|July 13, 2003
SUMMARY OF AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT IN MAPUTO
The Assembly of the Heads of State and Leaders of Government of the African Union (AU) ended its second summit in Maputo, Mozambique, on Saturday 12, July 2003, after it elected Oumar Konaré the new chair of the AU Commission.
Alpha Oumar Konaré, 57, is former president of the AU Constituent Republic of Mali. He became the AU Commission chairman after Amara Essy and Sao tome's former president Miguel Trovoada withdrew their candidacies shortly before the election. Konaré was elected with 35 of the 45 votes cast. Six AU members of the Assembly of Heads of State voted against him, and four abstained. He will begin the four-year term as the head of the AU Commission in September 2003, when he takes over from Amara Essy.
Konaré, an archaeologist, historian and author of ten books, was also chair of ECOWAS for two years. Patrick Kayumba Mazimhaka was elected the new Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, who now takes over the rotating chairship of the African Union (AU), on Saturday swore into office the chair of the AU Commission, and the deputy chairperson.
The oath of office commits Commission members to placing the interests of the African Union before all else - including any instructions they may receive from their own countries. They swear they will not take orders from any constituent state of the Union, or from any outside body.
Julia D. Joiner and Biénce Gawanas, AU Commissioners
The Assembly elected eight people, including five women, to serve as commissioners of the AU. During the three-day meeting, heads of state and government of AU members or their representatives discussed such issues as the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development ( NEPAD) program, the current situation in Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, and regional peace efforts.
Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinnit
On July 6-8, the AU Executive Council held a meeting to make preparations for the summit, during which ministers considered the reports of the AU Commission's interim chairperson on refugees, the African Charter on human rights, the Pan-African Parliament, and administrative and financial matters of the AU.
On July 4-6, ambassadors from AU constituent states to the AU Commission or their representatives held the sixth ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee.
Dialogue Among Civilizations: Address by Konare
Cabinet of the AU Commission