V. P. NEMCHENKO
Our sobkor in Ethiopia
Keywords: African Union, AU Assembly, Addis Ababa, AU Executive Committee, AU Commission, Ban Ki-moon, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Robert Mugabe
On January 30-31, 2015, the 24th Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the level of Heads of State and Government, the highest body of the AU, was held in Addis Ababa. The Assembly was preceded by a week-long session of numerous technical committees that prepared draft decisions and official statements of the pan-African organization.
The capital of Ethiopia has now become the political center of the entire continent. The international significance of the event was underlined by the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a number of leaders of leading international organizations at the Assembly.
The supreme body of the African Union, the Assembly, is responsible for: developing a general policy of the organization aimed at political and economic integration; monitoring the implementation of its resolutions and resolutions; resolving issues related to military conflicts, terrorism and emergencies; and issuing instructions to the Executive Council and the AU Commission.
The summit heard a report on the results of the work of the African Union Commission for 2014, as well as considered issues that will be relevant for the pan-African organization in 2015.It was decided to declare 2015 the year of increased participation of women in politics, economic and humanitarian development. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the AU Commission, noted in her report that Africa is a continent that is destined to become an important player in the international arena. "The rest of the world can take advantage of the luxury of their choice and stay where they are," she said. "Africa has neither the time nor the choice to do this."1
The Forum discussed the long-term program of the African Union - "Agenda 2063", which provides for fundamental areas of cooperation between the countries of the continent for their multilateral development. The main directions identified were industrialization, diversification and modernization of national economies, leading to the strengthening of sovereignty and increasing the authority of States in international relations. Among the decisions taken is a plan to create a single air transportation market in the region by 2017, which should encourage the development of local airlines and transport infrastructure.
Special attention was paid to the problems of crises in a number of countries of the continent. The summit participants approved the directions of activities of the African Union, including jointly with the UN, to conduct peacekeeping missions to resolve conflicts in Somalia, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.-
ke Congo and the Great Lakes region. Crimes committed by international terrorism, in particular, the actions of extremist groups both on the African continent and in other parts of the world, were condemned.
The Assembly approved measures to organize a joint fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram, which has spread its military attacks from the territory of Nigeria to neighboring States. In particular, it was decided to form an international peacekeeping contingent of 7,500 troops from countries such as Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin.
The Forum also adopted appeals on resolving the crises in Libya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sudan and Palestine, as well as on resolving border disputes between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
During the forum, participants expressed concern about the upcoming elections in 2015 in 18 countries of the continent, due to the fact that 11 of them are assessed as potentially conflicting. This list is headed by Nigeria, Burundi and Sudan. The seriousness of the situation is evidenced by the fact that the African Union, as a preventive step to prevent possible post - election crises, appealed to all AU member countries to sign the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Power, which contains general rules for resolving controversial issues related to the democratic system of government. In his speech, the UN Secretary-General also called on African leaders to support the democratic and peaceful transition of power in their countries.2
The forum's meetings were held in a state-of-the-art conference center located in one of the central districts of the capital of Ethiopia. The summit attracted numerous foreign delegations from all continents who came to develop contacts and ties with African partners. Our country was represented by the Russian President's Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. He was received by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalen, who discussed the development of bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who touched upon aspects of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the AU.
The Russian side also held talks and conversations with leaders of a number of African countries aimed at strengthening ties and coordinating efforts in resolving crisis situations on the continent. In addition, a multilateral meeting was held with the participation of the special representatives of the United States, the EU, Great Britain and Norway on resolving the conflict in South Sudan.
The summit paid special attention to the problem of the spread of the Ebola virus. The assistance provided to Africa by the international community was highly appreciated. Russian specialists also take part in it and continue their work in Guinea. This support enabled the implementation of rapid and preventive measures to contain the disease in the West African sub-region. The contribution of countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia was highlighted. To coordinate the fight against dangerous fever, it was decided to create an African Disease Control Center and a corresponding fund of $45.4 million.
The closing ceremony of the assembly was led by Zimbabwe's ninety-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who was elected President of the African Union for a one-year term. In his speech, he noted that peace and stability are prerequisites for Africa's development, so the continent's countries are ready to expand cooperation with the international community in order to jointly respond to threats to their security. According to Robert Mugabe, the continent needs to transform its economy in the near future, accelerate the creation of modern infrastructure, so that natural resources are used only for the benefit of African peoples.3
The agenda of the last Assembly ended with the adoption of resolutions and recommendations. The plan for the next summit of the heads of State and Government of the African Union was adopted - it is scheduled to be held in South Africa in June-July of this year.
1 The Daily Monitor. Addis Ababa. January 31-February 1, 2015.
3 Capital. Addis Ababa. February 1, 2015.
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