African Union Headquarters                                 Bujumbura, Burundi

Nation States Africa

Charter of the African Union

PART II:PRINCIPLES OF THE
AFRICAN UNION MEMBER STATES


THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

REAFFIRMING its goals declared in the original Charter of the Organization, established in March 2003, which include the promotion of unity and solidarity of the African States; the coordination and intensification of cooperation and efforts between African states to achieve a better life for the peoples of the Region; the defense of
sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence; the eradication of all aggressive forms of colonialism from Africa and distinguishing these from the peaceful union of two states who self-determine such a union wholly within the spirit of the African Union; and the promotion of international cooperation, having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


RESOLVES:


To embrace the following principles as truths and strive to implement them:

Article I. Democracy and the Inter-African System

Section 1.

The peoples of the Africa have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it.

Democracy is essential for the social, political, and economic development of the peoples of the Africa.

Section 2.


The effective exercise of representative democracy is the basis for the rule of law and of the constitutional regimes of the member states of the African Union. Representative democracy is strengthened and deepened by permanent, ethical, and responsible participation of the citizenry within a legal framework conforming to the respective constitutional order.

Section 3.


Essential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people, the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government.

Section 4.

Transparency in government activities, probity, responsible public administration on the part of governments, respect for social rights, and freedom of expression and of the press are essential components of the exercise of democracy.

The constitutional subordination of all state institutions to the legally constituted civilian authority and respect for the rule of law on the part of all institutions and sectors of society are equally essential to democracy.

Section 5.

It is the right and responsibility of all citizens to participate in decisions relating to their own development. This is also a necessary condition for the full and effective exercise of democracy. Promoting and fostering diverse forms of participation strengthens democracy.

Article II Democracy and Human Rights

Section 6.


Democracy is indispensable for the effective exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights in their universality, indivisibility and interdependence, embodied in the respective constitutions of states and in inter-African and international human rights instruments.

Section 7.

Any person or group of persons who consider that their human rights have been violated may present claims or petitions to the inter-African system for the promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with its established procedures.

Member states reaffirm their intention to strengthen the inter-African system for the protection of human rights for the consolidation of democracy in the Region.

Section 8.


The elimination of all forms of discrimination, especially gender, ethnic and race discrimination, as well as diverse forms of intolerance, the promotion and protection of human rights of indigenous peoples and migrants, and respect for ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in the Africa contribute to strengthening democracy and citizen participation.

Section 9.

The promotion and strengthening of democracy requires the full and effective exercise of workers’ rights and the application of core labor standards, as recognized in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and its Follow-up, adopted in 1998, as well as other related fundamental ILO conventions. Democracy is strengthened by improving standards in the workplace and enhancing the quality of life for workers in the Region.

Article III Democracy, Integral Development, and Combating Poverty

Section 10.


Democracy and social and economic development are interdependent and are mutually reinforcing.

Section 11.

Poverty, illiteracy, and low levels of human development are factors that adversely affect the consolidation of democracy. The AU member states are committed to adopting and implementing all those actions required to generate productive employment, reduce poverty, and eradicate extreme poverty, taking into account the different economic realities and conditions of the countries of the Region. This shared commitment regarding the problems associated with development and poverty also underscores the importance of maintaining macroeconomic equilibria and the obligation to strengthen social cohesion and democracy.

Section 12.

The promotion and observance of economic, social, and cultural rights are inherently linked to integral development, equitable economic growth, and to the consolidation of democracy in the states of the Region.

Section 13.

Member states agree to review periodically the actions adopted and carried out by the Organization to promote dialogue, cooperation for integral development, and the fight against poverty in the Region, and to take the appropriate measures to further these objectives.

Section 14.

The exercise of democracy promotes the preservation and good stewardship of the environment. It is essential that the states of the Region implement policies and strategies to protect the environment, including application of various treaties and conventions, to achieve sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.

Section 15.

Education is key to strengthening democratic institutions, promoting the development of human potential, and alleviating poverty and fostering greater understanding among our peoples. To achieve these ends, it is essential that a quality education be available to all, including girls and women, rural inhabitants, and minorities.

Article IV. Strengthening and Preservation of Democratic Institutions

Section 16.


When the government of a member state considers that its democratic political institutional process or its legitimate exercise of power is at risk, it may request assistance from the Secretary General or the General Assembly for the strengthening and preservation of its democratic system.

Section 17.

When situations arise in a member state that may affect the development of its democratic political institutional process or the legitimate exercise of power, the Secretary General or the General Assembly may, with prior consent of the government concerned, arrange for visits or other actions in order to analyze the situation. The Secretary General will submit a report to the General Assembly, which will undertake a collective assessment of the situation and, where necessary, may adopt decisions for the preservation of the democratic system and its strengthening.

Section 18.

Based on the principles of the Charter of the AU and subject to its norms an unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order or an unconstitutional alteration of the constitutional regime that seriously impairs the democratic order in a member state, constitutes, while it persists, an insurmountable obstacle to its government’s participation in sessions of the General Assembly, the Meeting of Consultation, the Councils of the Organization, the specialized conferences, the commissions, working groups, and other bodies of the Organization.

Section 19.

In the event of an unconstitutional alteration of the constitutional regime that seriously impairs the democratic order in a member state, any member state or the Secretary General may request the immediate convocation of the General Assembly to undertake a collective assessment of the situation and to take such decisions as it deems appropriate.

The General Assembly, depending on the situation, may undertake the necessary diplomatic initiatives, including good offices, to foster the restoration of democracy.

If such diplomatic initiatives prove unsuccessful, or if the urgency of the situation so warrants, the General Assembly shall immediately convene a special session of the General Assembly. The General Assembly will adopt the decisions it deems appropriate, including the undertaking of diplomatic initiatives, in accordance with the Charter of the Organization, international law, and the provisions of this Democratic Charter.

The necessary diplomatic initiatives, including good offices, to foster the restoration of democracy, will continue during the process.

Section 20.

When the special session of the General Assembly determines that there has been an unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order of a member state, and that diplomatic initiatives have failed, the special session shall take the decision to suspend said member state from the exercise of its right to participate in the AU by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the voting member states in accordance with the Charter of the AU. The suspension shall take effect immediately.

The suspended member state shall continue to fulfill its obligations to the Organization, in particular its human rights obligations.

Notwithstanding the suspension of the member state, the Organization will maintain diplomatic initiatives to restore democracy in that state.

Section 21.


Once the situation that led to suspension has been resolved, any member state or the Secretary General may propose to the General Assembly that suspension be lifted. This decision shall require the vote of two thirds of the voting member states in accordance with the AU Charter.

Article V: Promotion of a Democratic Culture

Section 22.


The AU will continue to carry out programs and activities designed to promote democratic principles and practices and strengthen a democratic culture in the Region, bearing in mind that democracy is a way of life based on liberty and enhancement of economic, social, and cultural conditions for the peoples of the Africa. The AU will consult and cooperate on an ongoing basis with member states and take into account the contributions of civil society organizations working in those fields.

Section 23.

The objectives of the programs and activities will be to promote good governance, sound administration, democratic values, and the strengthening of political institutions and civil society organizations. Special attention shall be given to the development of programs and activities for the education of children and youth as a means of ensuring the continuance of democratic values, including liberty and social justice.

Section 24.

States shall promote the full and equal participation of women in the political structures of their countries as a fundamental element in the promotion and exercise of a democratic culture.[/b]


Reservations

Straylight Run will not be forced to levy tariffs or quotas as part of a punishment levied by the AU Security Council.

Akhtendum reserves the right to exclude certain aspects of its economy from GDP calculation, including, but not limited to, military and religious expenditure. The latter is excluded because it would not be proper to finance Africa with the blood of her churches and the funds of her mosques. The former is excluded because undue advantage may be taken by officials in order to forcibly disarm military states, which would be a covert attack on that nation's sovereignty.