Ras Nathaniel at AU Summit
March 03, 2003
GREETINGS AND RASTAFARI BLESSINGS IN THE NAME OF HAILE SELASSIE THE FIRST AND EMPRESS MENEN.
GREAT AND GLORIOUS IS JAH RASTAFARI. HEARTICAL ISES FOR JAH RASTAFARI GOETH BEFORE I&I AND OPENS EVERY DOOR.
I am now in the computer lab available to the foreign press at the First Extraordinary Summit of the Assembly of the African Union 3-4 February 2003. I received Press Credentials as a reporter for the Rastafari Speaks newspaper. Give thanks!
Apparently I made quite a sensation upon entering the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) building where the conference is taking place. Most of the African Foreign Press murmured "Rastafarian" as I passed and television cameras, and journalists, particularly from Benin, began to focus attention on me. An Ethiopian journalist who I met acted as a guide for me. He told me that I am the first "African-American" journalist at the conference. I don't know if this is true, but I attempted to find some, and I even asked the the official from the Press and Information department who got me pass security and issued my press credentials about it, and who could not name anyone. This is particularly disturbing since one of the biggest issues at this African Union conference is the "Recognition of the Diaspora".
According to the REPORT OF THE AD HOC MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETING ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTIVE ACT OF THE AFRICAN UNION:
"9. Prior to detailed consideration of this item, the Chairperson gave the floor successively to the Comission and the Senegalese delegation for clarifications on this subject.
10. The representative of the Commission indicated that six proposed amendments had been referred to the Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee but that the one relating to the African Diaspora had been inadevertently omitted from the Items listed on the Agenda of the Meeting. He added that the item had not been examined by the Executive Council Session in Tripoli, because it had not been submitted in time. He then read out the amendment as contained in paragraph 40 of the Report of the First Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council as follows:
'Invite and encourage the full participation of Africans in the Diaspora in the building of the African Union in its capacity as an important part of our Continent.'
11. At the Chairperson's request for more clarification on the categories of Africans that come under the term 'African Diaspora', the delegation of Senegal, the proposer of the amendment, informed the Meeting that the issue could be addressed from two perspectives, namely;
a) a narrow sense, whereby the Diaspora includes all Africans currently residing any where outside the Continent of Africa;
b) a broad and historic sense, whereby the Diaspora comprises all Africans who had ledt Africa by force and still consider themselves Africans."
12. It was decided at the end of the debate that the overall principle underlying the amendment should be retained and incorporated in the Constitutive Act as proposed. The amendment would read as follows:
Article 3 (0): 'Invite and encourage the full participation of Africans in the Diaspora in the building of the African Union in its capacity as an important part of our Continent."
13. On the question as to how this amendment would be implemented, it was proposed that this matter be examined at a collective brainstorming session of the Committee before the end of the Meeting to come up with proposals for submission to the Executive Council, as it was at the implementation level that all aspects of bilateral cooperation between the two entities would be addressed with greater clarity. It was also proposed that the matter be further considered subsequently at experts' and Executive Council levels for further inputs.
14. Subsequently, at the end of the consideration of all the Agenda Items, the Committee devoted some time to collective brainstorming on the issue of 'the Diaspora' particularly its definition and the modalities for implementing effective collaboration with the African Union.
15. During the discussions, a number of proposals were made, such as the need to convene a forum between the AU and the Diasopora and the setting up of a coordinating mechanism within the Comission to deal with issues relating to the Diaspora. A proposal was also made that the Diaspora could be involved in the work of ECOSOC.
16. At the end of the deliberations, the need was recognised to convene a session of the Executive Council entirely devoted to 'the Diaspora' to further examine all the proposals made as well as others to enable all Member States to have the same understanding of the subject. It was recommended that the work done by the Commission regarding the civil society and the Diaspora should continue and be enriched by the proposed session."
TOMORROW AT 10:00 a.m. IS THE FINAL PRESS BRIEFING SO STAY TUNED. IS THIS BEING REPORTED IN THE PRESS, IS IT REACHING THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY. IF NOT, FORWARD THIS TO THE BLACK PRESS. RASTAFARI!
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