36th AU Summit: « Making Africa’s voice heard »

Tags: Algeria, African Union, AU, 3rd Summit, cooperation, development,

The African Union summit was held on February 18 and 19, 2023 in Addis Ababa, with the participation of the Prime Minister, Mr. Aïmene Benabderrahmane, in his capacity as representative of the President of the Republic, Supreme Head of armies, Minister of National Defence, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, alongside other leaders and delegations from African countries.

The summit, organized under the slogan “Acceleration of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf), addressed several issues of concern to the pan-African organization which celebrates its 60 years of existence. These issues essentially relate to international security and peace, terrorism, global warming, economic integration, food security, etc. Aware of the importance of consultation and common African action and the challenges to which it is confronted, in a particularly worrying global context, the President of the Republic instructed the Prime Minister to deliver a message addressing a number of themes including:

International peace and security

For the Head of State, the black continent faces “multifaceted and multidimensional threats that affect peace and security, such as the phenomenon of terrorism, wars, climate change, food, energy and health crises. These threats have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine…”. Faced with these threats and challenges, Africa must, more than ever, make its voice heard on the international scene and especially within the Security Council, the United Nations peace and security body responsible for issues of settlement of Conflicts.

Thus, in a speech during the work of the ministerial meeting of the Committee of Ten of the African Union (AU) on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, held on the occasion of the 36th Summit of Heads of State and government of the AU, read on its behalf by the Prime Minister, Mr. Aïmene Benabderrahmane, Mr. President of the Republic did not fail, first of all, to salute « the spirit of continuous cooperation and the fruitful coordination established between the representatives of brotherly African countries in international and regional fora to make heard the voice and the unified position of Africa”. Efforts which aim « to obtain two permanent seats within the UN body and to increase its quota of representativeness at the level of non-permanent seats, from three to five seats.

For our country, as for other African countries, a reform of the Security Council, he specifies, is imperative « to achieve a more representative and fairer world order ».

Climate change: redefining priorities

In another speech, this time on the report of the Committee of Heads of State and Government responsible for climate change, the President of the Republic insisted on the fact that « African countries must redefine their priorities in the fight against climate change, as a continent with a common destiny ».

He insisted on the African strategy to fight against climate change, in anticipation of the next international deadlines, stressing that « far from any value judgment on the success or not of COP-27, we must understand the strategic change targeted by the developed countries, namely the construction of an international framework for climate action, far from the Rio principles, guaranteeing emerging countries their right to development ».

The continent’s partners have defaulted on their financial commitments made in the « Paris agreement », while African countries are required to bear more than their capacities allow, which, he said, risks to « compromising our food and energy security ». Another point raised, the President of the Republic recommended giving the issue of financing for adaptation, loss and damage linked to climate change the same importance during the negotiation process within the framework of the agreement framework in order to obtain convincing results. If Africa has undertaken the creation at the continental level of a mechanism for protection against disaster risks and support for the adaptation strategy to support African countries in their efforts to deal with these phenomena.

Regarding the fair energy transition, he reaffirmed the need « to adopt a process allowing the harmonization of climate requirements towards a priority of fighting poverty and guaranteeing a dignified life for our peoples, rejecting the widespread concept , that there is only one process to achieve this transition”. African countries certainly support or work towards accessing sustainable modes of production and consumption, based on low-emission technologies and techniques, but it is also « important to maintain a certain degree of rationality to guarantee the realization of the objectives of sustainable development, and this, according to the capacities of each country and region”.

Finally, Mr. President affirmed that concerning the countries of the African continent, this initiative « had a favorable echo and considerable support during the Conference of Sharm El Sheikh, even if certain countries expressed some reservations », underlining that « we We have before us an opportunity to redefine this approach and make it a uniting factor of the ‘global South’”.

The Libyan question: no effort will be spared

The day before the AU summit, on February 17, 2023, a high-level meeting on Libya was held, an opportunity for the President of the Republic to highlight the « intensive and tireless » efforts made for reconciliation in Libya, welcoming « the new momentum launched recently to activate the inter-Libyan dialogue process and launch dialogue initiatives between the Libyan brothers, aimed at bringing views closer together, establishing mutual trust and broadening consensus. And to underline that « despite concerns about the crisis situation, optimism remains in order, given the goodwill displayed by the Libyan parties to overcome the hardships and make the supreme interest of the fatherland prevail ».

Positive and satisfying steps have been taken, reflected in particular by « the return of the 5+5 Joint Military Committee to meetings after a long interruption, to follow up on the implementation of the decisions agreed upon concerning the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters, the ceasefire and the exchange of prisoners », in the sense that « the dangerous stage of political and security instability, the blockage of the negotiation process and the institutional split have put to the test all the gains made in the process of resolving the crisis in this neighboring country, given the serious repercussions on the security and stability of neighboring countries and the Sahel ».

As far as it is concerned, Algeria has always « expressed its rejection of the logic of force » and called « for dialogue and reconciliation to prevail between all the components of the Libyan people », in addition to the fact that it condemns  » foreign interference in the internal affairs of this brotherly country and the involvement of several foreign parties in the violation of the arms import ban”.

Also, from this rostrum, she renewed her call to foreign parties to respect Libyan national sovereignty, its territorial integrity and the sovereignty of decisions, convinced in this that « the lasting, comprehensive and definitive solution passes through a process enshrining the principle of national ownership, preserving the national unity of Libya and its sovereignty over all of its territories ».

To this end, Algeria reaffirms its commitment to spare « no effort, within the framework of the Group of neighboring countries of Libya, in collaboration with the regional and international organizations concerned, to enable the Libyans to concretize the priorities of this stage important in order to preserve the security and stability of the neighboring countries, directly affected by the situation in this country ».

US$1 billion for development projects in Africa

On the occasion of this summit, the President of the Republic decided to grant one billion dollars to the Algerian Agency for International Cooperation for Solidarity and Development, intended for the financing of development projects in African countries.

This approach stems from Algeria’s firm conviction that stability and security in Africa are closely linked to development.

In the message of the President of the Republic, read from the rostrum by the Prime Minister, it is underlined: « I have decided to inject an amount of one billion US dollars for the benefit of the Algerian Cooperation Agency for solidarity and development for the financing of development projects in African countries, in particular integration projects or those capable of contributing to accelerating development in Africa”.

El-Djeich N° 716 March 2023

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