African envoys meet on creation of Authority

AU Monitor. African ambassadors and government representatives from the 53 African Union member states met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss the transformation of the African Union Commission (AUC) into an Authority, officials said Friday 22nd of May 2010.

A five-day follow up meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) and government experts kicked off at the AU headquarters on the 17th of May to discuss the amendments to the various treaties needed before the AUC can transform to an Authority. AU Commissioner for political affairs Julia Dolly Joiner said efforts to create an African Union Authority have been gaining momentum since 1999, when a decision was reached to create the AU, to replace the former Organisation of African Unity.

She urged the diplomats and government officials at the meeting to examine the amendments to the Constitutive Act of the AU. Joiner said the Constitutive Act was primarily intended as the instrument for the revitalisation and development of Africa.

‘The legal instruments the PRC would be working on have as the foundation, the logic of enhancing the Union’s capacity and making it an effective instrument for peace, for the promotion of shared values and for the development and integration of our wonderful continent,’ Joiner said.

The meeting is a follow up to a meeting of government experts on the legal instruments on the transformation of the AUC into AU Authority from 11-15 April 2010 in Tripoli, Libya. AU legal counsel, Ben Kioko, told the meeting that the current laws were adopted by the Assembly and now the work before the meeting was to seek further amends. The amendments would then be forwarded to the African leaders for adoption.

The discussions are also centred on the conduct of business by the committee of ministers, known as the executive council, and the PRC.

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