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OPERATIONS OF THE PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT

The inaugural session of the Pan African Parliament will take place in the third week of March 2004. Until the Pan-African Parliament appoints its staff, the AU Commission will serve as its Secretariat.

At its first sitting, before proceeding with any other matter, the Pan-African Parliamentarians shall take an oath or make a solemn declaration. The inaugural session will be presided over by the Chair of the African Union's Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Joachim Chissano, until the election of the President of the Pan-African Parliament who shall thereafter preside.

The Pan-African Parliament shall meet in ordinary session at least twice a year. Each ordinary session may last up to one month. The proceedings of the Pan-African Parliament shall be open to the public. The AUF will help in the drafting of parliamentary bills, serve as a resource for the PAP on issues of African integration and governance, and continue to take a proactive role in communicating and promoting the needs and values of Pan Africanism.

Although the parliament will be able to convene in any location in the African Union for its regular sessions, the permanent seat of the Pan-African Parliament will be decided by vote of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in June 2004. Several constituent states, including Egypt and South Africa, have offered to host the inaugural session in March.

The African Unification Front is in favour of retaining Addis Ababa as the permanent seat of the Pan-African Parliament. Besides the obvious historic symbolism, Addis Ababa has the headquarters of the AU Commission on which the Parliament is going to depend for services and operational continuity.

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