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Mohamed Idriss Farah

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African Union - 32nd Ordinary Session: Speech of HE M. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti 


During the closed session of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, this year under the auspices of Refugees, Repatriates and Internally Displaced Persons, the President of the Republic of Djibouti, SEM. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, delivered a speech through which, he praised the many progress made, during the presidency of Paul Kagame, in the priority projects of the AU for regional integration, the free movement, the right of residence, the right of establishment or the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). We publish here, the integral of the speech of the President of the Republic.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 10, 2019 

Praise to God, 
Peace and blessing be upon the Prophet, his Family and his Companions, 

President-in-Office of the African Union, 
Ladies and Gentlemen, 
Heads of State and Government, 
Mr President of the Commission, 
Ladies and gentlemen, 

First of all, let me begin by thanking my brother, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiye Ahmed, and his Government for the warm and fraternal welcome wich we have received, my delegation and I, since my arrival in this beautiful city of Addis Ababa. 

Allow me also to express my heartfelt thanks to the African Union Commission for the excellent organization of our meeting. 

Mister President, 
Ladies and gentlemen 

I would first like to congratulate our brother President Kagame for his leadership as President-in-Office of the African Union for the year 2018. Much progress has been made in advancing the AU's priority projects for regional integration, such as the institutional and financial reform of our organization; the adoption of the Protocol on Free Movement, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment or the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). 

At the same time, I wish to welcome our brother, Abdelfattah al-Sissi, as President-in-Office of our Union and, above all, to congratulate him on the quality of the agenda presented by the Arab Republic of Egypt. The continuity observed between these two Presidencies illustrates a united, strong and daring Africa in order to face the related challenges of security and development. 

Mister President, 
Ladies and gentlemen 

I will quickly mention three points : 

First, we are missing only a few signatures for the agreement to establish a continental free trade area to enter into force. I congratulate my brother President Issoufou for his leadership on this issue. I urge you, dear colleagues, to sign and ratify this crucial agreement as soon as possible. 

For its part, the Republic of Djibouti has already signed and ratified this agreement. We are convinced that the effective implementation of this agreement will drive a sustainable growth dynamic for the continent. 

Secondly, institutional and financial reform must continue in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our organization, serving our fellow citizens. To this end, we must strive to clarify the division of tasks between continental and regional levels, on the basis of comparative advantages, in a logic of coherence and in order to avoid duplication. 

Finally, the agenda presented by our brother al-Sisi focuses on issues of post-conflict reconstruction and crisis prevention on our continent. 

Dear Brothers, we are one year away from the 2020 deadline of "Silencing the Arms" in the framework of Agenda 2063. In this regard, the theme of the African Union this year is devoted to the issue of refugees. , returnees and displaced persons. This highlights the willingness of African leaders to find a sustainable and effective response to the issue of forced displacement, the main cause of which remains armed conflict. We have seen positive progress in our region of the Horn of Africa, in South Sudan, and recently in the Central African Republic. 

Much remains to be done, however, in the final stretch to extinguish the outbreaks of crisis and limit the resurgence of violence. African citizens are watching us, we have no right to fail. 

Thank you for your kind attention.


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