SENATE RESOLUTION 166--COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY (OAU) AND COMMENDING ITS SUCCESSOR, THE AFRICAN UNION; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 81
(Senate - June 10, 2013)

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   SENATE RESOLUTION 166--COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 
FOUNDING OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY (OAU) AND COMMENDING ITS 
                      SUCCESSOR, THE AFRICAN UNION

  Mr. COONS (for himself and Mr. Flake) submitted the following 
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

                              S. Res. 166

       Whereas, on May 25, 1963, 32 newly independent African 
     countries signed the Charter of the Organization of African 
     Unity (OAU) to promote unity, solidarity, and political and 
     economic cooperation among themselves, and to defend member 
     states' sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence;
       Whereas upon its inception, the OAU embraced the principles 
     of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including 
     freedom of association, free expression, and political 
     participation;
       Whereas such efforts to encourage African unity, advance 
     human rights, and promote economic development on the 
     continent were undermined by regional conflicts, military 
     coups, and civil wars, as well as large foreign debts, 
     increasing trade imbalances, food insecurity, and weak 
     institutions;
       Whereas a decision declaring the establishment of the 
     African Union (AU) as a successor organization to the OAU to 
     promote democratic principles and institutions, encourage 
     economic growth, and develop new tools for the collective 
     promotion of regional stability was adopted in Sirte, Libya, 
     on March 1, 2001, and March 2, 2001;
       Whereas the vision of the African Union is that of ``an 
     integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own 
     citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global 
     arena'';
       Whereas the African Union expresses commitment to the 
     essential values of transparency and accountability and 
     promotes democratic processes across the continent of Africa;
       Whereas the African Union departed from the OAU's abiding 
     doctrine of nonintervention in the internal affairs of member 
     states in favor of a new policy establishing the right of the 
     AU to intervene in a member state under grave circumstances, 
     including with respect to war crimes, genocide, and crimes 
     against humanity;
       Whereas the African Union continues to build more robust 
     African regional institutions in order to address the myriad 
     challenges facing the continent, and has established an 
     African peace and security architecture, the New Partnership 
     for Africa's Development, a strategic framework for regional 
     socioeconomic development, the Comprehensive Africa 
     Agriculture Development Program, and the African Peer Review 
     Mechanism, which seeks to help advance good governance, among 
     other institutions;
       Whereas the African Union has contributed to regional peace 
     and security by mobilizing peacekeeping or intervention 
     forces to protect civilians or support political mediation 
     missions and peace-building processes in Burundi, Comoros, 
     Sudan, Somalia, and Mali;
       Whereas efforts to end conflicts on the continent of 
     Africa, which continue to destabilize states, undermine 
     democracy, stifle economic growth and investment, and rob 
     young Africans of the opportunity for an education and a 
     better life, are a key United States objective;
       Whereas it is critical to the interests of the United 
     States that the African Union be capable of effectively 
     addressing current conflicts and preventing future ones, 
     advancing economic growth and broad-based and sustainable 
     economic development, and consolidating democracy and good 
     governance;
       Whereas the United States Government demonstrated its 
     strong commitment to working closely with the AU by 
     establishing a Mission to the African Union in 2006;
       Whereas, on August 3, 2010, the United States and the 
     African Union signed a $5,800,000 multi-year assistance 
     agreement to achieve common policy objectives;
       Whereas, on June 14, 2012, President Barack Obama announced 
     a United States Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which 
     calls on the United States to deepen its partnership with 
     African countries and regional organizations by supporting 
     efforts to advance accountable, democratic governance and 
     adherence to human rights norms and the rule of law, 
     particularly by supporting the African Union African Charter 
     on Democracy, Elections, and Governance and other 
     multilateral standards;
       Whereas key goals also supported by the African Union 
     include fostering peace and security, spurring economic 
     growth, trade, and investment, and promoting opportunity and 
     development;
       Whereas, on February 1, 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding 
     was signed between the United States and the African Union to 
     cement cooperation on peace and security, democracy and 
     governance, economic growth, trade, and investment, and 
     promotion of opportunity and development;
       Whereas the African Union serves as a preeminent dialogue 
     and policy-making forum for leaders in Africa seeking to 
     advance a wide range of regional political, security, social, 
     and economic objectives, including sub-regional integration, 
     and is a key interlocutor for and representative of the 
     people of Africa in international political and policy 
     forums, including the United Nations; and
       Whereas close relations between the United States and the 
     African Union mutually benefit the people of the United 
     States and Africa and the political, security, economic, and 
     cultural relations that link them: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) extends warm congratulations to the former member 
     states of the Organization of African Unity on the 50th year 
     anniversary of its founding, in particular its original 32 
     member states;
       (2) commends member states of the African Union for their 
     strong and determined joint efforts to promote democratic 
     societies, sustainable development, and sound economic 
     practices, and peace, security, and stability on the 
     continent;
       (3) urges the President to continue to strongly support 
     efforts to advance and strengthen United States-African Union 
     cooperation, including through United States programs to help 
     build the capacities of the African Union;
       (4) encourages the President to expedite and expand United 
     States efforts to achieve the goals and objectives of his 
     United States Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa; and
       (5) emphasizes the rule of law, good governance, respect 
     for human rights, open markets, and broad-based and 
     sustainable economic growth and development as key pillars 
     for long-term stability and security in Africa and United 
     States engagement with the continent.

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