IIMUN new organization was officially launched two years
Posted On June 8, 2019
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A Framework Which Aims For Combating Poverty And Terrorism In The Continent
African Union (AU), which came into effect in July 2002, is the successor to
the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The proposal to launch the AU was made
in September 1999, during an extraordinary session of the OAU Assembly convened
to expedite the process of economic and political integration on the continent.
After signing the Constitutive Act of the African Union in July 2000, the new
organization was officially launched two years later in Durban, South Africa.
Although the AU had been conceived by the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as a
“United States of Africa,” its structures are loosely modelled on
those of the European Union (EU). Among the aims of the AU is promotion of
democracy, human rights and development across Africa. The AU has 55 members,
covering the entire continent of Africa.
its organs are:
Permanent Representatives’ Committee
and Security Council (PSC)
The objectives of the Union are set
out in Article 3 of the Constitutive Act. There are fourteen objectives,
designed to enhance political cooperation and economic integration, ranging
from greater unity and solidarity between the countries and peoples of Africa,
to promotion of democratic principles and good governance, to protection of
human rights, to coordination and harmonisation between the regional economic
communities, which have been established or will be established in the African
Continent. The latter objective is also one of the central goals of the African
Economic Community (AEC), the organisation responsible for the economic
integration of the whole Continent. In general, the objectives cannot be
described as overambitious, though they are more expansive than those in the
OAU Charter. They reflect rather the current status of developments in the
African continent, including notably promoting respect for human rights and
recognition of the democratic system. Their general theme is the upgrading of
Africa’s position in the international plane, where the participating States
take the view that they have a rightful role to play in the global economy and
in global negotiations. This latter objective, if it were ever to materialise,
would undoubtedly constitute a very significant development in inter-African
relations. The abandonment of traditional hostility and animosity among African
States in favour of a unified position in important transnational political,
economic, social, and health issues would constitute a clear sign for the
success of the Union. The express reference to the promotion and protection of
human rights is a significant development, as is the commitment to democratic
values, and constitute welcome improvements on the OAU Charter, which is silent
on these matters. It acknowledges that sustainable economic development
flourishes in such a culture.
History – OAU and the AU
pan-Africanist ideals that led to the creation of the OAU in 1963 proceeded
from the idea of the African states as strong and united against colonial
subjugation and racism, and working together to improve the lives of African
the end of the Cold War, the world completely changed. Africa and the OAU,
however, did not. Africa became increasingly marginalized and struggled to
define its place and role in the new global system. With dwindling aid from
able States, it was incumbent on Africa to consider a new political and
economic order securing “African solutions for African problems.” By
the time of its thirtieth anniversary, most analysts of the OAU concluded that
the organization could not meet future demands without serious reform and
reorganization – the OAU Charter needed revision the most, specifically with
regard to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference, primarily because
leaders found themselves restricted by the prohibition under the OAU Charter on
the leaders’ refusal to involve themselves in the internal conflicts of other
African states were two concerns. First, Allegations of transnational
supporting of coups d’état within their territory. Second, a concern for
territorial sovereignty in light of internal conflicts. As one critic
concluded, the only issue uniting the OAU was the major factor in causing its
birth-apartheid in South Africa. Otherwise, the OAU was weak and disunited by
the dispute over Western Sahara (involving Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, and
France), the Shaba rebellions (the attempted invasions of Zaire), the invasion
of Benin, and the Ogaden war against Somalia.
1988, on the one hand, a primary function of the organization-eradicating
colonialism and establishing the independence of African nations-had been
virtually completed. Hence the OAU was officially disbanded in 2000 and immediately
replaced by the AU, which entered into force on 27 February 2001. The formation
of the AU finally allowed for the regional conflicts of member states to be
overseen and dealt with by a partisan body that could resourcefully address its
concerns. To ensure a smooth shift from the OAU into the AU, the Constitutive
Act was created to outline a transitional period of one year between the two
crucial problems Africa faces today concern poverty and lack of development,
aid dependence, debt, continuing conflicts, the AIDS pandemic, and bullying by
the major powers through such instruments as the WTO, the World Bank and the
IMF. More than forty years ago, Kwame Nkrumah called insistently for unity. His
arguments were simple enough: only a united Africa would be able to stand up to
the neo-colonialist pressures of the former metropolitan countries, and the
Cold War pressures of the US and the USSR. Africa rejected real unity at that
time and opted instead for a weak compromise in the OAU. The biggest challenge,
of course, is the challenge of implementation. Africa has so far displayed a
low level of implementation of treaty obligations. This is mainly due to an
unwillingness to incorporate international treaties into domestic law and give
powers to supranational bodies. A genuine commitment to unity and a strong
political will are required.
the most potent of Africa’s development constraints has been the fragility and
insignificance (in terms of population and income) of African economies,
leading to insignificant nature of the markets, making it difficult to attract
foreign investment and achieve economies of scale production, which are crucial
for the attainment of productivity, growth and competitiveness in a globalising
in Darfur, Rise of Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, al Shabaab, ISIS among others,
Inequitable distribution of wealth despite growing economies, regional
conflicts as an impediment and their resolution.
significant new initiative taken by African leaders was the adoption of the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) at the Lusaka Summit of the OAU in
July 2001. It addresses key social, economic and political principles for the
continent. NEPAD proposes a system of voluntary peer review, and adherence to
codes and standards of conduct.
Peer Review Mechanism has been another important aspect of the AU’s work.
Africa has always been criticised for poor governance, where African leaders
mismanage their economies, become dictators and put their personal interests
above the nation’s. To deal with this, a Peer Review Mechanism has been set up,
meant to encourage member-states to ensure that their policies and practices
conform to agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes
and standards enshrined in the NEPAD document.
framework to guide efforts over the next (nearly) 50 years until 2063, builds
on the constitutive document of the AU and African Aspirations.
Suggested Moderated Caucus Topics
political will of African leaders (many of whom have good reason not to
encourage the concept of close inspection of performance on good governance) to
push for practical implementations and on wealthy nations who have repeatedly
failed to live up to commitments to the African continent.
in controlling movement of arms and ammunition despite the G8 Africa Action
“Resource War”: Many of Africa’s wars are driven in part by the process of
globalization: they are funded by the purchase of raw materials (diamonds,
gold, coltan, timber, oil).
While the CA sets out a clearly ambitious project for Africa, it lacks any
provision for financing the African Union. the failure to spell out how the
African Union will obtain funding is surprising considering that lack of funds
has been a principal reason for the OAU’s ineffectiveness.
number of Union organs: The parallel operation of so many organs with no
specific mandate and whose operation will necessitate large sums of money in an
era where established international organisations struggle to ensure their
basic financing pose a dilemma as to their effectiveness and success in implementing
the required framework.
for Limitations/Failures in specific adopted treaties and conventions or plans
such as the Strategic Plan of 2014-2017 and the way forward.
in checking the growth of Boko Haram in specific directions such as Cameroon,
Chad and Niger.
poverty to check recruitment to inter
alia, ISIS from nations such as Tunisia and South Africa.
corruption in the continent to prevent transfer of arms from the national
military to authority to terrorist groups, as happened with Somalia and the Al
must note that restricting the entire scope of discussion to the above content
will not fetch points. A detailed research into the nuances, veracity and
plausibility of the above points, and aspects not included in the document is
expected. This is merely a background guide to give you a head-start.
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https://au.int/en/treaties — Huge archives
Why Western Efforts at Counter-Terrorism in Africa are Failing? – Professor Hussein Solomon