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The 43rd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee kicks off today

The PRC session started with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Covid-19 among which some AU Member State embassies lost diplomates and collaborators while the AU Commission lost staff members

The PRC session started with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Covid-19 among which some AU Member State embassies lost diplomates and collaborators while the AU Commission lost staff members

The virtual 43rd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) kicked off today, ahead of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly Meeting, scheduled to take place on 5-6 February 2022 under the theme “Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent: Accelerate the Human Capital, Social and Economic Development”. The PRC session started with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Covid-19 among which some AU Member State embassies lost diplomates and collaborators while the AU Commission lost staff members.

Addressing the Ambassadors in his opening remarks, the Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC), H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by stronger collaboration between the Commission and the PRC, in the continuation of a successful practice that has been strengthened in recent times. He saluted the cooperation and support of the Chair of the PRC, H.E. Jean Léon Ngandu Ilunga, during the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AUC Chairperson noted, with satisfaction, the importance that PRC gave to the audit and matters. “These two points determine, in a way, the smooth running of our Union. The audit induces the implementation of accountability and guarantees a rational and responsible use of our both human and financial resources. “The management of our relations with partners, within the framework of multilateral cooperation, will have to take greater account of our interests, identified upstream in a concerted effort, in order to present a coherent posture to the partner articulated on common positions. Have we not often said that Africa must speak with one voice?” Added the AUC Chairperson. He further noted that the recommendations of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Justice and Legal Matters will enable decisions concerning the ongoing Institutional Reform to acquire the necessary legal and political force for the phase of their operationalization.

Chairperson Faki also expressed appreciation for the good collaboration which exists between the PRC and the AU Commission. He reiterated the full availability of the Commission to work tirelessly with the PRC. On the issue of the prevailing pandemic, the Chairperson of the AUC underscored that the covid-19 pandemic, beyond its disastrous health and socio-economic effects, has above all shed light on the structural weaknesses of health systems in Africa. He reiterated the need for the AU Member States together with the Africa CDC, to reinforce this sector. The full speech of the AUC Chairperson is on the AU website: https://au.int/en/.

On his part, H.E. Jean Léon Ngandu Ilunga, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and Chair of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC), in his opening speech noted that the work of the Union has been seriously impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The PRC Chair then requested to observe a minute of silence in the memory of lost friends and colleagues. He commended the efforts made by the African Union Commission for the tireless efforts in following up with recommendations of the PRC.

The official opening ceremony of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the PRC virtual meeting was attended by the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, the AU Commissioners, and Representatives from AU Organs and AU officials. During the two-day meeting, ambassadors will deliberate on different reports including the activities of the PRC Sub-Committees; the Report of the Third Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, 16 October 2021; Reports of the Specialized Technical Committees (STCs); the Progress Report on the Operationalization of Africa CDC; the Progress Report on the COVID-19 Pandemic and its socio-economic impact on African Economies; Reports of the AU Commission; The mid-term activity report of the theme of the year 2021 on arts, culture and heritage, and other reports from AU Organs and the AU Specialized Agencies.

The Session will also consider the draft agenda and draft decisions of the 40th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and agenda of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly, scheduled to take place 2 – 3 and 5 – 6 February 2022 respectively.

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