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Addis Abeba, 18 March 2002

AFRICAN UNION BACKS WORLD SOLIDARITY FUND

The AU 76th Foreign ministers' Council meeting held in Addis Abeba unanimously adopted a resolution backing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's proposal for the creation of a World Solidarity Fund to combat poverty.

In this resolution, the AU ministers' council reaffirmed its conviction that this fund proposal which has received the support of the international community, will contribute to the promotion of solidarity and cooperation in the world and achieve the targets of the African Union in matters of partnership for Africa's development especially in the fight against poverty and action aimed at enabling all social categories to have access to basic social services.

The AU Council resolution calls upon the Secretary general of the African Union to contribute personally to the efforts aimed at rendering this mechanism effective in the shortest terms.

The AU Council entrusted the African Union Secretary General with conveying to the UN Secretary general the text of the resolution as a joint African position and urge him to expedite the implementation of resolution 56/566 adopted by the UN general assembly and providing for setting up the fund's mechanisms and defining its prerogatives and management methods.

The AU council reiterated its call to the member states and the African organizations and institutions to contribute actively to the materialization of this project which is a civilisational and humanitarian gain.