AU Member States committed to the transformation of the Commission into an Authority

AU The 4th meeting of African Union (AU) Government Experts for the transformation of the AU Commission into an Authority started today, 14 March 2011, at the organisation’s headquarters, to consider the draft legal instruments towards the transformation process.

As such, the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human and People’s Rights, the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament and the Draft Protocol on the Establishment of the African Monetary Fund will be under consideration.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the meeting, Mr Ben Kioko, AU Legal Counsel, recalled that the transformation is aimed at strengthening the “institutional framework of the Union and to revitalize the continental organisation so that it can play a more active role and continue to be relevant for the peoples of Africa as well as to respond to the demands of prevailing challenges”. Prior to the current meeting, the Protocol amending the Constitutive Act and the Statute of the Authority were examined and adopted in Tripoli and Addis Ababa, respectively in April and November 2010.

In July 2009, in Sirte, Libya, the AU Assembly adopted a decision on the modalities of the Transformation of the AUC into an Authority.

The Authority shall exercise its functions on the basis of the principle of subsidiary with regards to Member States and Regional Economic Communities (REC’s). It shall have competence in continent-wide poverty reduction, free movement of persons and goods, peace and security, coordination of common defence policy of the continent as well as coordination of foreign policy of the continent among others.

The meeting will end Tuesday 22nd March 2011 with the adoption of the Draft legal instruments. They will be submitted to the Ministers of Justice, Attorneys General or other relevant Ministers for consideration from 19 to 20 May 2011 at the AU headquarters.

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