26th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly concludes with gratitude to Ebola fighters and peace as priorities of the continent
The two day meeting of the 26th Ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union officially came to an end today 31 January, 2016 at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
The closing ceremony witnessed the appreciation ceremony for stakeholders who supported the African Union's intervention in the Ebola epidemic.
H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Commission (AUC), appreciated and acknowledged the African heroes against Ebola and formerly closed the AU Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) mission. Through the efforts of the AU Commission led by its Chairperson, the African Union sent 855 health workers to the Ebola affected countries. In her remarks, the Chairperson of the AUC thanked the African countries who contributed to the fight against the epidemic. She also saluted the countries which were most affected; Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and the timely response of Mali and Nigeria.
The Chairperson paid tribute to those at the frontline, who paid the ultimate price with their lives, the private sector who initiated the cell phone SMS campaign that enabled citizens to contribute financially, the World Bank, the Red cross, UN agencies as well as the countries that supported the mission. She extended a special appreciation to the young health workers who resigned from their respective jobs and volunteered willingly to assist in the spirit of Pan Africanism and solidarity. Through their efforts, the Chairperson added, the volunteers are now equipped with special skills and expertise that their respective countries will benefit immensely from, and they would also be available in case of any future outbreaks.
Dr Dlamini Zuma, in her conclusion, appealed to Heads of State and government to work together to establish the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and also expand the Africa Risk Capacity to respond to outbreaks.
H.E. Idriss Deby Itno, Chairperson of the African Union brought the 26th Ordinary session of the African Union to an end. In his remarks the AU Chairperson appreciated the environment and atmosphere of the Summit which was peaceful. He thanked the Assembly for their recommendations in respect of the fight against terrorism in Africa. President Deby appealed to all Member States to take seriously, issues which undermine the development of Africa. Dialogue is the key, he said. In addition, he appealed to the African Union to strengthen its efforts to find ways of bringing peace to Burundi and South Sudan. “We cannot tolerant violence which kills thousands of Africans and leaves them displaced, let us all be vigilant and listen to the cries of our people.”
The Chairperson underscored the absolute need to conclude the reforms of the structure of the AU Commission, to facilitate the efforts of the AU in line with the theme of the Summit 2016, i.e. African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the rights of women. He said the theme should be given high priority.
“In the course of my tenure, I will be concrete and dedicated to the AU” the Chairperson pledged. He thanked the AUC Chairperson and all her team for a successful summit, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia for hosting, the media, protocol staff and all those that contributed to the successful completion of the 26th Ordinary session.