Roundup of the Key Decisions of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (January 2019).

At the end of the 32nd African union meeting of the African Union in Ethiopia, Addis Abeba, there are some key decisions that the body of the African Union has made in favor of the African continent.

On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFT), some decisions were taken. The  Assembly endorsed the recommendations of African Union Ministers of Trade on Template on Tariff Liberalization which will be used by the Member States in preparing the AfCFTA Schedules of Tariff Concessions; and the designation of Sensitive Products and Exclusion List on the basis of the following criteria: food security, national security, fiscal revenue, livelihood and industrialization;

The Assembly decided that the Member States wishing to enter into partnerships with third parties should inform the Assembly with the assurance that those efforts will not undermine the African Union vision of creating one African market;

The Assembly requested the African Union Commission, with the assistance of technical partners, to undertake an assessment of the requirements for the establishment of a future common market including steps to be taken as well as their implications and challenges, for consideration by the African Union Ministers of Trade.

The Assembly requested the African Union Ministers responsible for trade to submit the Schedules of Tariff Concessions, and Schedules of Specific Commitments on Trade in Services in line with agreed modalities to the July 2019 and January 2020 Sessions of the Assembly, respectively, for adoption; and conclude the negotiations on Investment, Competition Policy and Intellectual Property Rights, and submit the draft legal texts to the January 2021 Session of the Assembly for adoption through the Specialised Technical Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

On the Institutional reform of the African Union, the Assembly delegated to the Executive Council its authority to consider and approve the Statute and Rules of Procedure of the Governance Structures of the African Union Development Agency, AUDANEPAD, during its 35th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Niamey, Niger, June/July 2019.

On post-2020 partnership with the European Union, the Assembly recalled the decision which stressed the need to ensure that Africa speaks with one voice in the various platforms of partnership with the EU, and requested the Commission to ensure cohesion between the Post-Cotonou Agreement and the Post-2020 Continent-to-Continent Partnership, so that continental priorities, as articulated in Agenda 2063 and other related instruments, are consistently reflected in both tracks.

Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union for 2019.

The Assembly elected the Bureau of the Assembly of the Union for 2019 as follows:
• Chairperson: Arab Republic of Egypt;
• 1st Vice-Chairperson: Republic of South Africa;
• 2nd Vice-Chairperson: Democratic Republic of Congo;
• 3rd Vice-Chairperson: Republic of Niger;
• Rapporteur: Republic of Rwanda.

• Assembly decided that the Chair of the African Union for 2020 will be the Republic of South Africa.

Reports on Peace and Security.
The Assembly requested the Chairperson of the Commission to expedite efforts aimed at convening in Addis Ababa, in 2019, an international conference on reconciliation in Libya under the auspices of the AU and UN;

The Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to peace and stability in Comoros;
The Assembly commended the Federal Government of Somalia for the continued progress made in implementing the Somali Transition Plan (STP);

The Assembly commended the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for its critical role in degrading the capacities of Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups in Somalia, as well as in the implementation of the STP;

The Assembly paid tribute to the AMISOM Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs), for the immense sacrifices made in the promotion of peace, security, stability, and reconciliation in Somalia;

The Assembly commended the South Sudanese stakeholders for the leadership demonstrated since the signing of the R-ARCSS and called on the opposition groups that have not yet done so to join the Agreement without any preconditions;

The Assembly commended the Presidents of Djibouti and Eritrea for their efforts and commitments to normalize the relations between the two countries, in the framework of relevant PSC Communiqués and UN Resolution 2446 (2018).

The Assembly welcomed the peaceful organization of the elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and commended the people and the leadership of the DRC for a landmark peaceful transition.

The Assembly  Encouraged all Congolese stakeholders to uphold their country’s supreme interests above all other considerations and work together.

The Welcomed the signing on 6 February 2019 of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic between the Government and the armed groups of the Central African Republic, under the auspices of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR.

The Assembly urged all CAR stakeholders to place the interests of their country above all other consideration and uphold their commitment and work together, in good faith, in the implementation of the agreement.

Other key decisions of the African Union during the 32nd meeting which took place in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia may be consulted here for further information.

 

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