First Edition of the AU Forum on International and African Union Law Kicks Off Today
Addis Ababa, 6 December 2012: The first African Union Forum on International Law and African Union Law began today and will continue for two days. The Forum is one of the significant events in attempting to promote international law in Africa and it brings together international law experts from African continent and beyond.
The opening statement was made by Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Natama, Chief of Staff, Bureau of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), on behalf of the Chairperson of the AUC Dr. Nkhosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
In his statement, Ambassador Natama welcomed the participants in this forum and stressed the importance of the forum on International Law for Africa. “I hope that the African Institute of International Law, The African Association of International Law, and other such initiatives on the continent can come together to work with AUCIL to advance the common goal of developing Africa’s jurisprudence in this field of international law,” said the Chief of Staff.
“This forum, as well as subsequent editions, will enrich the discussion on contemporary issues of international law that affect the continent,” the Chief of Staff stated.
In his presentation about AUCIL, Prof. Adelardus Kilangi, Chairperson of African Union Commission on International Law thanked partners who have supported and facilitated the event, namely the European Union, as well as the African Union commission.
“For me, the year 2012 is special, and I can call it the year of awakening and renaissance on the African Continent as far as the field of international law is concerned,” said the Chairperson of AUCIL. He said that these efforts show that the African continent is realizing that it has to give international law the attention it deserves. Prof. Kilangi also gave a background about the history of AUCIL which goes back to 1964 where the First Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government meeting in Cairo, Egypt, decided to establish a Commission of Jurists as a Specialized Commission of the Organization of African Unity.
Prof. Kilangi briefed the participants about the reasons for the establishment of AUCIL and its mandate which falls in the following broad areas:
- To work on progressive development of international law in Africa;
- To work on the codification of international law in Africa;
- To contribute to the objectives and principles of the African Union;
- To work on the revision of treaties in Africa.
As part of its functions, the AUCIL is to enhance the progressive development of international law in Africa. In addition to other objectives, the AUCIL is established to encourage the teaching, study, publication and dissemination of literature on international law, in particular laws of the African Union with a view to promoting acceptance of and respect for the principles of international law.
The first day of the forum was chaired by Prof. Rafâa Ben Achour, member of the AUCIL.
A U Commission
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