A brief look at the 25th Summit of the African Union

AU-Summit-2015

The 25th Summit of the African Union (AU) was held from June 7 to June 15, 2015 in South Africa.

Three meetings were organized within the summit: Permanent Representatives Committee meeting (PRC, 7 – 8 June), Executive Council meeting (11-12 June) and Heads of State and Government meeting (11 – 12 June).

The theme of the summit was Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Agenda 2063.

The Summit was attended by H.E. President Yoweri Museveni, who also participated in the NEPAD Heads of State & Government Orientation Committee; African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum and AU-Peace &Security Council Meeting.

CHXO48YUAAAHRv8

During the APRM meeting, the President presented the highlights of the 2013/14 Progress Report on Uganda.

He emphasized, in his presentation, the need to focus on infrastructural development, including electricity, railways and roads; and reiterated that this was the only way to build a modern state.

A new scale of assessment for member states contribution to the AU budget was endorsed.

This was to enhance ownership of the union by financing 100% of the operational budget effective January 2016 in a phased manner over the five year period.

It therefore called for concrete steps to achieve self-reliance in the implementation of the Africa Agenda 2063 and the long term solution to reverse dependency, but increase the capacity of member states to take full charge of the budgetary requirements of the African Union.

A budget of $416,867,326 was approved for 2016 and it included implementation of four flagship projects.

The projects are the Pan African University, African Center for Disease Control and prevention, Unification of African Air Space and integrated High Speed Train Network.

U45P5029T2D819516F26DT20150613143318

It also discussed and requested the Continental Free Trade Area-Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) to organize the Inaugural Meeting in 2015 and to work towards concluding the negotiations by 2017, regarding the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations.

Another item that was proposed for inclusion, at the request of the East Africa block, as agenda items of the summit during the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee was the implementation of previous AU decisions on Africa and international criminal justice.

69fdb303-1ff3-4a86-bdc4-7010cd0df34f_ICC large

Hon. Oryem particularly commented on this saying that the AU believes that if the ICC is to be effective, it has to operate on universal jurisdiction; as western leaders never seem to be put to book for the atrocities they have committed, and yet African leaders are pursued vigorously.

The summit decided on the formation of an open-ended Ministerial Committee of Foreign Affairs to engage the UNSC and follow-up on the matter.

The AU-PSC held a meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government in the margins of the AU Summit to consider the situations in South Sudan and Burundi.

Heads of State & Government, deliberated on the strategic issues which included streamlining of the AU Summits and methods of work Self-Reliance, Migration, Xenophobia, free movement of people and that of goods and services, terrorism and radical extremism among others.