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17th AU summit begins today

Jun 23, 2011, 1:23 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

The assembly of heads of state and government of the African Union (AU) gets under way today from 23 June to Friday 1 July 2011 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

This 17th AU Summit is being held under the theme: “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”, and will officially kick off today with the 22nd ordinary session of the permanent representatives committee (PRC).

Several African leaders are expected to attend the Malabo Summit.

In the meantime, prior to their meeting in Malabo, the ambassadors who form the PRC have already started deliberating the agenda of the summit at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In Malabo, the ambassadors will for two days (23-24 June) share views on a number of issues, including consideration of the report of the PRC sub-committees such as the report of the advisory sub-committee on administrative, budgetary and financial matters on the draft budget for 2012 and on the status of implementation of the new AU staff regulations and rules, among others.

The PRC will further exchange views on specific reports, including the report of the sub-committee on structures; activities on multilateral cooperation; refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons in Africa; economic and trade matters; and the report on the NEPAD Agency. They will consider the working documents and draft decisions in preparation for the 19th ordinary session of the Executive Council.

According to the reports monitored from the AU headquarters, the 19th ordinary session of the Executive Council will be held from 26 to 28 June in Malabo.

The ministers of External Affairs or other ministers or authorities designated by the governments of member states will exchange views on the different reports of the ministerial meetings organised by the AU Commission during the last six months.

They will consider the activity report of the Commission; the recommendations of the PRC on the implementation of previous decisions of the Executive Council and the Assembly; the report of the ministerial committee on candidatures; the progress report on the work of the ministerial panel on the election of members of the Commission in January 2012, among others.

The Executive Council will proceed to the election of one member of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) and five (5) members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).

The ministers will consider the reports of other AU organs such as the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the AU Advisory Board on Corruption, the AU Commission on International Law (AUCIL), and the report of the president of the General Assembly of ECOSOCC. They will also discuss items proposed by member states.

During the summit, the heads of state are expected to adopt the decisions and recommendations of the 19th ordinary session of the Executive Council as well as the Declarations of the Summit. They will also agree on the date and venue for the 18th ordinary session of the Assembly of the Union.

Observers say other than the main theme of the summit, Africa leaders will also discuss the crisis in Libya, Southern Sudan, and other parts of the continent.