AU: Gaddafi prods ministers to agree on Africa government plan

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi opened the 15th session of t he African foreign ministers meeting here Sunday with an explosive speech, calli n g for a radical transformation of the African Union (AU) key organs in an effort to achieve the desired dream of an African government.
The Libyan leader extolled the ideals of the expected formation of the African U nion (AU) Authority, saying it was a key step that Africa needed to take to safeguard its political, social and economic interests in the face of a globalised world.
“Africa has been unable to protect its interests.
If we are not careful, we may fail to even develop our economies.
We will remain under-developed and this will pave way for others to continue to dominate us,” t he Libyan leader told the opening session of the Executive Council meeting on Sunday.
The Executive Council, bringing together 50 out of the 53 African ministers of foreign affairs, is expected to debate and possibly authorize the formation of an African Union Authority after several months of de bate on the issue.
The organs of the AU include the Heads of State and Governments Assembly, the Ne w Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Executive Council, which is made up of African foreign affairs ministers, an d the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), comprising Ambassadors.
The AU Commission is the secretariat for all these activities.
The Libyan leaders said the African leaders must settle on a common centre of po wer if the Union Government plan, whose idea has since been changed into Authority, is to be agreed upon.
“What is important is that we will be able to have a single authority.
If we cre ate a single Authority…you may call it any other name…but we cannot have several authorities.
We cannot continue to work like this.
We need t o merge some of these organs,” Gaddafi told the ministers.
The Libyan leaders said he was disappointed by the lack of progress especially o n the issue of Africa’s unity, noting that the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) into the AU had failed to achieve the desired objectives.
African leaders agreed in principle in January 2009, during their meeting in Add is Ababa, to authorize the transformation of the current AU Commission into an Authority, after disagreeing on whether the AU Commission should be transformed into an African Government.
The African leaders argued that they could not put in place a Union Government w ithout the mandate and authority to govern, in the process, leaving the sovereignty of the African states intact.
In his opening speech, the Libyan leader attempted to appeal to all the minister s present to consider all the factors, the advantages and the disadvantages of the need for the formation of the new Authority.
He said the name given to such a body should not matter and offered some of his personal opinion on what should be contained in the proposal to transform the AU into an Authority.
“We need to hear all the points of view from those who share our opinion.
Those who agree with us and if the majority agree, then we will pass this agenda as enshrined in the Constitutive Act,” the Libyan leader s aid.

28 june 2009 13:49:00

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