A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
WORKING GROUP ON AFRICAN UNION
5 June 2002
PROTOCOL ON TREATY ESTABLISHING THE AFRICAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY RELATING TO PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT; FOURTH REPORT OF WORKING GROUP
Chairperson: Dr F Ginwala (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Fourth Report of the Working Group (Appendix 1)
Synopsis of AU Developments - presented by Amb JNK Mamabolo -1 June 2002 (Appendix 2)
The Working Group discussed issues arising from the Fourth Report of the Working Group relating to the summit meeting on the 27 and 28 June, when delegates from across the continent would arrive in Cape Town to discuss the Pan-African Parliament. It was decided to invite interested members of civil society, the heads of regional groups throughout Africa and members of South Africa's provincial legislatures. The possibility of South Africa hosting the Pan-African Parliament was raised.
The Working Group agreed to subdivide into three groups to discuss the socio-economic, political and constitutional issues relating to the Protocol, with the intention of submitting a report that Parliament could ratify the Protocol, together with a second report detailing considerations that should be taken into account.
The Chair noted that the South African Parliament could ratify but not unilaterally amend the Protocol on the treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan African Parliament (The Protocol). A recommendation had been made to the National Assembly that the Protocol be adopted and that had been done. She said that issues concerning the Fourth Report needed to be prioritised.
Mr Eglin (DP) commented that he was not aware that the Protocol had been "usurped" from the Foreign Affairs Portfolio Committee. He cautioned against the changing of parliamentary procedures concerning the Portfolio Committees.
The Chair responded that the Protocol had not been usurped as all matters relating to the AU came to the Working Group. The Working Group had been established in terms of a Resolution of the House and was therefore a properly constructed Working Group.
On matters relating to the Fourth Report, the Chair noted that she had called on all African parliaments to sent five delegates to the summit meeting on the 27 and 28 of June, when delegates from across the continent would arrive in Cape Town to discuss the Pan-African Parliament. She was in the process of determining if the meeting could be held in the National Assembly Chamber because no outside meetings had ever been held there before. In those countries where there was no evidence of the existence of a parliament she had written to the Ambassador and requested him/her to send the letter to the appropriate organ. Morocco had not been invited due to the fact that it had left the OAU over a dispute concerning the inclusion of the Sahrawi Republic and it was unclear whether or not they would be joining the AU. An invitation would be extended to Morocco once it was clarified that it would be joining the AU. However, if the region group, of which Morocco is the head, were to be invited then the Speaker would be invited in his capacity.
The Chair noted to other issues: the programme of the meeting and South Africa's participation in it. It had been agreed to invite the heads of the regional groups. She noted that an important objective of the meeting was to familiarise African parliaments with the concept of the AU and to arrive at a common understanding so that South Africa would not give the appearance of taking the lead. On the issue of South Africa's participation, she said that not more than five delegates could be invited to participate but recommended that a larger number be drawn up as surplus. She suggested that 25 members be listed who could then be used as chairperson for the sub-committees or elsewhere in the process. The amount of 25, she felt, would allow every party to include at least one member.
Mr Eglin pointed out that the Parliamentary Committees used a formula based on the number 27.
The Chair responded that that formula could be followed. She raised the question of who else could be invited and suggested extending invitations to regional institutions.
Ms Mbeti (ANC) felt that those bodies that have African Chapters should be invited.
Dr Geldenhuys (NNP) asked if South Africa was a member of the Union of African Parliaments.
The Chair answered that South Africa was not but indicated that that should not affect it.
Ms Mbeti added that it was important not to give the impression that South Africa was hostile to them.
The Chair continued that the OAU would obviously be invited. She felt that their was a need to look at non-parliamentary bodies and noted that the three main bodies in South Africa - including the Institute for Global Dialogue and the Africa Institute - would have to be invited.
Ms Mbeti suggested considering organisations outside of South Africa.
The Chair suggested inviting the African Leadership Forum and added that there would be no cost implications in that respect. She felt that there was no harm in informing people where there were no cost implications as it could only strengthen the network. She asked for suggestions concerning institutions in South Africa and members suggested universities and Idasa. The Chair believed it important to be as inclusive as possible.
Mr Eglin asked if they would be active participants or observers.
The Chair replied that the would be observers and explained that the normal practice was that if a person wanted to speak, he could request to do so, but this was subject to the decision taken by the House.
Mr Eglin inquired if provincial legislatures would be invited.
The Chair replied that they would be invited as this would be an empowering exercise but that the invitation would only extent to those in South Africa and for a limit of up to three delegates. Concerning Cabinet members, she said that the President needed to address the delegates but this was subject to his return from the G8 meeting in Canada. She asked if there were any other members of the Executive who should be invited.
Dr Geldenhuys suggested the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Chair replied that she would be invited but that she was also in Canada.
Ms Mbeti noted administrative concerns regarding venues, budgeting and logistics.
The Chair felt that it was difficult to deal with until the secretary tabled a report.
Mr Eglin inquired if a budget report would be received.
The Chair replied that a report would be made available and added that delegates would be paying for their own travel expenses while South Africa would be responsible for their accommodation and costs while in the country. She said that the matter could not be taken further without a report detailing the costs.
On the issue of civil society and MP interaction, she said that she did not see it ending with the Summit but viewed it rather as part of a long-term engagement.
She introduced Prof Haysom, an advisor to the Speakers Office, and explained that he had been asked to look at the AU documentation and assist in the management of working groups
Four bodies were being set up at the beginning of the Summit: the Senate, Execute Council and so on and she indicated that there were political issues were parliament might was to consider making recommendations. She emphasised a need to be familiar with the NEPAD documentation and the Protocol on Good Governance and suggested that the Protocol on economic governance be referred to the Trade Portfolio Committee for input.
Answering a member's query, the Chair clarified that the Secretariat of the OAU would be taken over by the AU and recommended that Ambassador Mamabolo's presentation at the workshop be read as it explains most of the mechanisms. She said that in some systems, a Grand Committee was established before whom every item on the agenda of a multi-lateral agreement was tabled and discussed. A mandate was then given to representatives to take to the negotiations, after which a report had to be made to the Committee. She felt that that was the most comprehensive system.
The Chair explained the background to the Protocol. She said that the first draft had been done by a group of consultants who had felt that the AU was a version of the EU in Africa and had made provision for the election of seven people across the continent who would be accountable to the population at large. A common position had been taken within the SADC region not to go that route. Thereafter, 46 African parliaments had met in Pretoria under the auspices of the OAU and drafted the Draft Protocol. It had been agreed that a law-making body would not be created because that would have resulted in the ceding of sovereignty. However it had been agreed that laws could be made to the extent that the related to matters concerning Africa as a whole. Representation in terms of population had been considered however the smaller countries had argued for one voter per country as is the principle of every international organisation. At a subsequent summit meeting, Nigeria had argued that the system would have to be reviewed, however the summit did not accept or reject Nigeria's view. Other issues debated were how the parliament should be convened. She explained that the possibility of putting a self-perpetuating rule in the Rules was being explored so that the Parliament would not have to rely on the Senate to be convened. Another aspect that needed consideration was whether South Africa should host the Pan-African Parliament, although ultimately the decision would lie with the Executive.
Dr Geldenhuys suggested ratifying the Protocol since it had already been signed.
The Chair suggested that a report be drafted recommending that the Protocol be ratified by Parliament. She further suggested that a second report be drafted, detailing considerations that needed to be looked at, section by section in the Protocol, concerning problems, potential problems and solutions.
Dr Geldenhuys proposed that the Committee divide into different groups to consider the implications.
The Chair agreed that the Committee be divided in three groups: socio-economic, political and Constitution.
The Chair continued that negotiations would take place as to who would host each of the organs of the AU.
Ms Mbeti said that there were some indications that South Africa should host the Parliament and she supported that view.
The Chair noted that although the Parliament could sit in one particular country, it could be convened anywhere on the continent.
Fourth Report of the Working Group on the African Union
The Working Group was established on 16 November 2001 by a resolution of the National Assembly. The primary focus of the Working Group was to consider the implementation of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
B. Objectives of the Working Group
The brief of the Working Group is to:
-Consider Parliament's participation in the implementation of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and suggest appropriate procedural mechanisms for this.
-Determine the involvement of Parliament in assisting the South African government in its role as chair of the African Union.
C. Meetings of the Working Group
The Working Group met on 15 January 2002, 14 February 2002, 27 February 2002 and 7 March 2002. The Working Group established a Planning Team to address detailed planning and technical matters. The Planning Team held its first meeting on 19 February 2002. The Working Group met with members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the African Union on 28 February 2002 to discuss the African Union.
D. Seminar on the African Union
A seminar on the African Union was held on 1 and 2 March 2002, in cooperation with the Africa Institute of South Africa and the Institute for Global Dialogue
Members of Parliament and representatives from the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry attended the seminar. The objectives of the seminar were to:
-Acquaint Members with the African Union (AU).
-Allow Members to engage with the challenges posed by the implementation of the Constitutive Act.
-Encourage Members to consider the participation of Parliament in the process of shaping the evolution of the AU.
-Discuss the role of South Africa in the implementation of the Constitutive Act.
-Share knowledge and insight with the research institutes and Government Departments present.
E. Working Group Discussions
Following its reports to the National Assembly on 27 February 2002 and 12 March 2002, interaction with the members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, deliberations during the aforementioned meetings including the seminar on the African Union and the debate on the African Union on 12 March 2002 in the National Assembly, the Working Group wishes to highlight the following considerations regarding the establishment of the African Union and the implementation of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
1. Political Considerations
Consideration should be given to such issues as what constitutes a conducive political environment, political integration, ceding sovereignty, and human rights.
(a) Political Environment
-In the transition from the OAU to the AU, membership to the AU is open to all Member States of the OAU (Article 27). In the future, consideration should be given to whether to maintain this principle of inclusivity for Member States whose political environments are not conducive to the attainment of the objectives of the AU.
-Mechanisms need to be developed to encourage Member States to create and maintain political environments that promote democracy and good governance.
(b) Political Integration
-Political integration may be seen as a means through which African States are empowered to face their respective challenges. The AU can be perceived as an evolving structure responding to the challenges facing Africa.
-There is a need to bridge historical and linguistic divisions in Africa in order to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States.
(c) Ceding Sovereignty
-The Constitutive Act provides for political and socio-economic integration and a common defence policy, which could impact on the sovereignty of States. Thus, the Constitutionality of ceding sovereignty with regard to these issues raises some concern.
-South Africa should consider the principles and terms of ceding its sovereignty in a way that does not impact negatively on the human rights of its citizens. A phased and strategic approach would be necessary.
(d) Human Rights
-In respect of human rights, it is necessary to consider an appropriate role for the Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in relation to the AU.
-With regard to the Charter on Peoples' and Human Rights, it is noted that there have been many developments in International Human Rights law, since the adoption of the Charter in 1987. South Africa should initiate a review of the Charter to establish congruence with current human rights law thereby ensuring the effective promotion and protection of human rights as envisaged under Article 3 of the Act.
2. Legislative Considerations
Some of the key legal considerations include the following:
-Drafting and interpretation
-The Court of Justice
-The Central Organ
-Organs of the AU
(a) Legal implications
-Legal opinion received from the South African State Law Advisers indicates that the Constitutive Act of the AU does not conflict with domestic law. Further consideration should however be given to whether the Act is consistent with International law and South Africa's international obligations.
Whilst the Constitutive Act does not have any self-executing provisions, Member States may be obliged to harmonise existing; or enact new domestic laws in order to give legal effect to the provisions of the Constitutive Act.
-South Africa may need to consider amending its Constitution to accomodate its obligations under the Constitutive Act.
(b) Drafting and interpretation
-Attention must be paid to inconsistencies in the drafting of the Constitutive Act. The 'soft' legal drafting in Article 3(c), (l) and (n) compared to the definitive legal drafting in Article 9(a), for example creates some ambiguity and vagueness in the Act.
-There appear to be no contradictions or ambiguity among Articles 4 (a), (g), and (h). Article 4(h) dealing with grounds for intervention by the Union in the affairs of Member States should take into account Article 3 (h) in respect of reference to the promotion and protection of human rights. The grounds for intervention should also be expanded to include violations of human and peoples' rights.
-To facilitate democratic decision making, it is suggested that checks and balances be built into the Constitutive Act. In this light, the quorum for Assembly decisions should be re-examined particularly with regard to policy decisions and issues relating to ceding sovereignty.
-The Act must be revised to reflect gender sensitive language.
(c) Court of Justice
-It is suggested that the Protocol makes the Court of Justice the supreme institution for the protection of peoples and human rights. In terms of the South African Constitution however, the Constitutional Court is the supreme court protecting basic human rights. The consequences of deferring or referring matters to the Court of Justice will need to be considered.
-With reference to Article 3(h), it is likely that the Court of Justice will make decisions based on the African Charter which may have become outdated in terms of human rights. The South African Constitution, being more recent, is more in line with international best practice in this regard. Also, the equality clauses in the African Charter and the South African Constitution are different. The Court of Justice will therefore function from a different legal basis. This may cause some tension. Mechanisms may be required to regulate issues that can be brought before the Court of Justice. Further discussion is required regarding the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice.
While South Africa has extended the right to class actions to organs of civil society in the interest of the public, many countries do not make a similar provision. Thus, if the Constitutive Act provides for class actions, some Member States would need to pass domestic laws to comply with their obligations in terms of this Act. Concerns were raised about the possibility of foreign NGO's funding class actions in different Member States to advance non-African agendas.
(d) Central Organ
-It is envisaged that the Central Organ will be established through Article 9(1)(d). Since this represents an important organ, it should be established by the principal Act under Article 5 and not by the Assembly under Article 9. The relationship between the Central Organ and the Assembly of the AU should therefore be redefined.
-The intended focus of the Central Organ is safety and security. This should be extended to include all matters of human security.
(e) International Intervention
-Whilst the need for intervention as envisaged by the Act is acknowledged, it must be ensured that any form of intervention occurs within the parameters of public international law.
-South African representatives to the AU should ensure that the AU does not adopt any provisions that will impact negatively on South Africa's international obligations. An audit of South Africa's international obligations is envisaged.
(f) Organs of the AU
-Whilst the Act provides for the establishment of various organs, time frames for their establishment are not set. The lack of defined timeframes may impact negatively on the implementation of the Act.
-The Act is also unclear regarding the separate powers and functions of the different organs. There is overlap in authority of some organs thus making it unclear which organs would have jurisdiction over what matters.
3. Economic Considerations
-The AU envisages accelerating efforts to promote economic integration in Africa. This raises the central issue of the appropriate strategy for promoting economic integration. The conventional trade integration approach focuses on removal of tariff and regulatory barriers and moving from Free Trade Area to Customs Union, common market and economic union. This approach has been criticised as inappropriate to developing countries and regions where major trade barriers often derive from underdeveloped production structures and inadequate infrastructure. Premature moves to "high" levels of trade integration e.g. a continent- wide customs union will therefore not necessarily contribute to addressing key challenges facing the continent.
-Economic regeneration of Africa requires that priority be given to development integration, which is not solely focused on conventional trade integration. This implies combining efforts to promote trade integration with sectoral cooperation in key infrastructural and productive sectors. Addressing developmental backlogs therefore serves as the basis for promoting effective trade integration. This will also emphasise political cooperation at an earlier stage than in conventional trade integration programmes.
-Tensions exist between these two paradigms, both in existing sub-regional programmes and in the Constitutive Act.
-The terms of reference regarding the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC) in the African Union, its relationship with sub-regional economic bodies and the specialised technical committees needs to be clarified.
Economic integration, infrastructural development and sectoral
-The case for a developmental approach to promoting economic integration in Africa arises from the reality that many of the major barriers to promoting intra-regional trade arise not from tariff and regulatory barriers but from underdeveloped production structures and inadequate infrastructure.
-The integration strategy needs to build on what exists in sub-regions and should strive to improve sectoral cooperation as well as capacity building in sub-regional organisations. Developments such as the forthcoming Cotonou Economic Partnership negotiations will underscore the need to develop strategies for trade relations between sub-regions: options include a continental FTA or preferential agreements between sub-regions.
-Infrastructural development like transport, telecommunications and information technology should be a priority. NEPAD can be considered an appropriate programme in this regard.
-African countries have similar trade patterns based on exports of primary products to the North. Intra-African trade is therefore very limited. The European Union envisages reciprocal trade agreements between African regions and Northern trading blocs. These could lead to a situation where South Africa finds itself trading with African countries outside the SADC region on worse terms than e.g. the European Union. Hence, integration in Africa is not happening in a vacuum, there are developments at global level that are re-shaping the terrain.
-It is also important to define the economic partnerships that will benefit Africa. Engaging institutions like the G7 in order to maximise the benefits of globalisation also needs to be addressed. It is therefore necessary to think strategically in order to face the challenge of globalisation.
c) Monetary Union
-The establishment of an African Central Bank should not attempt to prematurely promote monetary union.
-While continent-wide monetary union is considered a legitimate long-term objective, this should not be seen as feasible in the short-term.
-There must be co-operation with existing monetary union arrangements, such as that in West Africa and the common monetary area between South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.
-A focus on promoting cooperation between central banks similar to the Finance and Investment Sector Coordinating Unit of SADC could be a model for early activity.
4. Pan African Parliament
To give effect to the provisions under Article 3(g) and 4(c) of the Constitutive Act, the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament should be prioritised. To this end, the Presiding Officers should engage the Executive to establish a role for African Parliaments in the African Summit in July 2002. Parliaments must determine the appropriate approaches and mechanisms to foster public awareness and engagement with issues concerning the establishment of the African Union and the implementation of the Constitutive Act.
In terms of the Protocol, the following should be considered:
-Article 2 of the Protocol states that the Pan African Parliament is established by Member States. This may conflict with the provisions under Article 5 of the Constitutive Act and Article 7 of the Abuja Treaty, which establish the Pan African Parliament as one of the organs of the AU and of the OAU respectively. Article 5 of the Constitutive Act should be seen as the legal basis for the establishment of the Pan African Parliament.
-In terms of Article 4, 5 Members at least 1 of who must be a woman shall represent each Member State in the Pan African Parliament. Compliance with this provision must be monitored since many African Parliaments are male dominated.
-Under Article 5(2), the Assembly shall determine the beginning of the first term of office of the Pan African Parliament. This may impact on the independence of the Pan African Parliament since the Assembly may delay the first sitting if it is not in the best interest of the Assembly.
-Notwithstanding the provisions under Article 33(2), consideration must be given to whether the Pan African Parliament Protocol should be ratified in terms of Article 7 of the Abuja Treaty or Article 17 of the Constitutive Act.
The following consideration is raised in terms of the Draft Rules of Procedure of the Assembly of the Union with regards to the Pan African Parliament:
-Rule 19 refers to amongst others, attendance of the President of the Pan African Parliament at the sittings of the Assembly. The nature of participation of the President at such sittings must be clarified.
It is recommended that:
-Parliament should request that the Minister of Foreign Affairs table the Protocol on the Pan African Parliament for ratification as soon as possible.
-The Presiding Officers should interact with other African Parliaments and Parliamentary formations, in particular the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum in order to expedite the ratification of the Protocol in the region.
-Since the Constitutive Act of the AU provides for the participation of the African peoples and the Pan African Parliament in the activities of the Union, Parliament should engage the Executive to establish a role for African Parliaments in the Inaugural Summit of the African Union in July 2002.
-South Africa should initiate a review of the Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
-South Africa should develop proposals on the role of the Commission on Peoples' and Human Rights relative to the AU.
-Parliament conducts an audit of South Africa's international obligations in terms of public international law, through the relevant parliamentary committee(s).
-Parliament proposes specific amendments and revisions to the Act for consideration by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the AU and submission to the Commission under Article 32 of the Act.
-South Africa supports and encourages a developmental approach to the political and socio-economic integration of Africa envisaged under Article 3 of the Constitutive Act of the AU.
A SYNOPSIS/UPDATE OF THE AFRICAN UNION DEVELOPMENTS SECOND SEMINAR:
THE AFRICAN UNION PARLIAMENT,
1 JUNE 2002
Presented by Amb JNK Mamabolo
Preparations for the Inaugural Summit in July 2002
In preparation for the Summit, South Africa is involved in a number of processes at national, regional and continental level. SADC is working together to promote Southern African interests at continental level. As such, all the issues that we are engaged in at national level, are then taken forward to SADC, and is then introduced to OAU meetings on aspects of the AU. We have, for example, and at tie request of SADC ambassadors to the OAU, asked the current chair of SADC, Malawi, to allow the forthcoming SADC Council of Ministers meeting to be extended by a day, to devote time to SADC's approach to the launch of the AU. It is gratifying to see such close co-operation on important issues for the region, and to be aware of the tremendous support that South Africa's hosting of the AU is enjoying in SADC.
At national level, we are running three processes concurrently. The first has to do with our logistical arrangements for the Summit, the second rates to our Substance preparations, and the third to issues which are not being dictated by the Agenda of the Inaugural Summit, but which South Africa would like to introduce as part of the culture of the African Union.
On the logistical side, we are preparing to accommodate and transport 53 Heads of State and Government and their delegations. We are dealing with issues such as who will be our invited guests, how to get the invitations to the Heads of State in view of OAU traditions such as special envoys. We are developing cultural programmes to showcase South Africa and to welcome our guests. We have also adopted a specific logo which will be involved in the branding of the Summit on South African soil, as well as an overall theme for the Summit which will be: "Peace, Stability, Prosperity: the African Century". You will soon spot this logo on billboards, stamps, commemorative items, media ads and even a collectable Coca-Cola bottle.
On the substance side our focus is the Agenda for the Summit. At this stage the Agenda for the Summit is in two parts. The first part determines the proceedings for 8 July 2002. On this day the Thirty-eighth and last Ordinary Session of the Organisation of the OAU will take place. The most prominent items on this Agenda are the consideration of the Draft Rules of the core organs of the African Union, namely the Assembly of Heads of State, the Executive Council of Ministers, the Permanent Representatives Committee and the Statutes of the Commission. Followed by this will be the Consideration of the Draft Protocol on the African Union Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and
Resolution. Once these issues are dealt with in addition to one or two last reports, the meeting will close.
On 9-10 July 2002 the First Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union will take place. The Assembly's first task will be to adopt the Rules of Procedure for the core organs of the AU. This will officially launch the core organs, namely the Assembly, the Executive Council and the Permanent Representatives Committee. Though the Commission's statutes will also be adopted, a period of time will have to be allowed for staff of the Commission to be appointed The Statutes makes provision for a three-month notice period in which the posts for the senior positions of the Commission, that of the Chairperson of the Commission, his or her Deputy and eight Commissioners, must be advertised and vetted. However, it is more likely that this process will take up to six months. In addition, a job evaluation study will have to be undertaken to determine the nature and functions of all other Commission posts, as well as to appoint staff to these posts, so a full year may be required for all these processes to run its course . The Constitutive Act makes provision for the current Secretariat to act as an Interim Secretariat while these processes are concluded.
Remarkable progress has been made on the Rules of Procedure. It has been approved by an OAU Council of Ministers Meeting, and has now also been reviewed by the legal experts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6 - 10 May 2002. Very few and minor issues remain outstanding.
Another interesting aspect of the first session of the Assembly will be Theme papers presented by selected Heads of State. At this stage, though it is still subject to change, the themes are broadly arranged around NEPAD, the International Environment relating to the strengthening of Multilateralism, and the Empowerment of Women. These presentations will be followed by roundtable discussions intended to stimulate debate.
As I have mentioned, the OAU is currently also rushing to produce a Draft Protocol on the institution that will replace the Central Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution. This institution will be called the Peace and Security Council and will be responsible for all activities on the continent relating to peacekeeping.
A meeting of Permanent Representatives and Experts took place in Addis Ababa from 27 to 29 May 2002, to discuss a first Draft Protocol for the Peace and Security Council. It will be similar to the United Nations Security Council, with which it will work closely. Its functions will include early warning and preventative diplomacy, peace-making, peace support operations. Its mandate according to the Constitutive Act will include the right of the AU to intervene in member states in respect of grave circumstances, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. It may also respond to requests by member states to intervene in restoring peace and security and its primary function will be peace building and post-conflict reconstruction. It will ensure the implementation of the OAU/AU, UN and other relevant international Conventions and Treaties on arms control and disarmament. It may take action where the national independence and security member state may be threatened by acts of foreign aggression, including mercenaries. It will coordinate and facilitate humanitarian action in situations of armed conflict and natural disaster and take decisions on issues relating to peace on the continent.
The Peace and Security Council will not have permanent membership as originally envisaged. Instead it will consists of five member states which could be considered to be "locomotives" on the continent in terms of economic power and good governance. A set of criteria requires that these states will have to conform to standards of good governance in terms of political, economic and corporate governance. Membership will be for a five-year period, with the opportunity to be re-elected based on performance. Membership will be subject to periodic review.
Member states will also have to contribute to a type of Peace Fund, which will partly be used to maintain national contingents, in member states' national defence forces, which together will form the continent's peacekeeping force .The equipping of these force have to be considered
It was noted that membership will be an issue of responsibility and not benefit.
We are also preparing South Africa's positions for the period immediately after the Summit, and on issues which we know or anticipate to be raised very soon, if not during the Summit itself. These issues include:
Â· The establishment and operationalisation of other institutions of the African Union, most notably the Pan-African Parliament, the Central Organ, etc.
Â· The staffing of the Commission and the recruitment of senior and influential staff for this institution immediately after the Summit.
Â· The development of the Rules of Procedure on the Pan African Parliament, the Court of Justice, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC);
Â· The review of OAU Agreements, Treaties, Protocols and their relevance under the AU;
Â· The operationalisation of the relationship between the Regional Economic Communities and the AU;
Â· The review of the Scale of Assessment of the AU as a source of funding for the programmes and projects of the AU and the Central Organ's successor institutions;
Â· The possible review of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights;
Â· The finalisation and adoption of criteria for the hosting of AU Institutions
In addition to the above, South Africa may want to add value to the African Union by introducing one or two programmes during its term as chair, to benefit and enrich the AU. Though we have not yet identified a specific programme, we will be guided by the goals of NEPAD. We have the opportunity to introduce programmes that are crosscutting in nature, involving social, economic and political development. In order to provide the basis for introducing such programmes, South Africa have suggested that three or four Heads of State be invited to deliver papers on specific broad themes, whichl3lmay include gender empowerment, the international environment post 11 September, and the African Union and NEPAD. It will he conducive to the proceedings if discussions on these papers could then proceed in a roundtable format, in order to stimulate debate and encourage open and frank discussions.
The issues we are engaged with in the margins of the Summit are that the African Union's common vision of a strong and united Africa also entails partnership with civil society, particularly women, youth and the private sector. The partnership would also strengthen Africa's cohesiveness and solidarity (Preamble of the Constitutive Act of the Union, Paragraph 7). The participation of civil society is therefore an integral part of a filly functional African Union.
In this regard, civil society would popularise and advance the objectives of the NEPAD. Whilst governments have specific responsibilities in this context, civil society is key to.
Civil society in all its formations will also add dynamism to government programmes and inject a different perspective to the standard NEPAD programmes and strengthen the participatory democracy component of NEPAD at a practical level.
The role of the business community or corporate sector in having part-ownership of the African Union and NEPAD programmes, sponsoring specific programmes in a spirit of partnership is important.
Community organisations, the religious community and Non-Governmental Organisations should also play a key role in the ownership, popularisation and advancement of the African Union and its programme of action, NEPAD.
In supporting the African Union, civil society should also interact with its partners outside the African continent.
Civil Society Meetings and Issues.
Â· The OAU Secretariat has organised a continental civil society meeting for the 11-14 June 2002 in Addis Ababa to deliberate on the role of civil society in general and its role through ECOSOCC, amongst other topics. This is a follow-up of the first ever, civil society meeting under the auspices of the OAU in June 2001
Â· Renaissance South Africa Outreach Programme Continental Experts' Meeting, Pretoria, 17-19 June 2002
The topics to be considered include: the AU and NEPAD, an update thereof from the
Lagos Plan of Action to NEPAD/AU, NEPAD's political dimensions NEPAD and
'alternatives", NEPAD/AU on regional integration, NEPAD on land and environment,
Peace, Security and Stability, Democracy and Governance, Africa and International Relations, Democracy and Governance, Role of Civil Society (AU!NEPAD) and Social Movement
Â· Civil Society Continental Representatives' Meeting, Durban, 1-2 July 2002
For the latter meeting, Non -Governmental Organisations (NGOs), business organisations, the youth and professional organisations have been invited to participate in the deliberations. It is proposed that they should focus on the ECOSOCC membership, its rules of procedure, processes and how it would interact with the AU on a continuous basis.
In order to establish a link between the civil society forum's outcome and the inter-governmental process, it is proposed that the civil society's outcome document be formally submitted to the Secretary General who would then formally present it to the Summit for consideration and adoption.
Government Priorities vis-à-vis establishment of AU
Government's priority regarding the African Union is simple to articulate. In general, the AU objectives are far more comprehensive than those of the OAU. The OAU has served its mission and was due for replacement by a structure geared towards addressing the current needs of the continent, in particular regarding social and economic development. In addition, a structure is needed that will be able to deal effectively with the political challenges of peace, stability and security issues. The AU has come at the ideal time as the perfect instrument for implementing NEPAD and bringing about an age of prosperity and progress.
The AU has a vastly expanded mandate from that of the OAU. It includes the principles contained in the Charter of the OAU, as well as the goals entrenched in the Abuja Treaty regarding social and economic development. In addition, it reflects a greater openness and willingness to be mutually scrutinised and assisted in areas such as human rights. Added to this is the need to establish a structure that can deliver on the expanded mandate.
Our priority is therefore first and foremost to ensure that the basic institutions we are putting in place, will be able to deliver on all of these hopes and aspirations.
As such, we also have a particular need to look at the development and establishment, or operationalisation of some of the other institutions of the African Union such as the the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), the Court of Justice and the Pan-African Parliament.
Regarding ECOSOCC, the Union identifies as a vision of a united and strong Africa the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, m particular women, youth, the disabled and the private sector, in order to strengthen solidarity and cohesion amongst its peoples. Apart from the Pan-African Parliament, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council will act as the principal civil society interface organ of the Union.
In view of the Union's wish to promote and protect human and peoples' rights, to consolidate democratic institutions and culture, and to ensure good governance and the rule of law, the of the Court of Justice will be key and the Pan-African Parliament will advance the Union's objective to promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance.
Interface between NEPAD and AU
NEPAD and the OAU has already come along away , and this partnership will be concretised under the AU. The mandate for the New African Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) had its genesis at the OAU Extraordinary Summit held in Sirte, Libya during September 1999. The Summit mandated President Mbeki of South Africa and President Bouteflika of Algeria to engage Africa's creditors on the total cancellation of Africa's external debt. Following this, the South Summit of the Non-Aligned government and the G-77, held in Havana, Cuba during April 2000, mandated President Mbeki and President Obasanjo of Nigeria to convey the concerns of the South to the G-8 and the Bretton Woods institutions.
Realising the correlation between the two mandates and the fact that debt relief forms but one critical aspect of the overall development agenda for Africa, the OAU Summit held in Togo in July 2000 mandated the three Presidents to engage the developed North with a view to developing a constructive partnership for the regeneration of the Continent. Following from this, the three Presidents raised the issue of a partnership with the leaders of the C-8 at their Summit in Japan during July 2000. The work on developing NEPAD then began in earnest and a process of engagement on a bilateral and multilateral level was pursued.
An integration process of the various initiatives followed, and on ii July 2001, NEPAD (or the New African Initiative (NAI) as it was temporarily known at the time), was presented to the OAU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, Zambia, providing the vision for Africa, a statement of the problems facing the continent and a Programme of Action to resolve these problems in order to reach the vision. NEPAD was enthusiastically received and unanimously adopted in the form of Declaration 1 (XXXVII) as Africa's principal agenda for development, providing a holistic, comprehensive integrated strategic framework for the socio-economic development of the continent, within the institutional framework of the African Union.
This adoption of NEPAD is considered as one of the most important developments of recent times for its conception of a development programme placing Africa at the apex of the global agenda, by:
- Creating an instrument for advancing a people-centred sustainable development in Africa based on democratic values;
- Being premised on recognition that Africa has an abundance of natural resources and people who have the capacity to be agents for change and so holds the key to her own development; and
- Providing the common African platform from which to engage the rest of the international community in a dynamic partnership that holds real prospects for creating a better life for all.
The primary objective of NEPAD is to eradicate poverty in Africa and to place African countries both individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development to thus halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process. At the core of the NEPAD process is its African ownership, which must be retained and strongly promoted, so as to meet the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples. While the principle of partnership with the rest of the world is equally vital to this process, such partnership must be based on mutual respect, dignity, shared responsibility and mutual accountability. The expected outcomes are:
- Economic growth and development and increased employment;
- Reduction in poverty and inequality;
- Diversification of productive activities;
- Enhanced international competitiveness and increased exports; and
- Increased African integration.
NEPAD is structured into three components:
- The first component provides the preconditions for sustainable development, which are the Peace, Security, Democracy and Political Governance Initiatives; the Economic and Corporate Governance Initiative; and the sub-regional and regional approaches to development.
- The second component provides the sectoral priorities, which include bridging the infrastructure gap; the Human Resource Development Initiative; the Agriculture Initiative; the Environment Initiative; the Cultural Initiative and Science and Technology Platforms.
- The third component concerns the mobilisation of resources, referring to the Capital Flows Initiative and the Market Access Initiative.
Relationship between NEPAD and OAU/African Union
NEPAD is a mandated initiative of the OUA/ African Union. The NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee has to report annually to the OAU/Union Summit. The Chair of the OAU/Union as well as the OAU Secretary General/Chair of the Commission of the Union are ex-officio members of the Implementation Committee. The OAU Secretariat/Commission of the Union is expected to participate in Steering Committee meetings.
NEPAD has not been constructed and come into existence in a vacuum. Therefore, it is important that it be linked to existing initiatives and programmes for Africa. In providing the focal point and the overall strategic framework for engagement NEPAD does not seek to replace or compete with these initiatives and programmes, but rather to consciously establish linkage and synergies between NEPAD and existing initiative .In this way, all activities focuses on Africa can be pursued in an integrated and coordinated fashion within the framework of priorities and needs identified by Africans for themselves.
A major effort is also ongoing to continuously factor NEPAD imperatives into the outcomes of international conferences such as the Conference on Financing for Development (FID), the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to ensure the integration of NEPAD into the multilateral system. In a wider context, countries of the South subscribe to the priorities outlined in NEPAD and have generally welcomed it with words of solidarity and moral support, as well as an appreciation for South Africa's positive role in NEPAD. However, NEPAD does not have a mechanism for South-South cooperation. To this end improved coordination with partners in the South should be pursued, possibly within the context of the 'South Coordinating Commission" suggested by President Mbeki during the South Summit in Havana.
Implementation of NE PAD
At the inaugural Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee meeting
held in Abuja on 23 October 2001, the Heads of State and Government established a 15-member Task Force for the implementation of NEPAD. A three tier governing structure was accepted for NEPAD:
Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee
Chaired by President Obasanjo, with Presidents Wade and Bouteflika as Vice-chairpersons, the Implementation Committee is comprised of fifteen states (three per OAU geographic region), including the five initiating states, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal and Egypt. The composition is as follows:
- North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia
- West Africa: Nigeria, Senegal, Mali
- Central Africa: Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe
- East Africa: Ethiopia, Mauritius and Rwanda
- Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique
The main function of the Implementation Committee is to set policies and priorities and the Programme of Action. The Implementation Committee is expected to meet three times per year. It reports annually to the OAU/African Union Summit.
The Steering Committee is composed of the personal representatives of the five initiating Presidents, and is tasked with the development of the Terms of Reference for identified programmes and projects, as well as overseeing the Secretariat.
The full-time, small core staff of the Secretariat located at the Development Bank of Southern Africa in Midrand provides the liaison, coordination, and administrative and logistical function for NEPAD. It is also responsible for outsourcing of work on technical detail to lead agencies and/or continental experts.
Five task teams were established to urgently identify and prepare specific implementable projects and programmes. In terms of working arrangements, South Africa is to coordinate the Peace, Security, Democracy and Political Governance Initiative; Nigeria the Economic and Corporate Governance/Banking and Financial Standards/Capital Flows Initiatives; Egypt the Market Access and Agriculture Initiatives; Algeria the Human Resources Development Initiative; and Senegal the Infrastructure Initiative.
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