The 44th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) kicked off Monday, in preparation for 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU).
This as well as the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECS) to be held in Lusaka, Zambia, from the 14-17 July 2022.
Addressing the ambassadors in his opening remarks, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat underscored the importance of the session. “This 44th Session of the PRC, is held in a particularly difficult context, marked by the persistent challenges, in particular the control of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the post-COVID economic recovery, the problems of insecurity linked to the expansion of terrorism and the resurgence of the Unconstitutional Changes of Government on the Continent, the negative effects of Climate Change, the problem of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Speaking on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Chairperson underscored the African Union readiness to act as a mediator between the two countries. “With the Chairman of the Union, Macky Sall, we had undertaken a visit to Russia to express the concerns of the Continent about the Food and Energy crises generated by this conflict and the need to initiate dialogue for its peaceful resolution. This afternoon, the Ukrainian President will be given the opportunity to address the Bureau of the Assembly expanded to the Heads of State and Government“.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission further underlined the importance of all issues of gender, equality, employment, migration, refugees and internally displaced persons, health, populations, the fight against drugs, among others.
He urged the PRC session to give priority to the access to food resources and health care on the Continent. “All of these themes fall within the ambit of urgency. However, the current situation demands that we give priority to the access of our peoples, especially the most vulnerable, to food and health care in order to guarantee them decent living conditions. To this end, I call upon you to think over the best ways to operationalize the Africa CDC, its sustainable funding, in particular as well as that the African Medicines Agency (AMA). The establishment of the Fund for the fight against epidemics in Africa follows the same approach,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The Chairperson further said “In the same vein, the consideration of the Report on the mid-term implementation of the theme of Nutrition of the African Union for the year 2022 should lead to recommendations aimed at accelerating the attainment of the objectives contained in the Malabo Declaration on the Agricultural Growth and Transformation.
The international situation commands that we pay special attention to food self -sufficiency on the Continent.”
In the spirit of the Declaration on Terrorism and the Unconstitutional Changes of Government recently adopted by the AU Assembly, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the Chairperson of the AU Commission underlined the important issue of Human Rights, Democracy and Governance, a worrying source of concern due to the different forms of insecurity which overwhelm the Continent attributed essentially to unorthodox governance practices.
“My most ardent wish is that the Strategic Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human and Peoples’ Rights in Africa covering the Decade 2022-2031, makes it possible to make up for the shortcomings witnessed so far,” further added Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The AUC Chairperson expressed appreciation to the good collaboration, which exists between the PRC and the AU Commission and the constant commitment to work to advance the Continental Agenda.
On his part, Mohamed Lamine THIAW, Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee, in his opening speech, commended the efforts made by the Bureau of the AU Assembly, the Commission and the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) for their tireless efforts in the response against the COVID-19 pandemic and the work accomplished in acquisition and administration of the vaccines.
The official opening ceremony of the 44th Ordinary Session of the PRC meeting, was attended by the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, the AU Commissioners, and Representatives from AU Organs and AU officials.
From 20 June till 08 July 2022, the ambassadors will deliberate on different reports including: the activities of the PRC Sub-Committees, reports of the Specialized Technical Committees (STCs) held in the year 2022, the reports of the AU Commission, other AU Organs and the AU Specialized Agencies.
The Session will finally consider the draft agenda and draft decisions of the 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council scheduled to take place from 14th to 15th July in Lusaka.