African Unification Front
HOME
ORGANOGRAM
AUF IDEOLOGY
AUF LEADERSHIP
AUF ANTHEM
AUF FLAG
AFRICAN CALENDAR
AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
UNITY DOCUMENTS
SOVEREIGN RIGHTS
AU INSTITUTIONS
AU-INT'L RELATIONS
HUMAN RIGHTS
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
LANGUAGE POLICY
BORDERS
DIASPORA
AFRICAN LAW
COMMUNITY
LAND REFORM
WATER ISSUES
OCEANOGRAPH
CONFLICT
DEFENSE POLICY
HEALTH & SAFETY
FOOD POLICY
SHELTER
ECONOMY
INDUSTRY
TECHNOLOGY
ENERGY & POWER
ECOLOGY FRONT
WILDLIFE POLICY
HERITAGE
EDUCATION
RELIGION
ART & CULTURE
MEDIA & PRESS
QUOTATIONS
AUF CONTACTS
BIOGRAPHIES
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
RELATED LINKS
FAQ
BECOME A MEMBER |
 FEEDBACK |  URGENT ACTION ALERT 

NGO Statement made to Pan African Parliamentarians
Press Release 18th March 2004
Action Not Talk:
African and International NGOs and networks
challenge the new Pan African Parliament

Eleven international and African organisations and networks called on the new Pan-African Parliament to set an ambitious agenda as it was inaugurated on 17th March 2004 in Addis Ababa. The organisations including the African Women’s Empowerment Network, Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women, FEMNET, PADEAP, Pam African Movement, Fahamu learning for Change, Fahamu SA Trust, MWENGO, Justice Africa and Oxfam GB called on the new Parliament to embrace improving governance, giving citizens a voice and improving the human rights environment in Africa as a key priorities.

For most poor people and especially women in Africa, parliaments are far removed from the day-to-day realities and challenges they face. The Pan African parliament is far from being representative (one MP for every 2.6 million people) therefore the 256 parliamentarians must go beyond being a talk shop to advance the issues that face millions of poor Africans.

The organisations called for Parliamentarians to champion in their respective countries, the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, before the Heads of States Summit in July 2004.

Elizabeth Kharono of EASSI in Kampala
“We immediately place the challenge of reducing gender inequality in the orientation packs of the 256 Pan African Parliamentarians. We will judge the first year of the parliament not on whether it articulates its standing orders well, but on the number of ratifications it delivers on the AU Protocol for Women’s rights”

Lastly, the Parliament must become a key forum for pushing for better global terms for Africa around debt, trade and aid. Parliamentarians must keep Africa’s demands at the forefront of global talks within the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Elizabeth Eilor of the pan African AWEPON Network based in Kampala
“Parliamentarians should lead in articulating Africa demands for total and unconditional debt cancellation and making trade fairer - by stopping export dumping and saying no to the WTO new issues. This would help Africa lift itself out of poverty. They can also speak out against multinationals who are using and abusing our continents rich resources and ensure that investment works for, rather than against the poor”.

Recognising that in many countries, the public is shut out of the political debate, the organisations called for the African parliament to open up the space for African citizens and organisations to have a voice within the AU and it’s member governments.
Rose Gawaya of Oxfam GB in Pretoria adds,
“The credibility of the Pan African Parliament needs to go beyond what they represent but on what they do, the causes they champion and the positive changes they bring to the lives of ordinary people across Africa. By doing this, the Pan African Parliament can deepen its credibility and relevance to African peoples struggling with poverty and injustice across the continent”.
ENDS

The eleven international, regional and continental organisations and networks are headquartered in Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and the UK and work on human rights, debt, aid and trade. They are African Women’s Empowerment Network, Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women, FEMNET, PADEAP, Pam African Movement, Fahamu learning for Change, Fahamu SA Trust, MWENGO, Justice Africa and Oxfam GB
---
Statement by International and African CSOs on the day of the inauguration of the Pan African Parliament.

Africa needs an “Activist” Pan African Parliament.

The inauguration of African Parliament occurs exactly ten years after the Rwandese genocide, the first democratic elections in South Africa and the Beijing 4th World Conference on Women. As these events and experiences a decade ago continue to shape the past and future of Africa, they frame the challenge before the African parliament. This has to be an Activist Parliament. The current conditions in Africa demand no less.

Since 1994, we have not seen significant gains for poor and marginalized groups in Africa. Parts of the continent have been characterized by a crisis in governance reflected in conflicts leading to massive displacement and abuse of the rights people, especially women and children, and deepening poverty. Yet, there has been progress. With wars coming to an end in Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, Congo and Sudan, the situation in 1994 where a fifth of all Africans lived in situations of conflict is coming to an end.

Champion ratification of the AU Protocol on Women’s Rights

In its first term, the parliament must prioritise the realisation of human rights, improved quality of governance and the right of citizens to be heard and participate in affairs that affect their lives. Key to realising higher standards of rights is the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. We urge all Pan African Parliamentarians to champion the immediate ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, before the Heads of States Summit in July 2004.

We immediately place the challenge of gender inequality, poverty and development in the orientation packs of the 256 Pan African Parliamentarians. We will judge the first year of the parliament not on whether it articulates its standing orders well, but on the number of ratifications it delivers on the AU Protocol for Women’s rights

Expand the space for citizens to be heard and participate in AU public affairs.

We also call on parliamentarians to support access of African citizens and organisations to the various specialised agencies of the AU and member Governments. Non-state actors, especially civil society organizations, represent the voices of the voiceless sections of society, they are key development agents; they are watchdogs for respect of human rights; they contribute significantly to shaping national and international policies and project implementation.

Articulate and develop Africa’s global policy demands and negotiations

Lastly, we urge Africa to celebrate this inauguration but immediately place on the Parliament’s agenda, the challenge of negotiating better global terms for Africa around debt, trade and aid. Parliamentarians must keep Africa’s demands at the forefront of multi-lateral policy processes within the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Parliamentarians should become active in articulating Africa’s existing positions on the need for total and unconditional debt cancellation, rejection of the WTO new issues and the elimination of northern subsidies and export credits that are currently devastating our economic potential. In so doing, they can meaningfully help the continent to reclaim and retain the policy space for regulation and monitoring of movement of capital investments and trans-national corporations on the continent.

The credibility of the Pan African Parliament cannot rest on their representational quality but on the issues they espouse, the causes they champion and the positive changes they bring to the lives of ordinary people across Africa. By doing this, the Pan African Parliament can deepen its credibility and relevance to African peoples struggling with poverty and injustice across the continent.

Signed by Eleven international, regional and continental organisations and networks are headquartered in Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and the UK and work on human rights, debt, aid and trade.

African Women’s Empowerment Network
Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women
African Womens Development and Communication Network- FEMNET
Fahamu learning for Change
Fahamu SA Trust
Pan African Development and Advocacy Programme PADEAP
Pam African Movement
MWENGO
Justice Africa
Oxfam GB.

    
For further information or to set up interviews please contact in Addis:
Rose Gawaya Southern Africa Regional Advisor, Oxfam GB Tel: +27-828547764 (roaming) in Addis
Sam Barratt in Addis Ababa on + 251 9 402480
And in Kampala Elizabeth Kharono EASSI Tel: +256-77-651 673.

END    
    
    

 Search:
 
 
 Today's Date: March 30, 2017
 On the Policy Front
 ·  Mbeki Should Reconsider Decision to Relocate African Parliament
 ·  The History of Parliament in Ancient Africa
 ·  The Architecture of Peace and Security in the African Union
 ·  "Lift Every Voice" is the Best Anthem for the African Union
 ·  Sheba is the Right Name for Single African Currency
 ·  AU-EU Relations: Neocolonialism is 50 Years Old
 ·  AUF Wants Moratorium on Weapons Trade in the African Union
More...











  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 

 
NTONDELE | ASANTE SANA | AMESEGENALO | NA GODE | JERE JEF | NGIYABONGA

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
© AUF. All Rights Reserved.

Portal Design by Dreamsparrow Consulting, Inc.