GS PAPER II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora - their structure, mandate.
Context: The African Union suspended Mali’s membership in response to military coup and threatened sanctions, if a civilian-led government is not restored. West African regional bloc ECOWAS had suspended Mali.
- African Union's Peace and Security Council said that the organisation called for an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition, failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions.
- Mali's neighbours and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardise a commitment to hold a Presidential election. It may also undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, some of which are based in Mali's desert north.
- The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa.
- The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya in 1999, calling for the establishment of the African Union.
- The intention of the AU was to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) by 32 signatory governments.
- Within the African Union, there are official bodies, such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.
The objectives of the AU are the following:
- To achieve greater unity, cohesion and solidarity between the African countries and African nations.
- To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States.
- To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.
- To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples.
- To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent.