The Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, Smail Chergui, and the Italian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E Mario Giro, accompanied by an Italian Delegation, representatives of the Department of Political Affairs, Protocol Directorate and Department of Information and Communication, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, 11 December 2015 to support the activities of the Political Affairs Department related to the African Governance Platform that operationalizes the African Governance Architecture.
The Memorandum of Understanding represents the first contribution, of the amount of 500.000 EURO, which the Italian Government is earmarking to the Department of Political Affairs, and will be mainly aimed at supporting the African Union Commission in the process of domestication and implementation of the African Union Shared Values Instruments.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr Smail Chergui, that signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Commissioner of Political Affairs, HE Aisha Abdullahi, recognized the importance of the Italian financial contribution to the AUC, underlining that it will enable the Department of Political Affairs to increase its commitments in providing technical assistance to Member States and in assessing the implementation of the AU Shared Values Instruments such as The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, The African Charters on the Values and Principles of
Public Service and Decentralization, The AU Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption. The commissioner also stressed that the expected major result of the project is to contribute towards the achievement of the mandate of the African Governance Platform, which is the promotion and sustenance of democracy, governance and human rights in Africa.
The Italian Undersecretary of State H.E. Mario Giro highlighted the context of the agreement, framing it in a process of strengthening and broadening the cooperation between the African Union Commission and the Italian Government, also in the framework of the European Union. It was emphasized that the decision to start the cooperation with the Department of Political Affairs is an immediate follow-up of the discussions held in Addis Ababa last July between the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and the Italian Prime Minister, H.E. Matteo Renzi. The Italian Secretary of State expressed his deep
appreciation of the African Union Commission’s efforts in stepping up its profile in the crucial sector of building capacities of African peoples in promoting and protecting human rights, strengthening good governance principles and practices and also in consolidating democracy in Africa.