Refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons in Africa at center of 32nd AU Summit
“Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa” is the theme that will be at the center of discussions during the 32nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which kicked off with the 37th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC), on Tuesday, 15th January 2019 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, AUC Commissioners, all the Ambassadors of the 55 African Union member states based in Addis Ababa, representatives from the diplomatic corps, the international community, civil society, private sector and invited guests, among others.
While making his opening remarks, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E. Kwesi Quartey noted that the African Union Commission has been undergoing far-reaching, sweeping and progressive Reforms for the past few months.
“Gender-Parity is top on the agenda of leadership, transparency, openness good governance and rule of law both within the Commission as well as in Ethiopia,” he said. He was speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of AUC, H.E. Dr. Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The Deputy emphasized the need for these reforms to help work together and enhance the cooperation of Member States in order to achieve the targets set for the Commission, and the pillar of this process is the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC).
“The Administrative and Financial Reforms are at the core of the Commission’s Institutional reform agenda and together we intend to contribute our best efforts towards our Pan-African Vision of an integerated, prosperous and peaceful continent,” he said.
He further added, the Recruitment process of the Commission has faced many challenges over the years and the Commission headed by H.E. Moussa Faki is determined to live up to expectations by endorsing the recommendations brought by Policy Organs. He explained that, the Human resource management and capacity development are key aspects of the work of the Commission.
The expertise of Member States, as with external auditing, will be sought to review the Union’s recruitment system and because of the shared principles of equity, transparency and solidarity, the Personal Management Offices of Member states have a constructive role to play in strengthening the recruitment processes.
“In order for our Union to achieve the development objectives of Agenda 2063, the new structure being evolved must be fit for purpose,” he explained.
The PRC Meeting is the first of three statutory meetings to be held under the 32nd Summit of the African Union. The second meeting is that of Executive Council, which will held from 7-8 February. The final meeting of the Summit will be of the Heads of State and Government to take place from 10-11 February 2019.
Over two days, the Permanent Representatives will convene in closed sessions to deliberate on the different items on their agenda including: reports of the PRC sub-committees, Reports of meetings of the AU Specialized Technical Committees (STCs) during the last six months, Reports of the Commission, Reports of AU Organs and Specialized Agencies, Reports of the Commission, and the items proposed by Member States.
The Meeting will also consider and prepare draft agenda decisions, and declarations of the 34th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 32nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly.
The 37th Ordinary Session of the PRC will officially conclude today, Wednesday 16th January 2019.