20.05.2005 General News

Govt reaffirms her support for African Union

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Accra, May 20, GNA - Ghana on Friday reaffirmed her support and commitment to the ideals of the African Union, saying, it would continue to cooperate with other members to realize the Union's ideals. In a statement on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of Africa Day, which falls on May 25, the government expressed the hope that with sustained political will on the part of the continent leaders, civil society, the business community, labour organizations and the public, African nations would work together to enhance the living conditions and welfare of its people in the coming years.

The Thirty-Sixth Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government of the OAU held in Lome, Togo in July 2002, declared the 25th Day of May each year as 'Africa Day' to be observed as a statutory public holiday.

The day is to remember the struggle and sacrifices of the founding fathers of the organizations and also to serve as a mark for the continuing search for the socio-economic emancipation of African people and the quest for stronger bonds of unity of the continent. Whilst recounting the daunting challenges of poverty, economic development, conflict resolution and the ravaging HIV/AIDS pandemic that faced Africa, the statement urged the African Union to continue to search for viable solutions and to create the necessary conditions and environment for sustainable development.

In this direction, the government said it welcomed various initiatives designed within the context of the AU to give meaning to its laudable objectives.

The statement cited the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), which was launched primarily to promote growth and development, eradicate poverty from the continent, as well as ensure peace and security.

"The creation of the African Peer Review Mechanism, under which Ghana was the first to be examined provides African leaders with a rare opportunity to hold each other accountable for the good economic, political and corporate governance of the continent," it added. Further, the government said it believed that the statutory organs of the African Union, including the Pan African Parliament and the Peace and Security Council would help to improve the quality of democracy and the rule of law and thus, enhance the effective participation of Africa in global political and economic affairs.

It said the adoption of an African Union Non-Aggression and Common Defence Pact is a testimony of the determination of member states of the Union to re-enforce cooperation among themselves in the area of common defence and security.

The statement praised the 'Ezulwini Concensus', which is the Common African position on the proposed reform of the United Nations with particular reference to the expansion of the UN Security Council as an ample demonstration of Africa's new proactive stance within the comity of nations.

As part of activities to mark the day, there would be special Christian and Muslim prayers for the African Union from 20th to 22nd of May 2005.

There would also be a flag raising ceremony at the Forecourt of the State House on Wednesday, 25 May 2005. Other events are African Day walk on Saturday, 21 May and a photo exhibition at the Accra International Conference Centre, between Monday 23rd and Friday 27th May 2005.

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