Murmurs in the corridors of the 21st Session of the AU Executive Committee

While the coverage of the AU Summit will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the fierce election of the Chairperson and worrying conflicts in North Kivu-DRC, the Sudans, Somalia and Mali, the Executive Committee are considering a number of other issues most notably; 2013 budget, next Strategic Plan, rate of ratification and implementation of AU Treaties, the African Court of Justice and ECOSOCC among other issues.

A budget of US278,226,000 is being considered for 2013 with $122,866,000 coming from member states and the rest from international partners. Of the ten organs; the biggest recipients could be AU Commission ($90m), Pan African Parliament ($10m), The African Court on Human rights ($6m), NEPAD ($4.2m) and ECOSOCC ($1m).

The Commission have completed a review of the 2009-2012 Strategic Plan and will, with the PRC Sub-committee on Programmes and Conferences, look to involving States, AU Organs, RECs and NGOs in the development of a detailed plan and the third 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. In 2007, the AU commissioned a semi-independent Organisational Audit by a High Level Panel of the Chairperson. This HLP audited the performance of the first Strategic Plan of Alpha Konare.  CSOs made briefings to the HLP and there was an attempt to invite submissions by citizens through the website. See http://www.pambazuka.org/actionalerts/images/…/AUDIT_REPORT.doc It is not clear whether there is a plan to do this or how citizens input will be facilitated. Kenya currently chairs the Sub-Committee.

The report on the implementation of previous decisions of the Executive Council and the Assembly encourages faster reporting by Member States and rationalisation/downsizing of the content and agenda of the Summits. The Executive is likely to approve establishment of a Sub-Committee of the Executive Council on the challenges of ratification, appeal to themselves to sign, ratify and implement OAU/AU treaties and remind themselves of the target of ratifying new instruments within one year of adoption. They are likely to call on States again to enter a declaration that they will accept the competency of the Africa Court on Human and Peoples Rights and AU organs, RECs and Civil Society “to persist” in their advocacy and sensitisation efforts. The commission is requested to report on future progress through the PRC.

This is an important recognition of initiatives such as the State of the Union coalition www.sotuafrica.org/,  the Coalition on the African Court www.africancourtcoalition.org/, Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition www.soawr.org, Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) www.fasngo.org/, PELUM, Centre for citizens Participation in the AU, ActionAid,  Plan International and others who have shifted their focus nationally to press Governments to ratify and implement AU Standards and Instruments.

On the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, the Committee are likely to defer the amendments in the Draft Protocol to the next Summit 2013 to allow for a study on the financial and structural implications to be conducted and for a definition of the crime of an unconstitutional change of Government.

On ECOSOCC, the Committee heard damning evidence and a complaint by the ECOSOCC President and a response by CIDO Unit surrounding information witholding, obstruction and possible misallocation of finances by CIDO that were raised by ECOSOCC. CIDO is a unit of the Commission and has acted as secretariat to ECOSOCC. They are likely to recommend an independent institutional, administrative and financial audit of ECOSOCC be tabled at the January 2013 Summit.

Friday 13th 2012, East Africa time 14.00H

Ends

None of the information contained here should be considered as official. While every attempt has been made to check facts they may be aspects that may unintentionally contain erroneous information and the reader is encouraged to verify the facts.

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