Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, is set to participate in the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Ethiopia, scheduled from 16th to 20th February 2024. This significant gathering will convene African heads of state, government leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to deliberate on critical issues facing the continent, ranging from peace and security to education and development.

Under the theme ‘Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa’, the summit will explore avenues to enhance education systems to meet the evolving needs of the continent. Discussions will encompass the progress on AU reforms, the implementation of Agenda 2063, peace and security matters, and climate change challenges.

Hosted by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, HE Moussa Faki Mahamat, the event aims to foster collaboration among political leaders and devise innovative strategies to address security concerns and conflicts in various member states. It also seeks to generate recommendations for sustainable crisis management and the restoration of peace across the continent.

During her participation, Secretary-General Scotland will shed light on the Commonwealth’s initiatives, including the Sustainable Energy Transition Agenda and the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, while also highlighting the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa. The theme for this year’s CHOGM, ‘One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Common Wealth,’ underscores the commitment to building resilient economies and societies that empower people.

Expressing gratitude for the invitation to engage with AU leaders, Secretary-General Scotland emphasized the importance of inclusive progress and unity in tackling shared challenges. She underscored the need for collective efforts to create a future that empowers the region’s youth and ensures no one is left behind.

Moreover, Secretary-General Scotland will showcase the Commonwealth’s endeavors to address climate change impacts in small island states, highlighting the relevance of collaboration and shared values among Commonwealth members, including 21 African countries. The Commonwealth’s work spans various areas such as peace, democracy, anti-corruption measures, education, technology, and youth empowerment, all aimed at advancing prosperity and development.

The AU Summit agenda encompasses a wide range of topics, including trade, economic development, institutional reforms, agriculture, human rights, and gender and youth empowerment. Secretary-General Scotland will utilize her time in Addis Ababa to engage with government officials, civil society representatives, and young leaders to explore avenues for deeper collaboration and partnership across the Commonwealth and the African region.

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