The Retreat of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) Sub Committee of the African Union (AU) Commission on Multilateral Cooperation, is being held on 7 and 8 May 2018 in Mauritius. The Secretary for Foreign Affairs (SFA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Ambassador Mrs Usha C. Dwarka Canabady, proceeded yesterday afternoon with the inauguration ceremony at the Hilton Resort and Spa, Wolmar, in Flic en Flac.

The meeting of the Retreat is focusing on cooperation with multilateral institutions as well as with several countries at the multilateral level. Several sessions are programmed including on the review of the evaluation report on strategic partnerships; and presentation of the AU Framework for strategic partnerships.

In her welcome remarks, the SFA stated that as we look at strategic partnerships, one of the things that should be of basic reference to this is Aspiration 7 of AU's Agenda 2063 which states that 'Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner'.

According to Ambassador Dwarka Canabady, consequently it is important to start to examine the guidelines that we have set for ourselves and how these guidelines and partnerships make us strong as a continent, make us united, resilient, and influential both as a player and as a partner. The strength of Africa is our capacity to get together and represent a significant proportion of world membership and at the same time the strength of Africa also lies in the fact that we must acknowledge the realities of Africa, she pointed out.

Moreover, the SFA thanked the AU for having proposed the resolution to support Mauritius in seeking advisory opinion for the Chagos Archipelago issue. If the African continent can act in harmony and in the same manner as we did for the Chagos Archipelago then Security Council agendas even would bear the strong imprint of Africa and we should not ignore the multilateral cooperation that we have, she added.

For his part, the representative of chairperson of the AUC, Ambassador Jean Mfasoni, said that Mauritius is indeed a special African land which just after a few years of its Independence showed its commitment to the African continent and will always be an inspiration to Africa for its exemplary dignity in managing diversity of cultures, religious and ethnic.

Speaking about Agenda 2063, Ambassador Mfasoni emphasised that the AU is determined in attaining the mission of a united, integrated, peaceful prosperous Africa driven by its citizens and taking fully its role and place in the management of the world affairs. In order to attain this objective, it has been imperative to undertake necessary actions starting with the evaluation of the AU in a spirit of responsibility, increased ownership and accountability of the entire membership of the Union, he further stated.

The meeting of the Retreat of the PRC

Discussions are converged on the review of the evaluation report of the nine strategic partnerships that the AU has with the European Union, China and India, amongst others. The meeting is also examining the contribution of these partnerships within the AU and what can be done in addition to further extend these partnerships so that it is mutually beneficial that is for the African continent and the countries involved.

More than 40 delegates as well as representatives from Regional Economic Communities are in attendance. Participants are from the following countries: Algeria, Benin, Cameroun, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

The PRC conducts the day-to-day business of the AU on behalf of the Assembly and Executive Council. It reports to the Executive Council, prepares the Council's work and acts on its instructions (under article 21 of the Constitutive Act). All AU Member States are members of the PRC. The PRC Bureau consists of a chairperson, three vice-chairpersons and a rapporteur.

Mauritius and the OAU/AU

Mauritius joined the OAU in 1968 and has always demonstrated its full commitment for the advancement of the African continent and its people at large. The country has always participated in the decision-making processes aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the OAU/AU. Mauritius hosted the OAU Summit in 1976.

On 9 September 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declaration calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems.

Source: Government of Mauritius