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WORKING GROUP ON THE AFRICAN UNION
5 NOVEMBER 2002
Chairperson: Ms F Ginwala (ANC)
These minutes provided by Parliament staff:
DRAFT MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE AFRICAN UNION HELD ON 5 NOVEMBER 2002 AT 09:30 IN V16
Cassim, M F
Davies, R J
Geldenhuys, B L
Madasa, Z L
Mbuyazi, L R
Apologies: Deputy Speaker
Staff in attendance: Ismail, N (NA Table); Adonis, J (NA Table); Mamabolo, A (NA Table); Jenkins, F (Legal Services Office); Gabriel, L (Research Section); Ahmed, N (Research Section); Masiza, M (International Relations),
The Speaker acknowledged the presence of Mr Pat Govender who is working on the strategy for public participation, and Mr Peter Lilienfeld who is doing research on the rules and oversight of the Legislature over the Executive.
The Speaker announced that neither Ambassador Mamabolo nor Ms Duarte were available to brief the Working Group but that they had offered to do the briefing either on 12 or 13 November 2002.
1. Matters arising
1.1 SADC nominations re AU Commission
The Speaker reminded members to forward names of possible candidates to serve on the AU Commission.
Mr Turok suggested the name of Professor S Gutto, who lectures law at the University of the Witwatersrand.
1.2 Peer Review Mechanism
The Speaker said that she would seek clarity on the PRM and also on what was decided in Nigeria the previous day.
She informed members that the documents emanating from the workshop, including Codes of Conduct had been placed in the library and members could ask for copies on aspects that interest them. She added that she would find out if the documents were available electronically. She added that she has a copy of the report from the workshop, which she is going to amend.
Dr Davies, Professor Turok and Mr Eglin requested the research unit to put together a dossier for members of Parliament who are going to attend international meetings.
The research unit to provide a dossier of relevant documents for members of Parliament who are going to attend international meetings.
1.3 3rd Seminar on the African Union
The Speaker said that the seminar should be scheduled during the three-week period in January 2003 during which Committees would meet and added that a rough programme should be presented by staff in the next meeting. The programme should put forward options on the different issues that need to be raised in the seminar.
Staff to provide a programme at the next Working Group meeting on issues to be discussed in the forthcoming seminar.
2. Consideration of the Report of the Task Team on the Pan African Parliament
Mr Cassim presented the report of the Task Team dated 4 November 2002 and added that there are 10 recommendations being made.
2.1 Recommendations 1 and 2: Hosting of the PAP
The Speaker said that the Executive is in favour of South Africa hosting the PAP, but an urgent response from the Department of Foreign Affairs as to how many countries have ratified the Protocol is required.
Dr Davies suggested that members should start thinking about a popularizing mechanism such as promotional material for the hosting of the PAP.
On the concern raised by Mr Eglin regarding whether the PAP would be traveling from country to country, the Speaker responded by saying that the recommendation that was transmitted to the Executive is that the home base should be in South Africa and once the PAP is established the suggestion that some of its plenary could meet elsewhere could be considered. Professor Turok recommended that the phrase "the institution of the PAP" should be used instead of "the hosting of the PAP", in the recommendation.
"institution of the PAP" should replace the phrase "hosting of the PAP".
Staff to enquire from the Department of Foreign Affairs as to how many countries have ratified the Protocol.
2.2 Recommendation 3: Vision and mission of the PAP
The Speaker said that the Task Team needs to look at the link between ECOSOC and the PAP, whether, for example ECOSOC will come to the PAP or whether individual countries' civil societies will come to the PAP. She added that arising from the hearings that she had with civil society organizations, there was an agreement that a continent-wide network should be established which is being put together by the Africa Institute and the Development Forum in Abidjan.
Professor Turok said that it would be better to get a sense of what the Network is about and what they are trying to do, and that the Task Team should discuss the purposes and functions of ECOSOC and what the distinction between ECOSOC and the Network is.
The Speaker said that she would provide the Task Team with the minutes of the Network.
The Speaker said that the Peer Review Code does not include the PAP in any meaningful way and that as part of the vision the PAP has to be located as the major institution to ensure good governance on the continent. She added that there should be a list of what the Working Group sees as the vision of the PAP and the role it should be playing.
The Task Team should look at the relationship between ECOSOC and the PAP.
The Speaker would provide the Task Team with the minutes of the Network workshop.
The Task Team to compile a list of what it sees as the vision of the PAP.
2.3 Recommendations 6 and 7: Representation
The Speaker said that Mr Lilienfeld should look at options on the manner in which the deliberative organ would be defined in the Rules. The Task Team should look at whether the deliberative organ would have powers to make laws or whether its role would just be to consult and make recommendations.
Ms Hajaig suggested that the Task Team should also look at other countries and how they conceptualize their democracies.
Mr Lilienfeld to provide options on the definition of the deliberative organ for inclusion in the rules.
The Task Team to look at the powers of the deliberative organ.
2.4 Recommendations 8 and 9: Relationship of the PAP with other organs of the African
The Speaker said that the document of the Task Team is too broad and suggested it look at matters that need immediate attention and make specific recommendations.
Mr Cassim appealed to other members to attend the Task Team meetings.
The Task Team to identify issues in its report which require immediate attention.
3. Research Reports
The Speaker said that the documents on the Constituent Act and Human Rights would be available for distribution by the end of the week. She added that there were amendments from Nigeria, which were mainly contextual.
Mr Lillienfeld reported that he has been focusing on collecting documents on European Parliaments, the Central American Parliament, the Latin American Parliament and the EU Parliament.
The Speaker referred to three research topics, namely: (1) how do multinational parliaments exercise oversight over multinational executives? (2) how do national parliaments exercise oversight over their executives as they engage in multilateral forums and, (3) the actual rules of the PAP. She said that on the second research topic there should be a report as soon as possible on the options.
Mr Govender reported that he would table a draft report by 15 November. He added that he is looking at the national structures, the GCIS, Foreign Affairs to determine what they are doing and after that he would speak to the various Task Teams. The Speaker suggested that he speak to Mr Eddie Moloko and Mr Titus Mafolo who are doing work on the popularizing of the Renaissance.
Dr Gabriel reported that the report from the Africa Institute and the HSRC would be available on 15 November 2002.
Mr Lilienfeld to produce a report as soon as possible on how national parliaments exercise oversight over their executives as they engage in multilateral forums.
4. Referral of matters to Portfolio Committees
The Speaker reported that given the pressure that the Portfoilo Committees were under, she did not refer anything to them and added that referrals would be done so that the Committees could start looking at the documents in January. She added that the recommended Charter of Human Rights also has to be looked at in conjunction with the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development.
5. Tabling of report
The Speaker asked whether the Working Group wanted to table a report from the discussions of the meeting and have a debate on 14 November 2002 or whether they wanted to go ahead on Thursday, 7 November 2002.
Dr Geldenhuys suggested that the tabling of the report and the debate should be deferred to 14 November 2002.
The Speaker said that the Working Group should try and meet next week for a briefing by Ambassador Mamabolo and she would liaise with the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs to see if they could not do a joint briefing to the Working Group.
The tabling of the report was deferred until 14 November 2002 and the Speaker would communicate this to the Whips.
The Speaker would liaise with the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs to ascertain whether they could do a joint briefing to the Working Group next week.
The meeting adjourned at 10: 50.
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