|FOREIGN MINISTERS COUNCIL FOCUSED ON TRANSITION TO UNION
The 75th session of the Foreign Ministers Council of the African Union closed its two day session with the ceremony launching of the new African Union website.
During the Session, the ministers discussed issues related to preparations for bringing into effect the African Union and the transition ahead. A number of committees were held on the margin of the Council meetings and endorsed reports on the transitional stage.
Talks on important issues, such as the World Solidarity Fund, reflected common views. A declaration was concluded in reiteration of support for legitimate Arab rights and stands.
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Maher underlined the significance of the 75th Session of the OAU Council of Ministers, held in Addis Ababa, as an important and historic occasion marking the transitional stage to the African Union and the underlying new realms for common African action.
Concerning the transition from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union, Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher took note of the remarkable level of maturity reached by the OAU to give way to a new stage of transition. One of the indicators of maturity in organizations, in general terms, is the capability of engaging in an enhanced role through a new transitional stage. This has been witnessed in different continents, now joined by Africa. Notable achievement has marked the OAU role, in response to African peoples' consciousness.
Foreign Minister Maher characterized the OAU Council meeting as historic, noting also that the transitional stage would not be easy with issues still under study, to be finalized. Strenuous efforts are actually exerted to set out the working mechanisms and the new structure of the African Union for enhanced efficiency, and common African action.
On NEPAD or the New Partnership for Africa's Development -- given that the OAU Ministerial Council follows the Paris Summit on NEPAD, which was attended by President Mubarak -- Foreign Minister Maher recalled the endorsement of the initiative, during Lusaka Summit. He also noted the importance of the initiative, now a core focus for all African states. Paris Summit, he clarified was held upon a French initiative, notably marking the steadfast support the initiative has gained on the international level, from European and Arab states. He also underlined the importance of harnessing efforts for joint African action, with a view to putting into effect the initiative.