OAU summit urges support for Africa's development

Harare, 5 June 1997 (G-77) - The heads of state and government attending the 33rd session of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Summit adopted two decisions that stress the concerns among African leaders for issues pertaining to the development of the continent.

In a decision on support and encouragement from Africa and OAU for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the heads of state and government called upon "Member States to continue to support fully UNDP and other agencies operational activities in Africa, particularly within the framework of the United Nations Decade for the Elimination of Poverty, the United Nations Special Initiative for Africa, the UN New Agenda for Africa and the Cairo Declaration for Economic and Social Development of Africa." In a decision dealing with the UN system-wide Initiative on Africa, the Summit urged "Member States to implement the Initiative by assuming, in a concerted manner, their share of responsibility."

This summit was also the opportunity for the heads of state and government to formally launch the African Economic Community (AEC) aimed at realizing continental economic integration and graudally creating a common market. The session called for increased trade and cooperation among Member States as Africa moves more forcefully towards eradicating the worse aspects of poverty, hunger and disease.

Addressing the summit, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, told the participants that he was "proud of the close cooperation between the OAU and the United Nations, especially that a new era is now in prospect, Africa's third wave."