Message of Solidarity delivered by Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim on behalf of H E Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the 4th Session of the 3rd Parliament of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, South Africa – 18 March 2014
Your Excellency, President of the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the African Union gathered here today,
Your Excellency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
Honourable Members of the Pan African Parliament,
Excellencies and members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the invitation extended to us to address this house on this historic occasion of the tenth year of the founding of the Pan African Parliament. On behalf of the South African government and its people, we wish this august institution a happy tenth anniversary.
Our hosting of the PAP has been a source of great pride in this country. In this regard, we wish to re-commit ourselves to support the PAP in its second decade as it pursues the attainment of Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance.
The founding mothers and fathers of our Continental Union desired that this Parliament would be the meeting point of all African Peoples, a common platform for the peoples of Africa and their grassroots organisations to get more involved in discussions and decision-making on the challenges that beset Africa, and their solutions.
Since its establishment in March 2004, the Pan African Parliament has registered a profound record as one of the key organs of the African Union with the capacity to participate and contribute effectively towards discussions aimed at shaping the future of our continent. While celebrating the existence of this august body, it is imperative to interrogate the extent to which the PAP has fulfil its mandate, and whether it is still relevant given today’s challenges, so that we can all agree on how best to shape it, to ensure that it discharges its mandate as outlined in the Treaty.
I am pleased to recognise Her Excellency Ms Gertrude Mongella, the first President of the Pan African Parliament.
This year, we are marking twenty years of a democratic South Africa, an anniversary only made possible by the heroism and sacrifice of selfless freedom fighters such as our founding President, H.E Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. We wish to thank all of you assembled here for the solidarity and support you showed us after the loss of this Global icon. Ours is to commit and aspire to live up to the ideals and proud legacy of Former President Mandela.
As we gather here in these hallowed chambers, Africa is pursuing multiple agendas all meant to catapult the continent to new heights and reposition Africa as a continent of hope, stability and prosperity. Our pursuit of Self-reliance and finding African solutions to African problems is our inspiration as we advance amongst others, the implementation of NEPAD and the APRM, and operationalise an African security architecture that is able to respond rapidly, and timeously, to crises, including unconstitutional changes of government.
Following the marking of the Golden Jubilee of the OAU/AU in 2013 and the subsequent adoption of a Solemn Declaration, the Assembly of Heads of States agreed that Africa should endeavour to assume its rightful place amongst the family of nations, grasp the responsibility of writing its own narrative and determine her destiny.
It is against this background that the Assembly of Heads of State and Government mandated a process of creating an Agenda that would define the next fifty years for Africa. Through Agenda 2063, which we will adopt in January 2015, Africa would outline its long-term strategy towards the attainment of social and economic development of the continent, building durable peace, consolidating democracy, and defining Africa’s place and future in the world.
Africa’s voice and participation in the processes that will shape the UN development agenda beyond 2015 is of vital importance. This august house has a critical role to play in mapping-out Africa’s position in this crucial global debate.
The entrenchment of a democratic culture on the continent remains essential to our aspirations for the creation of a prosperous African continent at peace with itself. It is against this backdrop that I wish to encourage this august house to play a proactive role in shaping discussions and efforts aimed at curbing coups in Africa.
South Africa is concerned that efforts to prevent, manage and resolve African conflicts have, to a larger extent, been constrained by a lack of capacity and the interference by external forces.
It is within this context that the leadership of this continent has taken a firm decision to establish the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIR). This decision is in response to the ongoing challenges of peace and security that undermine democratically elected governments in Africa.
In conclusion, we believe that it is important for this parliament to inform and shape ongoing debates about African renewal. It is our conviction that all parliamentarians represented in this house possess a great deal of influence to encourage African peoples to rally behind the common objective of elaborating a future of this continent by its people for its people.
Allow me at this juncture, to reiterate a call for this house to continue, over the next ten years, playing its indispensable role in leading discussions aimed at the creation of a prosperous Africa at peace with itself and the world.
I thank you.
For more information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road