African Union Issues Warning Against Uninvited Countries at Leaders’ Summit

The 44th meeting of the African Union Executive Council, gathering the foreign ministers of member states, is currently underway in Addis Ababa.

As the African Union summit of the Union approaches this weekend, a notable directive has been issued to non-permanent member countries planning to partake in the event: refrain from attendance without prior invitation.

In a recent statement released by the Africa Union, a clear warning was articulated, specifying that countries and institutions not formally invited as observers should abstain from participating.

The Union stressed the importance of adherence to this protocol, emphasizing that the 37th leaders of the Union and the 44th Executive Council members should strictly represent authorized entities.

Moreover, those granted permission are advised to limit their representation to one delegate per entity.

Additionally, the Union urged previously authorized countries and institutions to renew their permissions to participate in African Union meetings as observers.

This underscores the Union’s commitment to regulating attendance and ensuring that only authorized parties contribute to the discussions and decisions at hand.

The backdrop against which these directives are issued includes past incidents that have strained diplomatic relations.

At the 43rd African Leaders’ Conference a year prior, tensions flared when Sharon Gebs, representing Tel Aviv, was expelled from the conference hall by security forces.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs attributed the incident to South Africa and Algeria, accusing them of orchestrating the exclusion from the opening ceremony of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

Israel’s reaction characterized the event as deeply concerning, condemning what it perceived as the African Union’s vulnerability to manipulation by certain member states.

Despite these challenges, the African Union maintains its commitment to inclusivity by extending invitations to over 50 countries and more than 10 international institutions to participate as observers in its annual summit.

Notable participants include the United States, European Union, UK, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Germany, and India, among others.

Furthermore, human rights development institutions under the United Nations Organization are among the esteemed organizations granted observer status at the Africa Union’s meetings.

In essence, the African Union’s stance underscores its dedication to ensuring that its proceedings are conducted in accordance with established protocols, thereby preserving the integrity and inclusivity of its deliberations.


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