Wednesday , April 21 2021

AU approves sanctions against non-financial members – Xinhua

ADDIS ABABA, November 18 (Xinhua) – EU commissioner Moussa Faki Mahamat announced on Sunday a sanction regime against Member States who would fail to make their annual financial contributions to continental bodies.

The rate of sanctions, which includes a total postponement of a Member State from the AU assembly and other gatherings, was approved at the 11th Extraordinary AU Summit.

The two-day summit started on Saturday at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

"Today we have adopted a set of sanctions, including a total postponement of a Member State who can no longer attend the meetings of the Assembly or in a meeting in the African Union," told reporters Faki.

The chairman stressed that "a Member State's first responsibility is to pay its contribution".

Note that some member states are obliged to do so while others evaluate "the most flexible way" to realize their expected shares, "said Faki." The 55-member "wants to make sure payment is paid on time."

"We can not wait until the end of the financial year for payment, there are sanctions," said Faki.

According to Faki, payment in time would ensure sustainability and predictability for the AU's economic sources and its activities.

The AU Member States contribution to the continental block budget has risen to 14 percent in 2017, an increase of only 3 percent in 2012, according to AU figures.

During the two-day AU session, which aimed primarily at increasing institutional reform of the AU, African leaders considered detailed proposals to make the AU Commission "a more efficient and performance-based institution", according to the AU.

The AU flagship funding proposal, approved at the 27th AU Summit in Rwanda 2016, which directs all Member States to implement a 0.2 percent fee for eligible imports from non-EU countries, is said to be the Union's major initiative for realizing its financial autonomy.

The financing proposal strives to create a fair and predictable source of funding for the AU and reduce dependence on partner funds and cover 100% of the AU's operating budget, 75% of the program budget and 25% of the peace funding.

During the 31st ordinary session of the AU Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, AU approved a budget of 681.5 million US dollars for the financial year 2019.

The approved budget corresponds to a decrease of 12 percent compared with the previous year.

The budget for 2019, excluding peace-support operations, expects Member States contributions to reach 66 percent, while 34 percent are expected to be secured from development partners.

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