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The African Peer Review Mechanism Under the African Union and Its Initiative: The New Partnership for Africa’s Development

  • Vincent O. Nmehielle (a1)

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1 Leopoldo Lovelace Jr., Has International Law Failed Africa?, available at <http://www.isanet.org/archive/ovelace.html> (last visited Feb. 4, 2004).

2 Id.

3 There are two streams of the APRM, one emanating solely from NEPAD as an economic initiative and thus based on soft law, and the other from the AU based on its constitutive instrument, which is a treaty. This presents a somewhat awkward situation regarding the kind of review emanating from each stream.

4 See generally Nmehielle, Vincent O., The African Union and African Renaissance: A New Era for Human Rights Protection in Africa?, 7 Singapore J. Int’l. & Comp. L. (Dec. 2003).

5 See The Durban Declaration in Tribute to the Organization of African Unity and on the Launching of the African Union, Durban, South Africa, July 10-12, 2002. AU. Doc. ASS/AU/Decl. 2 (1).

6 See Declarations and Decisions Adopted by the Thirty-Fifth Assembly of the Heads of State and Government (Algiers Declaration) in Algiers, Algeria, July 12-14, 1999. OAU Doc. AHG/Decl. 1 (XXXV).

7 The Algiers Declaration highlights the following as most important: globalization; the marginalization of the United Nations (UN) and its role under its Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security; the importance of disarmament and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction; threats to the stability of society and the life of individuals, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime; and unfavorable world economic trends in Africa and the great majority of developing countries. See id, at 5-9.

8 See Declaration of the Fourth Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Sirte, Libya on 9 September 1999. OAU Doc. EAH/Decl. (IV) Rev. 1 [hereinafter Sirte Declaration].

9 Sirte Declaration, para. 8.

10 Id., paia. 8 (i).

11 Constitutive Act of the African Union, adopted at the Thirty Sixth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, July 11, 2000, Lome, Togo. See Decisions on the Establishment of the African Union and the Pan African Parliament, OAU Doc. AHG/Dec. 143 (XXXVI).

12 Nmehielle, supra note 4.

13 See AU Constitutive Act, supra note 10, at art. 3, on the objectives of the AU. See also id. art. 4 on the AU principles that are tied to the objectives.

14 See Dani W. Nabudere, NEP AD: Historical Background and Its Prospects 5 (Paper presented at the African Forum for Envisioning Africa, 26-29 April 2002) (on file with author), available at <http://www.worldsummit2002.org/texts/DaniWNabudere.pdf> (last visited Feb. 12, 2004); Baimu, Evarist, Human Rights in NEP AD and Its Implications for the African Human Rights System, 2 Af. Hum Rts. L. J. 301, 302 (2002).

15 The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Document [hereinafter NEPAD Document] para. 67, October 2001 (on file with author), available at <http://www.nepad.org/> (last visited Feb. 13, 2004).

16 Nmehielle, supra, note 4, citing Baimu, supra note 14, at 303.

17 Declaration on the New Common Initiative (MAP and OMEGA) [hereinafter the Common Initiative Declaration], AHG/Decl. 1 (XXXVII), para. 4, adopted at the 37th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU from 9-11 July 2001, Lusaka, Zambia.

18 Id., at paras. 5, 8, and 9.

19 NEPAD has an elaborate structure: The HSGIC is made up of the pioneer five Heads of State and fifteen others. See NEPAD Document, supra note 14, para. 200. Originally, the HSGIC had fifteen members until the First Ordinary (inaugural session) of the African Union in Durban, South Africa in July 2002, when an additional five members were added to achieve better representation based on the regions of the AU. See Declaration on the Implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Assembly/AU/Decl. 1(1), para. 14, adopted by the Assembly of the African Union, First Ordinary Session, 9-10 July 2002, Durban, South Africa.

20 Nmehielle, supra note 4.

21 Id., citing Declaration on the Implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development [hereinafter AU Maputo NEPAD Declaration], para. 8-10, Assembly/AU/Decl. 8 (II), Assembly of the African Union Second Ordinary Session, 10-12 July, 2003, Maputo, Mozambique.

22 NEPAD Document, supra note 14, para. 71.

23 Id., para. 49.

24 Objectives, Standards, Criteria and Indicators for the African Peer Review Mechanism [hereinafter APRM Objectives, Standards and Indicators], §1.1, NEPAD/HSGIC-03-2003/APRM/Guidelines/OSCI, available al <http://www.iss.co.za/AF/RegOrg/nepad> (last visited Mar. 10, 2004).

25 Id.

26 Declaration on Democracy, Political Economic and Corporate Governance (Governance Declaration), AHG/23 5 (XXXVIII) Annex I, Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Thirty-Eighth Ordinary Session of the Organization of African Unity, 8 July 2002, Durban, South Africa.

27 Memorandum of Understanding on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM MOU), NEPAD/HSGIC/03-2003/APRM/MOU. See also The African Peer Review Mechanism Base Document (APRM Base Document), AHG/235 (XXXVUT) Annex II, available at <http://www.iss.co.za/AF/RegOrg/Nepad/aparm.pdf> (last visited Feb. 10, 2004).

28 Seventeen member states of the AU have acceded to the APRM: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. See List of Countries that Have Acceded to the APRM, available at <http://www.iss.co.za/AF/RegOrg/nepad/apramaccede.htm> (last visited Nov. 10, 2003).

29 The Lagos Plan of Action and the Final Act of Lagos (1980); the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (1981 ); the African Charter for Popular Participation in Development (1990); the Declaration on the Political and Socio-Economie Situation in Africa and the Fundamental Changes Taking Place in the World (1990); the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990); the Abuja Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (1991); the Declaration Establishing the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (1993); The Protocol on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1998); the Grand Bay Declaration and Plan of Action for the Protection of Human Rights (1999); the Framework for an O AU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government (1999-2000); the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation Solemn Declaration (2000); and the Constitutive Act of the African Union (2000). See the Governance Declaration, supra note 26, para. 3.

30 Governance Declaration, supra note 26, para. 4, listing as “of particular significance” under the UN, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights “and all conventions relating thereto, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration.”

31 APRM MOU, supra note 27, para. 26.

32 See The African Peer Review Mechanism Organisation and Process, NEPAD/HSCIC-3-2003/APRM’Guideline/O&P (2003), available at <http://www.iss.co.za/AF/RegOrg/nepacyaprmorproc.pdf> (last visited March 6, 2004).

33 Jackkie Cilliers, NEPAD ‘s Peer Review Mechanism, Institute of Security Studies Occasional Paper No. 64, Nov. 2002, available at <http://www.iss.co.za/Pubs/Papers/64/Papers64.html> (last visited July 7, 2003).

34 APRM Base Document, supra note 27, paras. 18-25; Jackkie Cilliers, Peace and Security Through Good Governance: A Guide to the NEP AD African Peer Review Mechanism, Institute for Security Studies Occasional Paper No 70, April 2003, available at <http.//www.iss.co.za/Pubs/Paper70.html> (last visited Mar. 10, 2004).

35 See APRM Base Document, supra note 27, at para. 24.

36 Id.

37 CSSDCA Solemn Declaration, AHG/Decl.4 (XXXVI), adopted at the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, July 2002, Lomé, Togo.

38 Memorandum of Understanding on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa, adopted at the Heads of State and Government First Standing Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa [hereinafter CSSDCA Memorandum of Understanding], July 8-9, 2002, Durban, South Africa.

39 See supra note 26.

40 See Report of the Secretary-General of the OAU on the Implementation of the CSSDCA presented at the Council of Ministers, Seventy-Sixth Ordinary Session/Eleventh Ordinary Session of the AEC, June 28 - July 6, 2002, Durban, South Africa, available at <http://www.Africa-union.org> (last visited Feb. 13, 2004).

41 See supra note 28,

42 Cilliers, supra note 33.

43 Cilliers, supra note 34.

44 Nmehielle, supra note 4.

45 Id.

46 United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, The African Peer Review Mechanism: Process and Procedures, 11(4) AFR. SEC. Rev. 9 (2002).

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