AU summit ends without endorsing "solidarity budget"

Addis-Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The third African Union summit closed here Thursday with the decision to meet henceforth twice a year, the approbation of the Executive Council recommendations, the adoption of 18 more decisions and two declarations, but failed to endorse the "solidarity budget" proposed by the Commission chairperson.
The summit recommended the re-election of Koichiro Matsuura for a second term as UNESCO Director and Jacques Diouf as UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) boss for a third tenure.
On its last day, the meeting failed to address the issue of a consensual budget funded with voluntary member state contributions to strengthen the Commission.
Unless nations announce unilateral special donations or contributions, the AU Commission chairperson will to have to make do with the ordinary additional budget - pending the convening next November of the Special Executive Council session.
On the eve of its closing day, the Addis-Ababa summit also chose to set up the Panafrican Parliament in South Africa, after consultations between presidents Hosni Moubarak of Egypt (in France for medical treatment) and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa - the two bidders.
The Libyan delegation, which proposed two separate seats for the Union and the Commission headquarters was notified that such option was barred by article 24 of the AU Constitutive act adopted at the July 2000 summit in Lome, Togo.
Unlike the OAU, which originally used the Ethiopian capital only as "a provisional seat," the new provisions state that "the Union is headquartered in Addis-Ababa.
" Yet, under the very article 24 "the conference" is free to "create offices or representations for the Union upon recommendation by the Executive Council.
" The conference took decisions relating to Africa's political situation, the Union's institutional life and particular issues linked more directly to the lives of African people.
The new institutional decisions are mainly on the implementation of the protocol instituting the Peace and Security Council, the pre-positioned African force project, the launch of the African Parliament and the installation of the Economic and Cultural Council.
Others are the ongoing reflection on the African council of the future, modalities for the gradual devolution of the NEPAD Secretariat into the Commission and the choice of an African Union anthem, flag and logo.
The new political decisions relate to a declaration on Equatorial Guinea completing and supporting the country's initial call made at the ministerial meeting, as well as the draft additional protocol completing the African Convention to prevent and fight terrorism on the continent.
Socially, decisions were on the International Centre for Girls and Women Education in Africa (CIEFA), the organisation for the first time in Africa of the World Football Cup in South Africa and the African and Diaspora Intellectuals Conference billed for 6-9 October in Dakar, Senegal.
There also were two specific declarations on Gender and Equity in Africa on one hand and a Common agricultural policy and its implications on trade and raw materials in ACP countries on the other.

08 july 2004 21:15:00

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