AU Heads of State Call on Political, Social Actors to Respect Human Rights, Rule of Law

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Addis Ababa October 24/2020 (ENA)  African Union Heads of State at their 2nd Mid-Year Coordination Meeting have called on political and social actors to respect human rights and the rule of law in the continent.

Heads of State and Government from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the Regional Mechanisms (RMs) together with the African Union Commission, held a virtual meeting on 22nd October 2020 to take stock of the progress made in the area of integration and different aspect of development in the continent.

According to statement from the AU, the main objective of the meeting was to enhance effective collaboration between the AU, RECs, RMs, the Member States, and other continental institutions, in line with the principle of subsidiarity.

President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Cyril Matamala Ramaphosa, in his opening remarks urged all member states to join the Chairperson of the AU Commission in calling on all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law.

He noted that, even though COVID-19 has tremendously affected the developmental and economic plans of every single country, and caused a set back to the progress in implementing key integration projects, the response to this grave public health emergency has been swift and commendable.

The AU Chair also underlined that the Africa Joint-Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreak has guided the continental effort to mitigate the pandemic.

“We established a COVID-19 Response Fund to assist with boosting the capacity of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – the Africa CDC – and to assist African countries in combating and containing the spread of the virus,” he stated.

Similarly, the Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, talked about the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in terms of job creation, industrial linkages, economic diversification and structural transformation,  

He further urged Member States to proceed with the ratification of all legal instruments whose entry into force will facilitate the optimal functioning of the AfCFTA.