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African Civil Society Organisations and the AU

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The 2nd Meeting of the AU-CSO Provisional Working Group took place from June 11-13 2003 in Addis Ababa.

The main objectives of this Meeting were to;
  1. Review and finalize the Draft Code of Conduct and Ethics
    (View the Draft Code of Ethics and Conduct for African Civil Society Organizations);


  2. Further examine and provide input to the Draft Statutes of ECOSOCC
    (View the Draft statutes of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union).
Kindly note that the AU CSO PWG reviewed and amended the Statutes but did not adopt them as that is beyond their mandate.

The African Union will not host a CSO meeting before the Maputo Summit as was the case in 2001 and 2002 due to time and budgetary constraints. The CSO meeting is now scheduled for 2004. The Code is still open for further input by CSOs and will adopted by the next meeting of CSOs in 2004.

However, the Statutes will be presented for adoption by the Summit in order to establish ECOSOC as well as resolution by the AU Secretariat to request the Summit to adopt the AU CSO PWG as the first Selection Committee for ECOSOC.

FEMNET as a member of the AU CSO PWG is requesting your input into the process in terms of content and process from CSO perspective given that the bigger meeting will not have the chance to input into the Statutes given the current process. At this level, there are three options:
  1. Secretariat will present the Statutes in Maputo and you can make input into the content of the Statutes or endorse the current draft if it is agreeable.
  2. On the other hand, to stop the process, through lobbying of the Permanent Representative Committee AND THE Executive Council members of the AU in your countries not to adopt the Statutes until the bigger CSO meeting is held and maybe recommend that the Summit delegates the adoption of the Statutes to the Executive Council after Maputo and the bigger CSO meeting to allow for further consultation and to ensure that ECOSOC is established before the next Summit.
  3. The third option would be to lobby the Interim Chairperson of the AU not to present the Statutes and present a progress report until the bigger CSO meeting is held and further request the Summit to delegate the adoption of the Statutes to the Executive Council after Maputo to ensure that ECOSOC is established before the next summit.
Your comments and suggestions on the way forward are highly welcome.

Mary Wandia

African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)
RР№seau de DР№veloppement et de Communications des Femmes Africaines
P. O. Box 54562, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: +254 2 3741301/20
Fax: +254 2 3742927
E-mail: admin@femnet.or.ke
Website: http://www.femnet.or.ke


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