AU Executive Council meeting opened on Monday

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Addis Ababa, 28 January 2014 (WIC) - The 24th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union opened today January 27, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

During its two day session, the Executive Council, the forum for the Foreign Ministers of AU, will hear annual report of the Council for the year 2013, consider the progress report of the African Union Commission on the Africa 2063 Agenda and other items adopted by the Council.

In his opening remarks, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Chairperson of the Executive Council, expressed his sadness over the death last year of Nelson Mandela and reminded the Council of the need to remember his legacy of working for peace and stability.

Dr. Tedros, referring to “what has been unfolding in South Sudan and Central African Republic” noted there had been some deterioration in the peace and security of Africa recently.

He praised the two sides in South Sudan for reaching agreements concerning cessation of hostilities and the status of detainees through the mediation of IGAD.

He welcomed UN Security Council Resolution 2127 (2013) authorizing deployment of the International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.

Dr. Tedros said he was pleased at the strong prospects of the continent’s economic future, emphasizing the “need to sustain the continent's high growth trajectory over the coming years and decades so as to lift millions of our people out of poverty and ensure sustainable development”.

Dr. Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, noted that “having just concluded our Anniversary year, held under the theme ‘Pan Africanism and African Renaissance’, we are looking towards the future”.

The Executive Council of the African Union is scheduled to elect new members for the AU’s Peace and Security Council and to prepare the agenda for the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government Leaders, the Summit to be held later this week.

The African Union has declared 2014 as the “the year of agriculture and food security” and this will form the central theme of this year’s Assembly.  (MoFA)