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Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance

1. Preamble

  1. We, the participating Heads of State and Government of the member states of the African Union (AU), met in Durban, South Africa, at the inaugural Assembly of the African Union and considered the report of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee established at the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, in July 2001.


  2. In the general context of our meeting, we recalled our shared commitment underlying the establishment of NEPAD to eradicate poverty and to place our countries, individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development and, at the same time, to participate actively in the world economy and body politic on equal footing. We reaffirm this pledge as our most pressing duty.


  3. In reviewing the report of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee and considering the way forward, we were also mindful of the fact that, over the years, successive OAU Summits have taken decisions aimed at ensuring stability, peace and security, promoting closer economic integration, ending unconstitutional changes of government, supporting human rights and upholding the rule of law and good governance. Among these decisions are:


    1. the Lagos Plan of Action, and the Final Act of Lagos (1980);


    2. the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1981);
    3. the African Charter for Popular Participation in Development (1990);

    4. the Declaration on the Political and Socio-Economic Situation in Africa and the Fundamental Changes Taking Place in the World (1990); and


    5. the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990).


    6. the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (1991);


    7. the 1993 Cairo Declaration Establishing the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution;


    8. the Protocol on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1998);


    9. the 1999 Grand Bay (Mauritius) Declaration and Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights;


    10. the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government (adopted at the 2000 OAU Summit in Lome, Togo, and based on the earlier decision of the 1999 Algiers OAU Summit); and


    11. the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation (CSSDCA) Solemn Declaration (2000); and
    12. the Constitutive Act of the African Union (2000);


  4. We, member states parties to the aforementioned instruments, reaffirm our full and continuing commitment to these and other decisions of our continental organization, as well as the other international obligations and undertakings into which we have entered in the context of the United Nations. Of particular significance in this context are the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and all conventions relating thereto, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Declaration.


  5. Africa faces grave challenges and the most urgent of these are the eradication of poverty and the fostering of socio-economic development, in particular, through democracy and good governance. It is to the achievement of these twin objectives that the NEPAD process is principally directed.


  6. Accordingly, we the participating Heads of State and Government of the member states of the African Union have agreed to work together in policy and action in pursuit of the following objectives:-
    • Democracy and Good Political Governance
    • Economic and Corporate Governance
    • Socio-Economic Development
    • African Peer Review Mechanism

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