Sunday, 3 November 2013
DANISH DELEGATION BRIEFED ON AFRICA’S PEACE, SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT AGENDAS
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - 1 November 2013: A visiting Foreign Affairs Committee from Denmark, led by Ms Maja Panduro Kjaeruff today met with the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr Erastus Mwencha to share information on Africa’s peace, security and development agendas, as well as discuss progress being made in the formulation process of Africa’s 2063 framework.
During the meeting, Mr Mwencha briefed the visitors on the set up of the African Peace and Security Architecture, highlighting its achievements and challenges. Of note he mentioned three successes over the last ten years i.e. that the number of conflicts in Africa has decreased (although conflict areas still remain in Somalia, in the Great Lakes and in Mali); that the African Union’s response mechanism is much improved; and that the AU has been able to help countries coming out of conflict in areas such as governance and post conflict reconstruction and development.
On the challenges, the Deputy Chairperson highlighted inadequate resources as a constraint to the smooth functioning of APSA and also mentioned that some systems within APSA are not yet fully functional. These include the standby force, but Mr Mwencha was quick to point out, that there is already a discussion among some Heads of State and Government, around the formation of a rapid response mechanism for the continent.
Turning to the continent’s development agenda, Mr Mwencha informed the visitors that the AU has identified a number of key priorities; such as education and skills development, health, food security, reliable sources of finance, shared values and building of strong institutions to buttress and underpin progress. Africa, he said, is also seeking to strengthen its position and to speak with one voice on global issues, including the post 2015 agenda, the World Trade Organisation round of talks, and climate change.
African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs Dr Anthony Maruping briefed the guests on agenda 2063, indicating that as the world looks to develop a post 2015 agenda, Africa needs its own framework that allows it to learn from the past, review the present and chart its future course. All stakeholders in Africa’s future are being consulted, he added, as a way to ensure ownership and commitment of the 2063 Agenda. He also urged development partners to come through with pledges they made earlier, to allocate 0.7% of their Gross Domestic product to Overseas Development Aid.
After the briefing by the two leaders of the Commission, the Danish delegation had an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session as they sought clarification on a few issues.