“The Principles of International Law are Intimately Linked to the Wellbeing of Nations”, African Scholars Agree at 5th Forum of The African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL)
As part of the ongoing concerted efforts to facilitate the growth and development of African Union’s Agenda 2063 to ensure Africa is a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner in world affairs, the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) convened its 5th forum under the theme “The Role of Africa in Developing International Law” in Accra, Ghana. The rationale behind the theme was that Africa’s encounter with international law has shaped it and as argued by some scholars, the continent is largely a creation of international law. The forum therefore endeavoured to analyze the contribution and norm creation of Africa in the mostly Eurocentric discourse of international law, with a view of enhancing its active participation.
The two day forum brought together eminent practitioners in international law, legal advisers of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors of AU Member States and Diplomats, Academician from Educational and Research Institutions and students.
Opening the conference, Hon. Mr. Emmanuel Bombande, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, in his remarks stressed that the forum is held at a time when the continent is continent is reflecting on its continental criminal justice mechanism. He emphasized the role of law for African countries as they set out their development strategies and in the implementation of Agenda 2063 through the rule of law, human rights and accountability.
The newly elected Chairperson of African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL), Ambassador. Prof. Sebastiao Da Silva Isata in his speech welcomed the participants to the meeting and explained the significance of Africa’s contribution to the development of international law. He said, “Africa has significantly contributed to the development of International law and has in fact much more to contribute to the development of International law and to the values underlying it for a better understanding and peace amongst nations”.
Hon. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf Vice President of the ICJ, in his key note address called on the AUCIL to effectively contribute to international law by addressing the challenges which are being faced by African Countries in particular in encouraging African Countries to utilize African legal counsel when appearing before international and arbitral institutions, promoting training and teaching at the undergraduate level at African Universities, and lastly to duly inform and Advise African States prior to signature and ratification of international legal instruments.
The African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) team also took this opportunity to organize an exhibition at the margins of the forum to show case and disseminate publications on the African contribution to international law from the AUC and its partners.