Organization of African Unity (OAU)

Organisation de l'unité africaine (OUA)
Munadhamat Alwahdah Al'Ifriqyah

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1963-05-25 Addis Ababa Ethiopia


25 May 1963, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), on signature of Charter by representatives of 32 governments. Major landmarks on the road to African continental solidarity and earlier groups of African States were: H-XH0405 - Conference of Independent African States, 22 Apr 1958, Accra (Ghana), also referred to as 'All-African Peoples Conference'; H-XH7153 - Union of African States, 24 Dec 1960, Conakry (Guinea); H-XH7154 - African States of the Casablanca Charter (Casablanca Group), 7 Jan 1961; H-XH3798 - African and Malagasy Union (Brazzaville Group), 12 Sep 1961, Tananarive; H-XH0064 - Ghana-Guinea Union, set up 23 Nov 1958, joined by Mali, 29 Apr 1961; H-XH3045 - Pan African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (PAFMECA), subsequently referred to as 'Pan African Freedom Movement for East, Southern and Central Africa (PAFMESCA)'; H-XH7155 - Organization of Inter-African and Malagasy States (Monrovia Group), 25 Jan 1962, Lagos (Nigeria), following preliminary conference, 8-12 May 1961, Monrovia (Liberia). H-XH3797 - Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara (CTCA) and H-XH3785 - Scientific Council for Africa South of the Sahara merged with OAU, 1 Jan 1965. Statutes registered in 'UNTS 1/4688'. By decision of meeting of Heads of State, 8 Jul 2001, Lusaka (Zambia), ceased to exist at summit, Jun 2002, Durban (South Africa), when replaced by D-XD8572 - African Union (AU) following a one-year transition period.


Promote the unity and solidarity of African States; coordinate and intensify their cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa; defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence; eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa; promote international cooperation, having due regard to the charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To achieve these goals Member States pledged themselves to harmonize their policies in the following fields: political and diplomatic cooperation; economic cooperation, including transport and communication; educational and cultural cooperation; health, sanitation and nutritional cooperation; scientific and technical cooperation; cooperation for defence and security.


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Assembly of Heads of State and Government (annual summit). Council of Ministers (meeting twice a year). General Secretariat, headed by Secretary General (4-year term), with Assistant Secretaries-General for West, Central, North, East and Southern Africa. Departments (5): Political; Finance; Education, Science, Culture and Social Affairs (ESCAS); Economic Development and Cooperation (EDECO); Administration and Conferences. Specialized commissions for cooperation in economic and social, educational, scientific, cultural, health, transport and communication and defence matters. The Commission of Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration, first convened 1964, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), emanates from the OAU Summit and is convened at the level of Heads of State and Government as necessary to hear and settle disputes between members. U-XK1526 - Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution was established 28-30 Jun 1993, Cairo (Egypt), to anticipate and prevent conflict or, in circumstances where conflict has occurred, to undertake peace-making and peace-building functions to facilitate conflict resolution. U-XF3863 - OAU Peace Fund is a permanent organ which provides resources on a regular and continuous basis for the operation of the Mechanism. First Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the League of Arab States (LAS) and OAU, Mar 1977, Cairo, adopted a charter instituting the following organs: S-XS0186 - Arabo-African Summit; Ministerial Council; H-XE5382 - Standing Commission for Afro-Arab Cooperation, comprising 12 ministers of each organization and also their Secretaries-General who, with the 2 co-Presidents, comprise the Coordination Committee; Specialized Groups (5), dealing with cooperation in finance, industry, agriculture, transport, communications and telecommunications, and education, culture and information. The setting up of an U-XJ0205 - Afro-Arab Preferential Trade Area has been proposed jointly by OAU, LAS and the African Development Bank Group (ADB Group).


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



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** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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