08.23.06

Seychelles and African Union

Posted in International Organisations at 12:11 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles is one of the 53 members of the African Union.

The AU is governed by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and the Pan-African Parliament, both are assisted by the Commission. The AU covers the whole continent except for Morocco that has a special status within the Union and benefits from the services available to all AU states from the institutions of the African Union, such as the African Development Bank.

The African Union originated in the Union of African States in the 1960s in attempts to unite Africa. These included the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 and the African Economic Community in 1981. The idea to establish the African Union was revived in the middle of the 1990s by the African Unification Front. The Sirte Declaration (1999) calling for the establishment of an African Union. resulted in launching the African Union in Durban in 2002.

The main objectives of this continental organization are as follows:

  • achieving greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and its peoples,
  • defending the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of AU Member States,
  • acceleration of the political and socio-economic integration of the continent,
  • promotion and defence of African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and peoples of Africa,
  • promoting peace, security and stability on the continent,
  • promoting democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance,
  • encouraging international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
  • promoting sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies;
  • advancing the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology,
  • coordinating and harmonizing the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union, etc.

The 6th Session of the Conference of AU heads of state was held in Sudan in January 2006, where 40 African leaders participated.

During his stay in Sudan, Seychelles Vice-President Joseph Belmont said that the country is among 13 other countries having problems with settling their arrears with AU. The Seychelles owed the AU about 1.6 million USD, but, as a result of continuous negotiations, the annual membership fee had been substantially reduced.

During the summit, Belmont met with many heads of state and representatives of such organisations as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea). Also, education and culture were the issues of discussion during the summit. Here, the Seychelles shared its experience and its achievements with other AU countries.

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