Lagos: Nigeria’s fundamental principles of foreign policy have been fairly consistent since they were first espoused shortly after independence in October 1960. Yet the specific interests, priorities and emphasis of Nigeria’s foreign policy have continued to change and evolve in the context of the domestic and international environment. The main elements of the changing world and context are the following:
New York: I am pleased to address the Security Council on the important subject of preventing armed conflicts and addressing their root causes. Although we are focused today on Africa, there are universal lessons in conflict prevention that apply everywhere around the world. Conflicts breed where there is poor governance, human rights abuses and grievances over the unequal distribution of resources, wealth and power. Tensions simmer where people are excluded, marginalized and denied meaningful participation in the political and social life of their countries. Unrest flourishes where people are poor, jobless and without hope.
Addis Ababa: Since the establishment of the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU), Regional integration has been the priority of the Continent, which was strengthened by the transformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU) in 2002. The Abuja Treaty (1994), establishing the African Economic Community (AEC), is the legal framework of the African Integration process which specified in its Article 6 (2) the six stages leading to the AEC. In addition, The Sirte Declaration of 1999 urged African countries to accelerate the implementation of the Abuja Treaty and the Accra Declaration of July 2007 stressed the need to accelerate the economic and political integration of the African Continent. Taking into account the abovementioned, the AUC is mandated to monitor the integration process at Continental and Regional levels.
Addis Ababa: This Retreat, and the idea to establish the Pan African Network of the Wise (PanWise), is taking place at an opportune time, on the eve of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the OAU, celebrated this whole year under the theme of “Pan Africanism and African Renaissance”. Therefore, let us reflect on the background to the creation of the PanWise. It will be recalled that since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, various efforts were made towards preventing conflicts and mediating in long-lasting ways the conflicts on the continent; with various degrees of success. Among the main constraints were the lack of proper policies, strategies, instruments and structures at both continental and regional levels; that would have also advanced closer cooperation between the OAU and Regional Groupings - that today are regional economic communities.
Dakar: For the population of northern Mali, the feeling of being “liberated” by the French military intervention launched on 11 January 2013 is real. The sudden, but clearly well-prepared intervention, which received widespread support in Mali, West Africa and beyond, ended the offensive by jihadi groups that the Malian army had been unable to repel. France also took the opportunity to try and destroy al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) forces. Although Mali is in a better place than a few months back, sporadic fighting in the north continues and formidable threats to security, stability and the coexistence of the country’s various communities remain.
Addis Ababa: In accordance with the Follow-Up Mechanism of the AU 2004 Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation, the Youth and Women Employment Pact for Africa (YWEPA-A) is developed as guidelines to assist member states to formulate plans of actions for the achievement of the Malabo commitment on reducing youth and women unemployment by 2% per year over the five coming years. As a way forward, Member States should develop “detailed plan of action with clear objectives, milestones, roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and development partners and indicators. The plan of action must also indicate how resources will be mobilized. The Guidelines are also meant to ensure that the Youth and Women Employment Pact is implemented by the international partners according to the 2005 Paris Declaration and 2008 Accra Agenda engagements on the principles of ownership, alignment and mutual responsibility.
Nairobi: To our sister countries in the region - we understand that our future is joined to yours. Our peace is linked to the security and stability of the region. We deployed our armed forces to Somalia because terrorism and piracy affects all of us. Indeed in the last two decades, Kenya has invested immense diplomatic energy and resources in the quest for a stable Somalia. Our commitment to fight terrorism and eradicate piracy will remain a central pillar of my government's policy on peace and security. As President, I will work with the international community to strengthen its support for IGAD and the AU peace process in Somalia because a stable and prosperous Somalia is in the interest of all nations.
Addis Ababa: The first matter before this session of the Executive Council is the 3rd African Union Commission Strategic Plan (2014-2017). The AU Summit of July 2012 decided that we must develop an AU-wide plan, in order to provide greater coherence in the actions and initiatives of the AU organs, Member states, RECs and other key continental stakeholders. This plan is being developed as Agenda 2063, requiring widespread consultations and alignment of Member states, RECs and other continental strategies, to meet the vision of an integrated, people-centred and prosperous Africa at peace with itself. This will be presented to the January 2014 Summit for consideration.
Addis Ababa: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini‐Zuma, welcomes the adoption, on 2 April 2013, of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the United Nations General Assembly, following two diplomatic conferences, held in July 2012 and March 2013 respectively, which could not reach consensus on a final text for the ATT.
The role in the global economy of the five BRICS (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa), has become increasingly important in the last few years. The BRICS make up more than 40 per cent of the world’s population and had a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over $15 trillion in 2011, more than one fifth of the global total. Some $281 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) flowed to the BRICS in 2011, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of global FDI flows (UNCTADStat, 2013). Despite the global financial crisis, the BRICS have maintained fairly stable growth.