SA will continue supporting AU, structures

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cape Town - South Africa will continue to support the strengthening of the African Union and its structures, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Responding to questions raised by political parties in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Motlanthe said the country's current engagements in ensuring the establishment of the AU organs were proof of South Africa's commitment to supporting the strengthening of the AU and its structures.

The AU organs he referred included the African Investment Bank, the African Central Bank and the African Monetary Bank as well as the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.

"This entails the harmonisation of the programmes and policies of the Regional Economic Communities and we are pleased that progress is being made with regard to integration within and among the Southern African Development Community (SADC), COMESA and the East African Community," Motlanthe said.

"In this regard, it must be mentioned that Ministers of Justice and Attorney's General of the AU have finalised the Merger Instrument for the African Court of Justice and the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights."

The Deputy President noted that South Africa had nominated and was able to get the endorsement for Justice Bernard Ngoepe to serve in the Human Rights section of the court.

South Africa will continue to work with the AU Commission towards transforming the Pan African Parliament from an advisory body to a legislative one.

In order to advance the founding principles of the AU, Motlanthe said, South Africa will continue to support the activities of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council with a view to ensuring that all the people of Africa participated and are able to take ownership of AU activities and processes.

"We are committed to meeting our own obligations that derive from the African Peer Review Mechanism and we will continue to encourage other AU member states to accede to the African Peer Review Mechanism and implement the outcome of the country reviews."

There was also an assurance that South Africa will continue to support the implementation of NEPAD programmes and projects at regional level through the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan as well as at a national level