SA pleased with outcomes of AU Summit

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Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has welcomed the outcome of the 26th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).

The summit, which took place under the theme: “2016 – African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on Women’s Rights”, ended on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“We leave Addis feeling very satisfied following successful deliberations at the summit on all the substantive issues,” President Zuma said.

The summit considered a number of matters, including the efforts already underway to realise the continental vision for the next 50 years of the existence of the AU, known as Agenda 2063.

It also looked into the status of peace and security in the continent, financing and governance of the AU and its programmes, as well as AU programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) projects and the African Peer Review Mechanism, (APRM).

President Zuma, as chair of the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative, which is a NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee project, presented a report on the progress made in infrastructure development.

The President also made a special input on the decision to integrate the APRM into the AU, which will assist in reinvigorating and mainstreaming its work within the organisation.

On peace and security, the summit looked at the situation in countries such as Burundi, South Sudan, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.

“We welcome the decision to revive the AU High Level Panel on Libya which had worked effectively a few years ago. We are also pleased with the appointment of former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete as the AU Special Envoy to Libya.

“With such interventions the AU will be able to make an impact with regards to getting the parties in Libya to resolve matters and work towards normalcy in the country,” said President Zuma.

The President was also pleased with the AU decisions on Burundi.

“The decision to send a delegation to Burundi to assess the political and security situation and to discuss the proposed deployment of the AU peacekeeping force with the government of Burundi is a step in the right direction,” he said.

The AU Summit also discussed Africa’s growing concerns with the manner in which the International Criminal Court has conducted itself in relation to African countries.

In a discussion on the ICC and the Rome Statute, President Zuma expressed South Africa’s concerns.

“Our strongly held view is that it is now impossible, under the circumstances, for South Africa to continue its participation in the Rome Statute. South Africa is seriously reviewing its participation in the Rome Statute and will announce its decision in due course,” he told the summit.

The summit also saw South Africa receiving an award for meeting the Millennium Development Goals targets for fighting malaria successfully, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award as well as re-election as a member of the AU Peace and Security Council for a two year term.