Press release

The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government commenced under a new theme

February 11, 2019

The 32th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union officially opened today, by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and outgoing Chairperson of the African Union at the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Key moments of the day was the launching of the African Union theme of the year 2019, “The year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa” and the handing over of Chairpersonship from President Kagame to H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Vital issues such as the Institutional Reform of the African Union, the State of Peace and Security in Africa, progress made in the implementation of flagship projects of Africa’s Agenda 2063 as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) were discussed during the session.

Vice President Meriton, who is representing President Danny Faure, expressed his delight on the progress made under the AfCFTA, stating that “this shows that tireless efforts are being devoted to this process coupled with the unwavering commitments of our Member States to reaching the end goal”. He further re-affirmed Seychelles’ own dedication to seeing this Agreement through and urged the Members States and the Commission that the necessary resources be directed to finalising outstanding work in this area. Having said that, he expressed caution that the future integration plans of the continent should remain realistic and the need to avoid setting strict time frames on those future plans, noting the need to focus on and finalise the current engagements.

The Vice President also met with representatives from the Green Climate Funds (GCF) to discuss Seychelles’ leading role on matters pertaining to climate change and possible avenues of cooperation between GCF and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in the region.