunity to exchange views on issues of common interest, particularly with respect to the implementation of the Africa – EU Partnership. Some concerns such as peace and security on the African continent, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were also raised during the meeting.
Both officials expressed satisfaction on the level of achievement so far through the partnership between the two commissions in all the areas of cooperation, while reiterating the need to strengthen the cooperation ties between both organizations.
Emphasizing on the need to work on “a global conception of Africa” President Ping expressed in this regard, his willingness to establish an Indicative Continental Programme, similar to the existing national and Regional programmes, “We need cooperation across a continental programme” he said.
The ongoing preparations to organize the Africa – European Union Summit, scheduled for next November in Tripoli, Libya, and the Inter-Commission meeting that will be held during the coming month of June in Addis Ababa, were also at the center of discussions. Both senior officials in this regard, agreed to join efforts to ensure the success of the two important activities.
Concerning peace and security, Chairperson Ping stressed on the support of European partners, who, he said, “are of a great assistance in the process of restoration of constitutional order and conflicts resolution.”
Commissioner Piebalgs, by the way, reaffirmed the “very strong” commitment of the European Commission to work jointly with the African Union Commission in a consolidation of established convergence, noting that the African Union Commission is “the closest partner representing Africa.”
On climate change, and specifically with regard to the African participation in the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP16), Chairperson Ping said that Africa is following it up with “a constructive spirit and responsible ideas.” we are devising solution to the problem.”
The meeting was also an opportunity, for the two senior officials to exchange of information on the status of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Mr. Ping and Mr. Piebalgs especially agreed to work together so as to narrow the gaps between the tow institutions.