Minister Dlamini Zuma arrives in Libya ahead of the AU Executive Council Meeting, 15-16 April 2009

Tripoli– South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, today Wednesday 15 April 2009 arrived in the Libyan capital of Tripoli where she will lead a senior South African government delegation to the AU’s Extraordinary Executive Council of Foreign Ministers meeting scheduled from today Wednesday – Thursday 15-16 April 2009.

Minister Dlamini Zuma arrived in Tripoli from Geneva, Switzerland, where she joined registered South Africans leaving abroad in casting her vote at the South African Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva.

Minister Dlamini Zuma, supported by Foreign Affairs Director-General Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba is attending the meeting within the context of South Africa’s commitment to building the structures of the African Union as part of advancing the consolidation of the African agenda.

In this regard, Foreign Affairs Director-General Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba said “This is a special meeting called to discuss the establishment of the African Union Authority or the transformation of the African Union Commission to the African Union Authority. 

“You will recall this was a decision of the January Summit but this issue could not be concluded because of differences on the content and really of this Authority and what it will in reality do.  And so, a decision was taken and also to look at what implications the Authority could have on the constitutive act because the understanding was that whatever changes are to take place to the Commission the decision of heads of state was that it should be done within the context and framework of the current constitutive act.  And off course, this authority was seen as another step towards the ideal in the medium to longer term of the establishment of the Union Government” said Dr. Ntsaluba.

“ So, this meeting will be looking at such things as the function of the Authority, the size of the Authority, whether new commissioners would be established within the context of ongoing discussions that some of the commissioners have very wide mandates e.g. the Commissioner for the Social Sector which covers about 8 sectors which would be ministries in various member states, so that discussion will also deal with that while also looking at the financial implications of these decisions” continued Dr. Ntsaluba. 

“This is likely to be a very robust meeting for the simple reason that as you would understand the formation of an Authority was decided as a compromise between the points of view that wanted consolidation of the existing commission and those that wanted to move forward with the establishment of an African Union government immediately.  It is obvious that in discussions regarding the Authority, these streams of thought continue to come up because those who wanted to establish the Union Government want to pretend that the Authority is that African Union government and want to load what is envisaged for the African Union government on that authority.  So, I think it is going to be a very robust discussion but that is what will take place” concluded Dr. Ntsaluba.

Accordingly, the agenda of the AU Executive Council of Ministers will focus upon:

  • Implications of transforming the Commission to an Authority
  • Functions of the AU Authority;
  • Size of the Authority;
  • Functions of the Secretaries; and
  • Financial implications of establishing the African Union Authority.

Issued by Nomfanelo Kota at 082-459-3787

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

15 April 2009



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