Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mutharika at the closing ceremony of the 15th assembly of the heads of state and government of the African Union

KAMPALA, Uganda, July 28, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)

Statement by His Excellency professor Bingu Wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi and Chairperson of the African Union at the official closing ceremony of the 15th assembly of the heads of state and government of the African Union / Kampala, Uganda

Your Excellency, Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda;
Your excellencies, heads of state and government and other heads of delegations;
Your excellency, special representative of the un secretary general;
Your excellency Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;

Distinguished invited guests;
Ladies and gentlemen.

I wish to begin by expressing once again, our heartfelt gratitude to the Government and People of The Republic of Uganda, for hosting us and putting in place, excellent facilities, which have gone a long way to contribute towards the successful conclusion of our meeting. I also wish to congratulate Your Excellencies, fellow Heads of State and Government for your rich and active participation in the Summit deliberations, which is a demonstration of your commitment to ensure that our organization lives up to our people’s expectation.

Your Excellencies and Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Having reached a successful conclusion of yet another Summit, the challenge which now remains is implementation of the Decisions and Declarations we have made. You will recall that in my acceptance speech early this year, in Addis Ababa, I lamented over the fact that our organization is very good at passing Declarations and issuing Declarations but with little to show on the implementation side. I wish to repeat what I said, that time for passing of Decisions and Declarations is long gone and its now time for action and more action so that our people are able to see tangible benefits of their countries being member states of The African Union.

This Summit has discussed challenges facing the majority of African women and children and has also discussed challenges facing the majority of women and children and has identified solutions to these as outlined in the Actions for Accelerated Achievement of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Development in Africa. The Actions we have adopted, can only be achieved by employing strong commitment and political will for implementation at continental level but also through implementation at national level. This is important because there is a tendency to think that all what we agree here has to be implemented by the AU Commission only, when, in fact, we could achieve more if we were to adopt and incorporate what we agree during Summits in our own national programmes and programmes of our respective Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

In order for our continent to achieve meaningful development, we need peace and security to prevail over Africa, that is why the African Union always places peace and security as its priorities. During the Session we have noted with satisfaction, positive developments taking place towards good governance and consolidation of democracy in most African countries through the holding of free and fair elections. As Chairperson of The Union, I wish to encourage all countries to continue along that path.

While expressing satisfaction with the general peace and security prevailing in most parts of Africa, the Session has noted with concern over lack of progress in finding solutions to the political problems in Madagascar. I therefore, would like to appeal to all stakeholders involved in mediation process not to place personal interests above the national interests.

Our meeting did also review the situation of Somalia where the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) continues to fight against The Al shabab militants. While we have renewed our support for The Transitional Federal Government, there is need for us as African Union and indeed the international community at large, to take a step further than merely expressing solidarity. The Transitional Federal Government and people of Somalia need help, and The African Union should take a leading role in the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Somalia. In this regard, I wish to commend efforts being taken by member states of The Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for the role they continue to play in finding solutions to the Somali problem. The African Union, also wishes to express its appreciation to the Troop Contributing Countries to AMISOM, namely Burundi and Uganda, for their invaluable contribution to peace in Somalia and for the sacrifices made.

Your Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Session, as you will recall, also tackled other global challenges such as climate change. It is important for our continent to be an active participant on matters related to this global problem. In this regard, I would like to appeal to all member states to champion the African Common Position on Climate Change at various fora as we prepare for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 16th and 17th Conferences of States Parties which are due to take place in Mexico and South Africa in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Effects of climate change are there for all to see and we in Africa have to play our own role in mitigating its effects. In this regard, let me take this opportunity to applaud the efforts of Prime Minister Zenawi in championing climate change issues in The African Union.

The African Food Basket Concept, which I have launched during this Session, is a focused approach that highlights agriculture and food security as the spring board for economic growth. While it is an initiative of The Republic of Malawi, it is my hope that it will be adopted and owned by all member states so that together we achieve its goals and objectives for the benefit of our continent. I also call upon our cooperating partners to support the initiative so that together we achieve sustainable meaningful development in Africa and beyond.

----
Your Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

I wish to conclude by expressing, once again, my profound gratitude to Your Excellencies for the support you continue to give me as Chairperson of The African Union and I look forward to your continued support.

At this juncture, I wish to declare the 15th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, officially closed.

God Bless Mother Africa.
God Bless the African Union

I thank you.

SOURCE: African Union Commission (AUC)