13 August 2020 - NW1567
Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
What measures is the African Union (AU) taking to support countries that cannot pay their membership fees in order to belong to this essential African body; (2) Whether the position of the AU is that distressed African countries should sacrifice the wellbeing of their citizens in order to maintain their participation and to enjoy the protection of the AU, as is the case with South Sudan that has been removed from participating at the AU due to outstanding membership fees; if not, what is South Africa’s position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1943E
1. The African Union (AU)measures relate to the Assembly Decision 3 (XI) which states that the Assembly may consider requests from Member States experiencing force majeure circumstances making them temporarily unable to pay their assessed contributions.
2. No, it is not the position of the AU that African countries should sacrifice the wellbeing of their citizens, no matter the circumances, to maintain their participation and to enjoy the protection of the AU.In the case of South Sudan, it should be noted that the AU Member State has since honoured its assessed contributions and can participate in all meetings.South Africa believes in a rules based international system and as such, it is important thatthe country follows the norms, standards and directives of the AU as regards to assessed contributions. It should be noted that some Member States have, in the past, written to the Assembly, which has acknowledged the challenges faced by Member States in paying their contributions to the Union. The Assembly has requested the Commission to engage the Member States in order to agree on a payment plan for clearing their arrears and report back to the Executive Council in 2020.