Konare deplores AU States attitude on key protocols

Banjul- Gambia (PANA) -- About a dozen protocols signed by most of the African Union (AU) member States have not been ratified by these countries, AU Commission chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare has observed.
Speaking at the opening session of the Seventh AU heads of state summit here Saturday, Konare said this has hampered key undertakings of the continent requiring ratification of essential treaties.
The protocols cover a variety of areas, including peace and security, human rights, corruption and impunity and terrorism, among others.
Most of the protocols and treaties covering these areas have been ratified by such a small number of states, stalling their coming into force.
Just a single country, he said, had ratified the protocol on terrorism, while only two had ratified the protocol on non- aggression among member states.
Commenting on the issue of the United States of Africa, which was tabled before the heads of state, Konare said leaders had no choice but to create the continental body, adding that "any foot dragging about it would cause immense consequences for our peoples.
" He also observed that Africa "cannot move towards integration if clear areas of sovereignty are not defined precisely".
Konare opined that African leaders ought to break from the current cacophony and engage in real integration that goes beyond national chauvinism, which, he said, is dangerous for Africa.
Konare noted that regional groupings should be given some sovereign rights in some aspects on the integration process, and called on regional leaders to institute organs that would speedily integrate their regions.
He also insisted that leaders should not hesitate to give the AU secretariat real decision-making powers on certain issues and said a clear decision should come out of the Banjul summit.
He also called upon member states to develop strategies to increase the influence of African continent with the Bretton Woods institutions.
Africa has a mere 7 percent voting right at the IMF.
Konare appeared to signal his intention to step down from the AU executive position when he said he planned "to do some things" before his successor comes in 2007.
He was elected three years ago and could seek a second mandate in 2007, under the AU's leadership guidelines.

02 july 2006 10:22:00




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