The 45th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) kicked off on 16 January 2023, in preparation for the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) to be held from the 15-19 February 2023.
Addressing the ambassadors in his opening remarks, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat noted the resilience of the members of PRC and the Commission in the new working method imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that is to work virtually.
The AUC Chairperson expressed appreciation for the good collaboration, which exists between the PRC and the AU Commission and the constant commitment to work to advance the continental agenda, with a view to achieving the noble aspirations contained in Agenda 2063.
He noted that the Commission and the PRC held, in early December 2022, in Dakar, a retreat to improve working methods and to look at the implementation of decisions adopted by AU policy organs. “The conclusions that we drew, among other things, call for a strong rationalisation in adopting decisions and their ownership. For any new proposal for decisions, attention must be paid to the contribution of the Commission to its legal, financial and structural implications. The Commission is working to develop the necessary guidelines as requested,” said Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Speaking on the issue of partnership, the Chairperson underscored the need for a clear orientation on the subject in order to allow the Commission and the Member States to speak with one voice. “Beyond the material organisation of these meetings, the problem of assessing their content, the determination of our strategic vision and participation, must be revisited in terms of international dynamics but especially the place and the role that our Union must play,” emphasized Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission, concluded his statement by reminding the meeting that the Commission is midway of its term and must, therefore, redouble its efforts to attain the objectives it has set itself in order to bequeath the future Commission an organisation refocused on the Union’s priorities for the well-being of the African peoples. He said this will only be possible with the full support of the PRC.
On his part, H.E. Mohamed Lamine Thiaw, Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee, commended the efforts of the Bureau of the AU Assembly and the Commission during the three consecutive years of health and economic crises; amplified by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as well as terrorism and climate change.
He noted that many opportunities are available to advance Agenda 2063, which is entering its second phase: the AU theme for the year 2023, “Accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA”, the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Organization of the African Unity (OAU), the 20th anniversary of the creation of the AU.
The official opening ceremony of the 45th Ordinary Session of the PRC meeting, was attended by the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, the AU Commissioners, representatives from AU organs and AU officials.
Until 27th January, the ambassadors will consider different reports including: the activities of the PRC Sub-Committees, reports of the Specialized Technical Committees (STCs) held in the year 2022, the reports of the AU Commission, the Annual report on the implementation of activities on the roadmap of the AU theme of the year 2022 on nutrition, the evaluation report of the First-Ten Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) of Agenda 2063 and the development of the Agenda’s Second-Ten Year Implementation Plan (STYIP), the report on the social and humanitarian situation (humanitarian situation and humanitarian agency), reports from other AU organs and the AU specialized agencies. The session will also consider the draft agenda and draft decisions of the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council scheduled to take place from 15th to 16th February in Addis Ababa.