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AU Peace and Security Commissioner addresses PAP

May 17, 2011, 1:17 PM

Midrand, Johannesburg – The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Ramante Lamamra, yesterday presented a statement on peace and security in Africa as a contribution to the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

On behalf of the AU, Ambassador Lamamra delivered a thought provoking speech to Members of Parliament, urging them to support the common cause of building an "integrated, prosperous and conflict-free Africa."

Due to conflicts, Ambassador Lamamra, explained that, "too many African peoples continue to live in conditions of violence, poverty, misery and underdevelopment."

On this note, he prodded those present to enhance democratisation.

Although Ambassador Lamamra commended Africans on making significant improvements in the area of democracy, he expressed his concern that there is still a long way to go, especially due to the slow execution of relevant AU instruments that ensure democratisation.

He explained that "the upholding of these instruments would contribute towards creating conditions conducive for socio-economic development that the African people have been, and are yelling for."

Ambassador Lamamra reiterated the notion that Africa needs to make solutions work on the ground through funding and good governance. He explained that the PAP can play a critical role in this regard.

The PAP commended Ambassador Lamamra on his informative statement, but questioned him on the role of the AU in the current conflicts on the continent.

They noted the timid nature of the AU in the face of foreign forces intervening in conflicts, especially in Libya.

Parliamentarians also requested the AU to consider them as equals, as they are often undermined, especially during election observation missions.

However, they continued to say that Africans should support and nurture the AU as one would do their own child to ensure its success and, thus, preserve the continents sovereignty.

With this a motion was proposed in accordance with the resolution on the security situation in Libya. However, the PAP agreed to postpone further discussion leading to the adoption of this motion to Thursday May 19, 2011.

The PAP Bureau also announced the extension of the contracts of the current Clerk and two Deputy Clerks of the PAP.

Furthermore, the PAP yesterday unanimously elected a new Second Vice-President in place of the outgoing Hon. Mary Mugyenyi of Uganda, who retired from parliamentary service.

The new Second Vice-President is Hon. Marie Noelle Francoise LABELLE from Mauritius, who will be sworn-in today.

The other candidate for the position, Hon. Stephen Masele from Tanzania, withdrew his candidature in favour of Hon. Labelle.