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TANZANIA PLANS TO RATIFY AFRICAN UNION WITHIN THE MONTH
March 2001

The Tanzanian government plans to table in parliament later this month a bill calling for the ratification of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, proclaimed in Sirte, Libya.

In Sirte, countries that had not ratified the treaty were urged to speed up the process so that the treaty's implementation starts by July when the ordinary OAU Summit is scheduled to take place in Lusaka, Zambia.

The African Union's institutions would include an assembly of heads of state and government, a council of foreign ministers or ministers responsible for the union, a parliament, a court of justice and committee of ambassadors based at the OAU Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



ADDIS ABABA CONFIRMED SEAT OF THE AFRICAN UNION
March 2001

The Sirte II summit endorsed Addis Ababa to remain as the seat of the African Union as it has been for the OAU since 1963.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi described the historic launching of the African Union as an event constituting "a successful step in the crowning of the continent's liberation struggle."

The new union, which is to replace the OAU, is a natural outcome of the need to give the continent a collective voice in the face of global attempts at its marginalisation, he added.

"The union aims at enabling Africa meet the demands of the modern world by integrating socio-economic and political developments," Meles said.

The idea of an African Union was raised at an extraordinary gathering of a large number of African leaders in September 1999 in Sirte. It was overwhelmingly endorsed by the OAU summit in July 2000 in Lome, Togo.



AFRICAN UNION PROCLAIMED
March 2001

The 5th extraordinary summit of the OAU ended Friday with the proclamation of the African Union, a replacement of the OAU. The AU is one more step towards greater continental unity and integration.

OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim read the declaration. All OAU member states have signed the Constitutive Act of the Union, which was conceived in Sirte in September 1999 and adopted by the OAU July 2000 Summit in Lome, Togo.

Salim said that following the signing of the Constitutive Act, the assembly of Heads of State and Government "proudly declared the African Union by a unanimous decision."

The act goes into operation 30 days after all the members have deposited their instruments of ratification with the OAU secretariat. 32 of the 53 member-states countries have ratified the Act.



31 STATES RATIFY AFRICAN UNION
March 2001

The formal act proclaiming the African Union will be instituted as soon as the constitutive act is effectively ratified by the needed two-third majority of OAU member states.

At the end of Thursday's session, out of the 36 needed to fulfil the "two-third member States" requirement, only five states remained to ratify the constitutive act of the African Union.

The formal ceremony to officially proclaim the advent of the African Union will take place in Sirte" when the remaining member states have ratified the document.

A summit will be convened by the OAU Secretary General in the presence of executive secretaries of inter-governmental integration organisations of the five major regions of the continent as well as the Community of the Sahelo-Saharan States (SIN-SAD or COMESSA).

The leaders, expected to end their deliberations Friday, also adopted the texts instituting a future African Parliament. The mode of representation will be on the basis of parity among all member States during the five-year transition period.



February 2001

INAUGURATION OF AFRICAN UNION SET FOR MARCH 2001
South African President Thabo Mbeki will attend a special summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity in Libya on the first of next month, when the 53-member body's successor, the African Union, will be inaugurated. Officials say the special O.A.U. meeting will also discuss outstanding issues, including the date on which the African Union will become effective.



BURUNDI RATIFIES AFRICAN UNION
Burundi becomes the 16th country to ratify the Treaty of African Union since its adoption in Lome, Togo, on 11 July 2000, by the 36th ordinary session of the OAU leaders. After four days of intense debate in an extraordinary session the Burundi parliament unanimously ratified the African Union Constituent Act on Tuesday 19th, Feb 2001.

The Minister of External Relations and Cooperation, Severin Ntahamvukiye told parliamentarians that the aim of the Union was to "realise greater solidarity among African countries and peoples". He also noted the determination, clearly expressed in the treaty, to accelerate the continent's socio-economic integration so as to "better face up to globalisation".

The act emphasises the promotion and strengthening of democratic institiutions, peoples' participation, human rights and good governance. The constituent act has to be ratified by two-thirds of the 53 OAU member states before it becomes effective.



BURKINA FASO RATIFIES AFRICAN UNION TREATY
Burkina Faso National Assembly is the most recent legislature to ratify the constituent act of the African Union.

The African Union project was launched at an OAU Extraordinary Heads of State Summit in Sirte (Libya) in 1999, and adopted in Lome in July 2000.

To date, 27 countries have signed the act while Burkina, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Libya, Mali, Niger, Arab Sahrawi Democratic Republic (RASD), Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Togo have ratified it.

"Opting for an effective integration of African countries, the Burkina Faso authorities believe that only big continental, regional and sub-regional groupings have a chance to survive in the face of globalisation," Prime Minister Paramanga Ernest Yonli told parliamentarians in allusion to the treaty.

"Without unity, Africa will not be able to take up the numerous present and future challenges facing it," Yonli said.

The African Union comprises nine organs - The Union Conference, the Executive Council, the Pan-African Parliament, the Court of Justice and the Commission.

Others include are the Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Specialised Technical Committees, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the financial institutions.



AFRICANS RATIFY TREATY ON CONTINENTAL PARLIAMENT
Some two-hundred parliamentarians from forty-one African countries have adopted a draft treaty to establish a consultative Pan African parliament under a proposed Union of African States.

The protocol to establish such a union has been adopted by thirty-one members of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, but ratified by only four -- Mali, Libya, Senegal and Togo.

The protocol will be forwarded to the OAU's ministerial council for approval, then to the next OAU summit, scheduled for Lusaka next July.

Nigeria and Egypt, Africans most populous countries each have created Ministries in charge of African integration to help in transition to unfication. In order for the African Union to become functional, 15 states have to ratify the protocol.

FOOD SCARCITY IN THE HORN CAUSED BY WAR
In October 2000, the FAO-UN produced a report that explains that conflict is one of the underlying causes of food insecurity. The task force blames failure to secure access by all people at all times to sufficient food. The report blames widespread regional and conflict for triggering food insecurity, saying conflict drives people frm their homes and disrupts markets and distribution systems.

The report warns:"Governments are using scarce resources on arms and, in 1997 the countries of the Horn devoted US$2 billion to the military."

ECOWAS PARLIAMENT IS NOW IN SESSION IN ABUJA
At its first meeting at the weekend, parliamentarians from the 16 countries that make up ECOWAS, have resolved that the headquarters of the ECOWAS parliament is Abuja. Furthermore they have resolved that the speaker will serve for a four-year term for the sub-region.

The speaker, when elected is expected to reside in Abuja. The speakership aspirants are Djermakoye Adamou Moumouni, Umaru Sidikou (Niger Republic), Professor Ali Nuhu Diallo (Mali), Meleque Traorre (Bourkina Faso)and Kenneth Dzirasa (Ghana).

The parliamentarians have been meeting to adopt the draft rules and the draft budget for the parliament. The election of officers is scheduled for Wednesday 24, 2001.

Djermakoye Adamou Moumouni said that his priority, when elected would be the propagation of peace to the grassroots areas of West Africa and thereafter focus on the essence of integration.

He stresses that, "the question of integration is not executive, it is for the parliament because they represent the people and were elected by the people."



INITIAL STEPS TOWARDS TOTAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC UNION
Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim says all the 53 OAU member states, have signed the Act, 40 of them before the Sirte summit. The charter sets in motion the creation of a Pan African Parliament, a Central Bank, a Court of Justice and a single currency. These would be initial steps towards total social, political and economic union of the African continent.

A commission to be headed by a chairman would be formed to supersede the OAU Secretariat. However, after coming into force the union would have to go through a one-year transition period during which key issues such as democracy, human rights and economic cooperation would be
addressed.

"During the transition period the union operations will be government by three constitutions, its own, the OAU's and that of the African Economic Community," he said. Dr. Salim says he personally believes that the stage reached at the Sirte summit was a significant step towards turning the 1960s dream of having a continental confederation into reality.

"The initiatives did not begin yesterday. They were started more than four decades ago by a number of African leaders such as Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Seko Toure and Jomo Kenyatta."

The OAU boss says that the political momentum was high and he is optimistic that the initiatives would be a success. He, however, maintains that it would take time before the desired goals were finally attained. The Sirte summit followed the endorsement by OAU leaders of the fine print of the agreement to establish the proposed union at the 36th Ordinary Summit held in Lome, Togo last July.

Dr. Salim says it was unfortunate that the union was being established at a time when a number of African countries were engulfed in civil wars. "That means that one of the big challenges of the union would be to bring peace and harmony in those countries in particular and the continent as a whole. Under African Unity conflicts will have no place," he says.

MOREThe African Union (AU) will soon succeed the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as 32 of the 53 OAU members have confirmed to establish the AU, the Post Express newspaper reported on Tuesday. The 37th annual summit of the OAU Heads of state and government is to take the necessary decisions relating to the transformation of the OAU into the AU. The statement said the transformation would be in line with Article 33 of the Constitutive Act and the preparation of the necessary draft protocols relating to the organs and institutions of the AU.

According to the provisions of Article 28 of the Constitutive Act, the Constitutive Act of the AU shall come into force 30 days after the deposition of the instruments of ratification by two-thirds of the 53 OAU members, of which 32 members have ratified so far.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia deposited the instrument of ratification of the African Union thus becoming the 32nd member state of the Organization of African Unity to ratify the Constitutive Act.

In a communication addressed to the Secretary General, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, which also enclosed the instrument of ratification, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ato Tekeda Alemu, stated that the Council of People's Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia ratified the Constitutive Act in its 21st Regular Session held on March 8, 2001. The Instrument of ratification was subsequently signed by the Prime Minster, Ato Meles Zenawi.

During its recent Fifth Extra-Ordinary Session, held in Sirte, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from 1st to 2nd March 2001, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted a decision which, inter alia, proudly declared the establishment of the African Union. The decision also noted that the Constitutive Act would enter into force upon the deposit of the thirty-sixth Instrument of ratification.

According to an OAU press release, the Constitutive Act of the African Union has already been signed by all the 53 Member States of the OAU. Other Member States which have not yet ratified the Act, have informed the Fifty Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government that they had initiated the process of ratification in their various countries.

The Kingdom of Lesotho also deposited the Instrument of ratification of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Mr. Masuhla Humphrey Leteka, deposited the Instrument of ratification on behalf of his Government to the Secreatary General Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim.


    
April 2001

Tanzania has endorsed the consultative Act of the African Union. This brings the number of states that have ratified to 34. For the treaty to come into force it needs approval from 36 member states which make two thirds of OAU member countries.

The Union will have a continental parliament and a court and has provisions of powers to intervene militarily where in the event of a fundamental breach of human rights.

All the 53 OAU member states have signed the Act, 40 of them before the Sirte summit. The charter sets in motion the creation of a Pan African Parliament, a Central Bank, a Court of Justice and a single currency. These would be initial steps towards total social, political and economic union of the African continent.

The African Union will replace the 38-year-old OAU. A commission to be headed by a chairman will be formed to supersede the OAU Secretariat.



March 2001

[1] INITIAL STEPS TOWARDS TOTAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC UNION

Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim says all the 53 OAU member states, have signed the Act, 40 of them before the Sirte summit. The charter sets in motion the creation of a Pan African Parliament, a Central Bank, a Court of Justice and a single currency. These would be initial steps towards total social, political and economic union of the African continent.

A commission to be headed by a chairman would be formed to supersede the OAU Secretariat. However, after coming into force the union would have to go through a one-year transition period during which key issues such as democracy, human rights and economic cooperation would be addressed.

"During the transition period the union operations will be government by three constitutions, its own, the OAU's and that of the African Economic Community," he said. Dr. Salim says he personally believes that the stage reached at the Sirte summit was a significant step towards turning the 1960s dream of having a continental confederation into reality.

"The initiatives did not begin yesterday. They were started more than four decades ago by a number of African leaders such as Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Seko Toure and Jomo Kenyatta."

The OAU boss says that the political momentum was high and he is optimistic that the initiatives would be a success. He, however, maintains that it would take time before the desired goals were finally attained. The Sirte summit followed the endorsement by OAU leaders of the fine print of the agreement to establish the proposed union at the 36th Ordinary Summit held in Lome, Togo last July.

Dr. Salim says it was unfortunate that the union was being established at a time when a number of African countries were engulfed in civil wars. "That means that one of the big challenges of the union would be to bring peace and harmony in those countries in particular and the continent as a whole. Under African Unity conflicts will have no place," he says.

MORE

The African Union (AU) will soon succeed the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as 32 of the 53 OAU members have confirmed to establish the AU, the Post Express newspaper reported on Tuesday. The 37th annual summit of the OAU Heads of state and government is to take the necessary decisions relating to the transformation of the OAU into the AU. The statement said the transformation would be in line with Article 33 of the Constitutive Act and the preparation of the necessary draft protocols relating to the organs and institutions of the AU.

According to the provisions of Article 28 of the Constitutive Act, the Constitutive Act of the AU shall come into force 30 days after the deposition of the instruments of ratification by two-thirds of the 53 OAU members, of which 32 members have ratified so far.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia deposited the instrument of ratification of the African Union thus becoming the 32nd member state of the Organization of African Unity to ratify the Constitutive Act.

In a communication addressed to the Secretary General, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, which also enclosed the instrument of ratification, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ato Tekeda Alemu, stated that the Council of People's Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia ratified the Constitutive Act in its 21st Regular Session held on March 8, 2001. The Instrument of ratification was subsequently signed by the Prime Minster, Ato Meles Zenawi.

During its recent Fifth Extra-Ordinary Session, held in Sirte, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from 1st to 2nd March 2001, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted a decision which, inter alia, proudly declared the establishment of the African Union. The decision also noted that the Constitutive Act would enter into force upon the deposit of the thirty-sixth Instrument of ratification.

According to an OAU press release, the Constitutive Act of the African Union has already been signed by all the 53 Member States of the OAU. Other Member States which have not yet ratified the Act, have informed the Fifty Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government that they had initiated the process of ratification in their various countries.

The Kingdom of Lesotho also deposited the Instrument of ratification of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Mr. Masuhla Humphrey Leteka, deposited the Instrument of ratification on behalf of his Government to the Secreatary General Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim.



    
    

    
    
    
    

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