ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dr Aisha Laraba Abdulahi, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Political Affairs briefed the media attending the 20th AU Summit on the just concluded Year of Shared Values. “Shared Values are the norms, principles and practices acquired or developed throughout African history, and which are embedded at the individual, societal, regional, continental and global levels”, the Commissioner said. These values include freedom, democratic governance, popular participation of the people and rule of law amongst others. The values are reflected in the AU legal instruments and are considered as shared because “they have been the basis of collective actions and solutions in addressing the social, economic and political challenges faced individually and collectively by African Union Member States”.
Mindful of the above, the activities undertaken during the year 2012 dedicated to Shared Values, were informed by the need to overcome the poor rate of ratification of continental legal instruments, and to monitor and evaluate their implementation at national level. The AU, therefore focused on the universal ratification of three critical instruments: the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption (adopted in 2003), the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007) and the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration. Furthermore, to shift from norms setting to policy implementation, the AU developed the Human Rights Strategy for Africa and the draft Framework on Transitional Justice. Amongst other achievements, the African Governance Platform was also launched to enhance the monitoring, periodic review and assessment of the implementation of Member States’ commitments towards shared values. Lastly, to create awareness about the shared values, a dedicated website, blogs, Facebook and twitter accounts were created.