By Biodun Busari
African Union has said it will give a platform for Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky to address the Bureau of the Assembly on the ongoing conflict with Russia which has affected the continent’s economy.
The Union also revealed that it will visit Russia and propose negotiation peaceful resolution to address food and energy concerns adversely affecting Africa due to the war.
AU disclosed this on Sunday as it began the 44th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) in preparation for 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU and the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECS) to be held in Lusaka, Zambia, from the 14-17 July 2022.
“The 44th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) kicked off on 20 June 2022, in preparation for 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU and the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECS) to be held in Lusaka, Zambia, from the 14-17 July 2022,” AU said on its website.
“With the Chairman of the Union, His Excellency Macky Sall, we had undertaken a visit to Russia to express the concerns of the Continent about the Food and Energy crises generated by this conflict and the need to initiate dialogue for its peaceful resolution. This afternoon, the Ukrainian President will be given the opportunity to address the Bureau of the Assembly expanded to the Heads of State and Government.”
While speaking to the ambassadors in his opening remarks, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat underscored the importance of the session.
“This 44th Session of the PRC, is held in a particularly difficult context, marked by the persistent challenges, in particular the control of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the post-COVID economic recovery, the problems of insecurity linked to the expansion of terrorism and the resurgence of the Unconstitutional Changes of Government on the Continent, the negative effects of Climate Change, the problem of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons,” said Mahamat.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission further underlined the importance of all issues of gender, equality, employment, migration, refugees and internally displaced persons, health, populations, the fight against drugs, among others. He urged the PRC session to give priority to the access to food resources and health care on the Continent.
“All of these themes fall within the ambit of urgency. However, the current situation demands that we give priority to the access of our peoples, especially the most vulnerable, to food and health care in order to guarantee them decent living conditions.
“To this end, I call upon you to think over the best ways to operationalize the Africa CDC, its sustainable funding, in particular as well as that the African Medicines Agency (AMA). The establishment of the Fund for the fight against epidemics in Africa follows the same approach.”
“In the same vein, the consideration of the Report on the mid-term implementation of the theme of Nutrition of the African Union for the year 2022 should lead to recommendations aimed at accelerating the attainment of the objectives contained in the Malabo Declaration on the Agricultural Growth and Transformation. The international situation commands that we pay special attention to food self -sufficiency on the Continent.”