The Assembly of the African Union which formally opened on Sunday, January 30 th 2005 in Abuja , Nigeria has come to a close adopting a wide range of decisions. The meeting was attended by around 40 Heads of State and Governments, as well as many observers from the UN System, other International and Non-Governmental Organization and invited Guests.
On the crucial challenge of the United Nations reform, the meeting endorsed the recommendations of the Executive Council and authorized the latter to adopt an African Common Position on the subject and submit to the United Nations Secretary General for consideration while submitting it his report to the United Nations General Assembly in March 2005.
The common position will be developed by a ministerial committee of fifteen (15) members, which is open-ended, composed on the basis of the AU formula for equitable geographical distribution applicable to the Peace and Security Council. The Committee will consider all aspects of the recommendations contained in the report of the High-Level Panel for the reform of the United Nations and will submit its report for the consideration of an Extra-Ordinary Session of the Executive Council to be convened as soon as possible.
President Obasanjo said that he thought that the issue could become divisive and rancorous at the beginning of their discussions but it later turned out to be an interactive session where leaders of delegations spoke frankly and exhaustively in a friendly and brotherly atmosphere. This, he said, demonstrated the rare characteristic of African Solidarity and unity of purpose. He stated that the decisions they took was a reaffirmation of the collective will of Africans to find solution to a problem through mutual understanding and consensus. He also emphasized that the meeting had seized the opportunity of this mid-term session to review the various conflicts on the Continent in a cordial, frank and friendly atmosphere.
Decisions taken among others, included those relating to HIV-AIDS Pandemic, Food Security, Human and Peoples' Rights, conflicts in Côte d'Ivoire, the DRCongo, Darfur (Sudan), Somalia as well as the Protocol on Non-Aggression and Common Defense Pact of the African Union.
The Mid-Term Summit of the African Union was the first to be held since the decision was adopted by the Assembly of the Union last July, marking a departure from the former once a year Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African union.
At the end of their deliberations, the Heads of State and Government paid tribute to H.E. President Sam Nujoma of Namibia who is retiring at the end of his term of office.