AU: Transformation of AU sparks debate

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- The issue of the transformation of the African Union (AU) into an Authority is expected to be top of the agenda at the proceedings of the A U Executive Board, which opened on Sunday in Sirte, Libya, official sources told PANA on Monday.
The foreign ministers are expected to examine proposals made by the Libyan revol utionary leader, Mouammar Gaddafi, in a paper presented to the meeting.
He has proposed that defence, security and coordination of foreign relations be added to the domains of competence of the Union's Authority.
Similarly, the Libyan leader recommends the removal of the Union's organs and proposed that the Secretary of the Authority in charge of peace, security and common defence chairs the Peace and Security Council (PSC).
The same will go for the Secretary in charge of political affairs and coordination of foreign relations, who is expected to chair the Executive Board of the Union.
The Secretary in charge of Trade, Industry and international Coope r ation is expected to be in charge of NEPAD.
Another innovation recommended by the Libyan leader is that the Authority of the Union should directly account for its actions to the Conference without passing through the Executive Board.
It is also expected to represent the Union and negotiate on its behalf.
To implement these measures, Libya proposes the amendment of the Constitutive Act and its protocols.
But, by making such proposals, Tripoli calls into question the report of AU Executive Board adopted during its 12th extraordinary session held in Tripoli on 15 and 16 April.
The Council had felt that the transformation of the Commission into an Authority of the Union would take place within the overall framework of the African Union, whose structure would be made up of the Conference, the Executive Board, the Peace and Security Council, the Pan-African Parliament, the African Court for Justice and Human Rights, the Authority, the Permanent Representatives Committee, the Specialised Technical Committees.
The Libyan leader recommends the removal of many organs to transform the Authority into a single executive organization with extended powers.
Now, the Executive Council has proposed the revision of the institutional framew ork of the Union to enable these organs to play a key role in the speeding-up of the continental integration process.
The Executive Board, whose proceedings are expected to end on Tuesday, will respond to the Libyan leader's proposals.
However, according to one Foreign Affairs minister who asked not to be named, the Executive Council should take note of the proposals made by the Libyan leader and submit them to the heads of state and government.
The Council should also keep its formula adopted in Tripoli last April, which consists of setting up an Authority made up of a chairman, a vice-chair and 10 secretaries who will each have an area of competence.

29 june 2009 21:16:00

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