The African Union Summit has kicked off in Addis Ababa, with a rallying call for unity, tolerance, respect for human rights and improved governance in order to tackle the continent’s challenges effectively.
Dozens of African leaders and foreign dignitaries attended the opening session of the African Union summit on Saturday.
The outgoing AU Chairperson, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe stressed that unity is key to help overcome Africa’s social, political and economic challenges.
He says African countries are united to fight terrorism, which he calls a “mortal threat” to the continent’s stability and development.
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon also joined the conference. He urged African leaders to promote tolerance, human rights and inclusive development in order to sustain peace and long-term growth.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): BAN KI-MOON, UN chief
“I hope the African Union will back a consensus resolution to support the plan in the General Assembly, which will convey a strong message of unity in the face of violent extremism. African Governments must be at the forefront of this effort.”
The two-day summit will discuss a range of topics including human rights, women empowerment, financing of the continental body, terrorism, conflicts and reforms in the UN Security Council.