AU Commission chair hails revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (PANA) - The popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt this year reflect the need to consolidate democracy in Africa, African Union Commission President Jean Ping said in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Mr Ping was speaking at the opening of the 19th session of the Executive Council of the AU, which comprises African foreign ministers, ahead of the 17th AU Summit to be held 30 June-1 July in Malabo.

He said the African continent had experienced in recent times "remarkable progress in entrenching culture and democratic governance."

In this regard, he cited, among other examples, the appearance of a new state in Sudan through a referendum and the return to constitutional order in Guinea and Niger.

Thje AU Commission chief said the revolutions that occurred in Tunisia and Egypt this year were "indicative of the need for a process that potentially contributes to the consolidation of democracy in Africa."

He said these events, among others, show that Africa was beginning to support itself as potential "locomotive" of global growth in the near future, "after showing an extraordinary resilience to face the last economic downturn and financial crisis. "

However, he warned that these "good progress" can only be sustainable ''if we create a better environment for an active, dynamic and creative African Youth” willing to see things change on the continent."

"This is by recognizing the importance of youth, and to mark its membership and its support for changes it has initiated that the AU Summit devoted the session to the theme 'Accelerating the capacity of youth for a sustainable development','' he said.

He welcomed the positive outcome of the Ivorian crisis and announced that negotiations were underway with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to assist in rebuilding the country.

But Mr. Ping expressed concern about the continuing crisis in Libya and the challenges it poses to neighboring countries, including "the flow of refugees, the deteriorating situation of immigrant workers, the proliferation of weapons and specter of terrorism. "

He reiterated his belief that "ultimately only a political solution will meet the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people and promote lasting peace in this country."
-0- PANA IZ/CJB/JSG/JEN/SEG 27June2011


27 june 2011 12:51:59




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