Statement of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat at the 34th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee of the African Union Addis Ababa, 27 June 2017

June 27, 2017

Madam Chairperson of the PRC and Distinguished Permanent Representatives,
Distinguished Commissioners,
Representatives of the Bodies of the African Union and of the Regional Economic Communities,
Ladies and gentlemen,
May I first of all tell you from the bottom of my heart the real pleasure I feel in addressing you at this precise moment of the preparation for the meetings of the Executive Council and the Assembly.
As you are aware, this Commission, which was elected at the end of January 2017, took office only in mid-March 2017. This period of installation was marked by an exceptional competition between many internal and particularly external emergencies. If some of our irreplaceable exchange of views has been slightly deferred, to our great regret, it has, however, enabled us to fathom our responsibilities, the numerous challenges that beset us and consider the relevant strategies to deal with them.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this two speed work, dealing with emergencies and identifying the strategic paths of our action, we have become acutely conscious of the need to change some crucial aspects of the working methods of the Commission. The result is the imperative need to foster, in all respects, the relations between our two organs.
To be frank, I am not sure that, on our side, we have always had the appropriate approach, which I strongly wish to establish and which I remain committed to promote, in order to give full measure to the desirable cooperation and synergy between the two institutions. The PRC is a cornerstone of our set up. It is the concentrated expression of the sum total of our States. The Constitutive Act and our subsequent political and legal instruments give it important responsibilities. The Commissioners and I, as well as our colleagues, should definitively integrate these aspects into our work at all levels.
Your legitimate wishes, which range from the technical preparation of the documents to the thorough consideration of the documents, going through the interaction and physical presence of the Commission officials at the PRC and its technical committees, deserve great attention from us.
It is also an opportunity for me to call on you, individually and collectively, to support us and above all not to hesitate to propose the necessary appropriate corrective measures. I request that complementarity, trust and transparency prevail in our working relationships.
I wish that this same spirit will cement the relations between the Commission and all the Specialised agencies and other organs of the Union. In this regard, it is necessary to clearly define the mandate of each of these structures and to determine their relevance in order to avoid duplication and ensure the judicious use of the limited resources at our disposal.
We have far too many challenges and far too few resources. Our success depends on the coherence of our actions and our commitments whatever be the level of our responsibilities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we are meeting about an agenda that rightly focuses on preparing for the imminent convening of the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
To this end, we shall consider a series of Reports from the Commission and other Specialised bodies and technical committees.
One of the main issues to be considered for the upcoming Summit will of course be the Reform of the African Union, whose follow-up of the implementation, in conformity with the decisions of the July 2016 and January 2017 Summits, was jointly entrusted to Their Excellences Messrs Paul Kagame, Idriss Deby Itno and Alpha Condé.
Without anticipating the report that will be submitted to our policy organs on this subject, I welcome the popularization work carried out by President Kagame and the team supporting him, as well as the outcome of the Retreat they had organised in Kigali on 7 May 2017 with the PRC and the Executive Council.
In this regard, I am pleased to note that some of our Member States have already taken concrete measures to implement the decision of the levy of 0.2% on eligible imports in order to ensure, in a predictable, sustainable and equitable manner the financing of our Organisation.
The full and speedy implementation of this decision is a matter of the credibility and effectiveness of the action of the African Union, including the implementation of Agenda 2063 and its Ten year Plan. I, therefore, urge all the Member States that have not yet done so, to take the necessary measures to implement this decision.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our meetings are taking place at a time when political crises and conflicts remain a major source of concern for our continent.
Our unwavering conviction is that there are no sustainable and viable military solutions to internal African crises. This conviction is even more profound in the case of South Sudan. I, therefore, call upon the parties to encourage dialogue and the search for consensual political solutions.
It is in this context that we warmly welcome the decision taken by the 31st Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), of 12 June 2017, in Addis Ababa, to convene urgently a High-Level Revitalization Forum of the Parties to the Agreement on Conflict Resolution in the Republic of South Sudan.
The situations in Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudanese region of Darfur and Somalia will also engage the attention of the Summit. Each one of them calls for concerted and determined efforts to hasten the search for political solutions to the problems that pose.
At the same time, we must redouble our efforts to end the scourges of terrorism and violent extremism that afflict so many regions of our continent, particularly in the Sahelo-Saharan region, the Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa. The action of the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram is a source of pride.
I welcome the decision of the G5 Member countries to establish a Joint Force and call upon the international community to give concrete support to this initiative.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Migration, especially towards Europe and the Middle East and the attendant tragedies will figure prominently in the deliberations of the organs of our Union. This situation reflects our collective failure to fulfill the aspirations of our youths. It illustrates the long road ahead to harness the demographic dividend, as the theme of the Summit for this year demands. We must improve the future prospects of our youths, including through the creation of jobs.
From this point of view, it is more than urgent to speed up the establishment of the Free Trade Area, which is a powerful lever for the development of the Continent. Consultations are under way for the prompt establishment of the Panel of Eminent Persons responsible for carrying out the advocacy work required for this purpose.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our Strategic Partnerships deserve new consideration in order to make them more relevant to the requirements of our Agenda 2063 and to the announced pillars of the reform of our Union.
In this sense, we are impatient to see the PRC finalise the study on the evaluation of the AU strategic partnerships and present it to the policy making organs. It is a work where your contribution is particularly expected.
The process of appropriating Agenda 2063 "The Africa we want" by the Member States is well under way, despite the difficulties that continue to punctuate the way, the resistance and the burden inherited from the past and the varied trajectories of our States and Nations.
However, it is pleasing to note that more Member States are now referring to it and show greater interest and willingness to implement this strategic exercise for Africa.
The process of taking ownership of this important vision will enable Member States to transpose the commitments of the Agenda into the National Development plans in order to initiate, in the medium and long term, structural continental socio-economic transformations. In their efforts to attain this objective, Member States will always find the Commission at their side.
I express the ardent and sincere wish that the preparation of the present meetings become the swan song of the weaknesses of the past and, at the same time, the dawn of a new era of fruitful and trustful cooperation.
I thank you for your kind attention.

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