Johannesburg, South Africa – The Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of States and Government of the African Union (AU), Zimbabwe’s President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has described reports submitted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the African Union High Level Committee (AU-HLC) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum as “substantive and informative”.
He praised President Sirleaf for her commitment and hard work in the cause of the African continent and described her as an asset to the AU, African continent and its people. The Liberian leader chaired the AU High Level Committee of ten Heads of States and Government and the APRM Forum for the last two years.
According to a dispatch from Johannesburg, South Africa, President Mugabe made the comments following the back to back presentation of reports on the AU-HLC and the APRM Forum on the second and final day of the 25th AU Summit held at the Sandton Convention Center.
In her report on the AU-HLC, President Sirleaf outlined the various activities that have been undertaken by the committee as well as the current status of the Common African Position (CAP) which are to be integrated and incorporated in the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She informed the Summit that the Committee of African Negotiators is currently engaged in consultations at the United Nations headquarters in New York to ensure the integration of the CAP into the new global development agenda.
President Sirleaf was also one of three Co-chairs of the Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda constituted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon representing the African continent.
On the African Peer Review Mechanism Forum report, the Liberia leader, who recently passed the baton over the Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyetta, highlighted achievements, pointed out challenges and constraints faced and proposed recommendations on how to effectively mitigate such obstacles and ensure that the APRM Forum achieves its objectives promoting good governance and consolidating the processes of democratization, transparency and accountability, peace and security and the rule of law and human rights across the African continent.
During the Ebola session later, African leaders praised President Sirleaf for leading her country into freedom, describing her leadership during the Ebola crisis as extraordinary, exemplary and outstanding. They called for extreme caution and the avoidance of complacency considering that Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reporting cases.
President Sirleaf provided briefings on the current state of affairs of the Ebola crisis and outlined measures being taken to avoid a reoccurrence of the virus in Liberia, including regional collaboration and common interventions along the border.
She reflected on the incredible and outstanding role of the AU Ebola mission (ASEOWA) and thanked the continent for standing with Liberia through ASEOWA and other interventions including financial, logistical, human, technical and other forms of support. She said the Liberian government and people will remain grateful with the AU for the assistance.
Monday’s session of the 25th African Union Summit considered reports and draft decisions of various sub-committees of the African Union Assembly to include reports of H.E. Madam Sirleaf on the AU-High Level Committee on Post 2015 Development Agenda and the African Peer Review Mechanism; report of H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC); report of H.E. Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Chairperson of the Committee of Ten on the UN Reforms; report of H.E. Mr. John Dramane Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairperson of the High Level African Trade Committee (HATC); and the report of H.E. Mr. Abdel Fattah El Sissi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).
The Summit further considered the report of H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) Heads of State and Government Action Committee before proceeding to the appointment of some elected officials including: six members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) and three members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
Other issues handled on the final day of the summit included discussions on the work of the Peace and Security Council, the outcome of the Dakar Summit on Higher Education, the adoption of Decisions, Declarations, Reports, Resolutions and Outcome of the 25th African Union Summit, among others.
At the closing ceremonies, based on the personal choice of AU member states and the Chairperson, President Mugabe, the Liberian leader was popularly selected to deliver the statement of thanks and appreciation.
She thanked President Jacob Zuma and the South African people of hosting the Summit and for the hospitality shown; to President Mugabe for his leadership, wisdom and skills demonstrated; and to Dr. Nkosazana Zuma, for a good job done as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
President Sirleaf also congratulated her colleagues for their participation and for qualitatively deliberating the issues brought forth at the 25th AU Summit, wishing them God’s speed and safe journey back to their respective countries.
“After hectic and fruitful deliberations over the past two days, the Summit is now over. Recognizing that the continent will not live up to its development goals and objectives when women who are the face of the continent remain in poverty, we must make issues concerning them not just issues for 2015, but years to come. We must all see the need to work for the empowerment and development of women wherever they may be across the continent,” President Sirleaf stressed.
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