DECLARATION OF THE AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE AFRICAN UNION’S SUPPORT TO THE UNITED NATIONS POLITICAL PROCESS ON THE REGIONAL DISPUTE OVER THE SAHARA

We, the African States, members of the African Union:

Republic of Angola, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Cabo Verde, Republic of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Chad, Union of the Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Djibouti, Kingdom of Eswatini, Federal Democratic of Ethiopia, Gabonese Republic, Republic of the Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Liberia, State of Libya, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Malawi, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of the Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Sao Tomé and Principe, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Sierra Leone, Federal Republic of Somalia, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Tunisia and Republic of Zambia;

Meeting on March 25th 2019 in Marrakech, at the African Ministerial Conference on the African Union’s support to the United Nations political process on the regional dispute over the Sahara;

Recognizing the imperative of consolidating unity, gathering and converging our efforts to achieve the Africa We Want;

Committed to the strategic choice of our Heads of State and Government to overcome the causes of division, cleavage, and fragmentation that threaten the unity of our Continent;

Aware of the urgent need for our Continent to address priority issues, including sustainable human development, African integration, and the prosperity of our citizens, in line with the agenda 2063 ;

Have agreed to:

1. Reaffirm our unwavering commitment to a united, stable, proactive and prosperous Africa, speaking with one voice and able to respond to the multidimensional challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s complex world;

2. Implement the wise and concerted vision of our Heads of State and Government, enshrined at the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held on 1st and 2nd July 2018 in Nouakchott (Mauritania), regarding the regional dispute over the Sahara;

3. Welcome, in this regard, the unanimous adoption of decision Assembly/AU/Dec.693 (XXXI), on the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the Sahara issue, which reaffirms the exclusivity of the United Nations as the framework for seeking a mutually acceptable, realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution to the Sahara issue;

4. Preserve the spirit and letter of decision 693, which is the result of extensive consultations with the Chairperson of the Commission and of the healthy consensus of our Heads of State and Government, taking into account its founding role in restoring serenity in the work of the African Union;

5. Welcome the establishment, by decision 693, of the AU Troika Mechanism, composed of the outgoing, current and incoming Presidents of our Union, as well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission, to provide effective support to the efforts led by the United Nations;

6. Reaffirm our commitment to a constructive and effective implementation of the mandate of the AU Troika to protect, support and preserve the integrity of the ongoing political process within the exclusive framework of the United Nations, under the supervision of the Security Council and under the auspices of the Secretary General, with a view to achieving “a political, realistic, pragmatic and lasting solution to the Sahara issue based on compromise” (OP.2 of UN Security Council Resolution 2440);

7. Support the specific mandate conferred by Decision 693 on the AU Troika, with the exclusion of any African Union organ at any level, in order to keep abreast of developments in the political process conducted within the framework of the United Nations on the Sahara issue;

8. Stress that the Troika’s support for the United Nations political process must be protected from any interference, intervention, or non-consensual actions likely to compete with the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations and his Personal Envoy, compromise the cohesion of the Union, or develop a parallel process likely to foster division among its Member States;

9. Highlight the positive impact of Decision 693 on the functioning of the AU, the cohesion of its members, and the implementation of its agenda and priorities, including a calm and peaceful conduct of the African Union partnership processes;

10. Emphasize that the consensual and consolidated formula of decision Assembly/AU/Dec.635 (XXVIII), adopted at the 28th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Union, held on January 30th and 31st 2017 in Addis Ababa, on the representation of Africa by the Troika, namely the current, incoming and outgoing Chairpersons of the African Union, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, and the Chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities as well as the Chairperson of the NEPAD, extended to the members of the Bureau of the Union, constitutes a realistic solution to the question of the format of participation in the African Union partnership processes and meetings ;

11. Consider that any initiative aimed at undermining the content of Decision 635 may undermine the credibility of the partnership processes and their contribution to the achievement of the development objectives of Our Continent;

12. Warmly welcome the constructive initiative of the Kingdom of Morocco to convene this Conference, which demonstrates its support for the implementation of decision 693;

13. Thank the delegations of the African States, members of the African Union, attending the African Ministerial Conference on the African Union’s support to the United Nations political process on the regional dispute over the Sahara.

Adopted in Marrakech, March 25th 2019

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