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PAP debates AU Peace, Security Council report

Apr 15, 2010, 11:02 AM

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Tuesday debated two reports presented by H.E. Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, the AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs.

The first report, which was presented on behalf of H.E. Dr. Jean Ping, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), was on the activities of the Commission for the period July to December 2009.

The areas covered in the report covered the four pillars of the AUC Strategic Plan: Peace and Security; Integration, Development and Cooperation; Shared Values; and Strengthening Institution of the Union.

The second report was on the Activities of the AU Peace and Security Council and the Peace and Security Situation in Africa during the period July 2009 to January 2010. This report covered a number of areas. One of the issues dealt with in the report was that of the signature and ratification of the Peace and Security Council Protocol.

It stated that 51 countries had so far signed the Protocol, while 44 countries had ratified it. The two countries that did not sign it were Eritrea and Cape Verde.

Another area that the report covered was the activities of the Council for the said period. It also covered the peace and security situation on the continent. This includes, among others, the situations in Madagascar, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Niger and the Sahrawi Republic. It also outlined the efforts of the Peace and Security Council in resolving these problems.

A debate then followed where members were given the opportunity to express their views on these two reports.  

Also, on the same day, a delegation of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) visited the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). The delegation, which was led by the Secretary-General, Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis, Member of the Hellenic Parliament held a meeting with the President of the PAP, Hon. Dr. Moussa Idriss Ndélé, MP and members of the Bureau, as well as the Chairpersons of the Permanent Committees and the Secretariat of the PAP.

The leader of the IAO explained the mission of his organisation, which he said, was composed of parliamentarians from countries where the Orthodox Christians were present. He added that their mission was that of peace and coexistence. He said that the IAO's headquarters was in Athens, Greece and that its leadership was elected every two years. Furthermore, he said the next meeting of the IAO was going to be held in Yerevan, Armenia.

In terms of relationships with other organisations, he said, they have signed an agreement with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and that they are looking forward to signing a similar agreement with the PAP.

On his part, Hon. Ndélé welcomed the delegation and said that the PAP appreciates and commends the noble ideals of the IAO. He said that the proposed agreement would be passed on to the Secretariat of the PAP, to look at the technical and legal details of it. Once that has been finalised, it would then be signed by the two parties.

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP), also on the same day, confirmed the appointment of a new Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Zweletu Lukanyiso Madasa of the Republic of South Africa. Mr. Madasa is a lawyer by profession and is currently a Member of the South African National Assembly.

The parliament also confirmed the appointment of a new Deputy Clerk for Legislative Business, Ms. Helen Dingani, from the Republic of Zimbabwe, who is the current Deputy Clerk for Legislative Services in the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

The appointment came as a culmination of a recruitment process that started in September last year. The two candidates were chosen after an elaborate screening process that included a written examination and interviews.

Both officials are expected to take up their positions within the next few weeks.