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Arab, African leaders issue Kuwait Declaration, Final Statement
November 20, 2013, 3:53 pm

The Heads of State and Government of the African Union and the League of Arab States at the end of the two-day Third Africa-Arab Summit issued the "Kuwait Declaration" voicing the collective desire to promote cooperation in the political, economic and socio-cultural fields.
The participating delegations in the summit, held with the theme "Partners in Development and Investment", expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the "sincere efforts" he exerted in order to ensure the successful convening of the summit, and fully believing that through His Highness well-known wisedom and genuine commitment, the Africa-Arab relations will achieve great progress in all fields.
"We express our profound gratitude to the Government and people of Kuwait for the warm welcome, hospitality and efficient organization that provided most positive and favorable conditions for the convening of the Third Afri-ca-Arab Summit,' according to the declaration read by Foreign Undersecretary Khalid Al-Jarallah during an open session.
The Declaration also held a note congratulating the African Union on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organization of African Unity (OAU) African Union (OU), expressing support for the slemn Declaration of the African Union and welcoming the commemoration of this important milestone in Africa history.
The Heads of State and Government renewed their commitment to the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Charter of the League of Arab States and the promotion of the principles of international law and the United Nations charter, in particular the principles pertaining to the respect for national sovereignty of states, their territorial integrity and non-interference in their internal affairs.
They stressed commitment to the protection of human rights and respect of international humanitarian law as well as mutual goals to positively contribute to global stability, development and cooperation.
The attendees reaffirmed commitment to strengthen cooperation between Africa and the Arab region on the basis of a strategic partnership that endeavours to maintain justice, international peace and security, voicing awareness of their multiple ties and interests, and by reason geography, history and culture.
They reaffirmed commitment to continue their efforts to overcome the challenges facing the activation and development of Africa-Arab cooperation and organize the meetings of its follow-up mechanism.
They reaffirmed their common resolve to strengthen South-South cooperation as well as the solidarity and friendship between their nations and peoples with a view to fulfilling the aspiration of their peoples to consolidate Africa-Arab relations, based on the principles of equality, mutual interests and respect.
They welcomed the progress made by African and Arab countries in maintaining peace and stability as well as improving respect of human rights and good governance in their respective regions, expressing grave concern over the challenges posed by the continued prevalence of conflict, insecurity and instability in some parts of their regions.
They voiced a firm stance against terrorism in all its forms and transitional organized crime such as hostage taking, human and drug trafficking, piracy and illicit proliferation of arms, reiterating resolve and commitment to work together in this regard.
They expressed strong determination to decisively address the underlying causes of conflict and violence in Africa and the Arab regions, with a view to creating a conducive environment for the prosperity and well-being of the peoples of the two regions. They expressed mindfullness that youth employment challenges in Africa and the Arab region are primarily structural, recognize the need to pursue efforts to develop supporting policies for economic growth and adopt financial policies that can guarantee sustainability. This is to enhance poverty eradication policies including Millennium Goals Development (MDGs) and post 2015 programmes.
They commended the resolution of the 3rd Arab Development Summit to raise the capital of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) by 50 percent and appreciating the role of BADEA in promotion of Africa's Development.
They welcomed the support provided by the Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to African Countries (AFTAAC) to the Commission and its various regional offices such as the Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development (SAFGRAD).
They noted the food gap and food insecurity were major impediments and exacerbate the vulenrability of certain segments of society.
They expressed full support for regional integration through increasing the volume of Africa-Arab trade and investment, and deepening market integration that can significantly contribute to sustainable economic and integrated social development such as employment generation and poverty reduction, inflow of direct investment, industrial development and better integration of the two regions into the global economy.
They recalled the adoption of the Africa-Arab Partnership Strategy and the Joint Action Plan 2011-2016 during their second summit in 2010 in Libya and reiterated commitment to expedite their implementation.
They emphasized the need to enhance the role and participation of the private sector and civil society of the two regions in the planning and implementation of joint programmes and projects.
The Heads of State and Government of the African Union and the League of Arab States in the Kuwait Declaration agreed to promote South-South Cooperation between African and Arab countries and build closer relations between the governments and peoples of the two regions through frequent high level visits and consultations.
They agreed to strengthen diplomatic and consular relations between Africa and Arab countries through regular consultations between diplomatic missions accredited to the United Nations (UN) and other regional an international organizations in, among others, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Brussels, Geneva, New York and Washington, with a view to harmonize positions and where possible, developing common policies on issues of common concern.
They called upon governments and relevant stakeholders to find peaceful settlements to political crises in the two regions and voiced support to the progress made in peace building and post-conflict reconstruction and development in the two regions and encourage the countries concerned to pursue and consolidate their efforts.
They called for enhancement of cooperation and coordination between Africa and Arab countries to combat terrorism in all its forms and transitional crime and to further support international efforts in this regard.
They expressed gratitude for the USD 100 million donation rendered by the Custodian of the two holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of the UN Centre to fight terrorism.
They reaffirmed strong commitment for comprehensive reform of the United Nations system including its security council to reflect current global realities and make it more regionally balanced, effective and efficient.
They welcomed the set up of an Arab Court for Human Rights in Bahrain,, which is considered a back up of joint Arab action in human rights and enhancement of respect of such rights and the relevant international laws.
They called and voiced support for the setting up of the Africa-Arab Technical and Coordination Committee and other strategies to enhance cooperation and facilitation in the engaging in migration issues and coordinating of migrants of both regions for the mutual benefit of the two partners, expressing once again concerns over the security and social protection of migrants.
They requested all governments to elaborate health programme integrated with development programme. In that regard, they reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that vulenrable groups have access to primary and essential types of medicines and therefore support initiatives to integrate the policies combating epidemic diseases (malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS), and non-communicable diseases in educationa, information and public awareness programs.
They called upon the governments, private sector and civil society or the two regions to play a major role in boosting agriculture.
They called for strengthening cooperation on issues concerning rural development, agriculture development and food security. They congratulated Saudi Arabia for the successful hosting of the 2nd Africa-Arab Ministerial meeting on agriculture and food security, held in Riyadh on October 2, 2013.
They urged enhancement of cooperation in the field of energy aimed at jointly developing new and renewable energy sources as well as expanding access to reliable and affordable modern energy services in the two regions.
They called upon the African and Arab financial institutions and the private sector to work in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the General Secretariat of the Arab League, to support the implementation of the infrastructure development program of the African Union, such as the Programs of Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and those in the Arab League, with a focus on transport, water and sanitation, telecommunications and ICTs.
They supported strategies and initiatives aimed at the elimination of discrimination against women in order to achieve equality and equity and raise public awareness regarding the humanitarian principles and values, which guarantee women's rights and their role in society.
They called upon all governments to draft the necessary laws to protect youth and women, and enhance their economic empowerment, ensure their participation in the decision-making process on an equal footing with men, and guarantee their full participation in all aspects of political, economic and social activities.
They supported cooperation programs on cultural exchanges aimed at consolidating the common values of Africa and Arab peoples.They reaffirmed the need to strengthen cooperation in the field of education and scientific research programs, and to share best practices in these two fields through the organization of joint activities.
They called for implementation of actions and measures, including the establishment and rationalization of joint structures, deemed essential for the effective implementation of the Action Plan.
They decided to create a joint Africa-Arab Financing Mechanism to finance programs and projects, and requested the Africa-Arab Coordination Committee, in collaboration with the AUC, the General Secretariat of the Arab League, and African and Arab financial institutions, to determine the sources of funding and modalities of contributions, operation and management of the Mechanism.
They called upon the African and Arab regions and their financial institutions as well as the private sector and civil society or the two regions, to support the creation and operationalization of the Africa-Arab Mechanism and provide necessary financial and technical assistance to the Mechanism.
They called for strengthening the Africa-Arab Economic and Development Forum to enhance the role and participation of the private sector and civil society organizations of the two regions in the partnership process.
They called upon the African and Arab financial institutions as well as other relevant stakeholders to support the acceleration of Africa-Arab inter-regional trade in accordance with the Joint Action Plan 2011-16.
They called upon African and Arab chambers of Commerce and Industry, as well as the private sector institutions to conduct regular meetings and consultations with a view to strengthening the working relations between them.
They supported the organization of the Africa-Arab Fairs every two years alternately in Africa and Arab regions, and to undertake other trade promotion activities and encourage the public and private sectors to actively participate in the preparation and organization of such events.
They called upon the African and Arab civil society to continue to play its positive role in promoting peace, security, stability and humanitarian assistance and development, and requested the AUC and Secretariat of the Arab League to take all necessary steps to enhance interaction with these actors.
They urged the strengthening of the capacities of the AUC and Secretariat of the Arab League and provide them with all necessary measures, including financial and technical support, to enable them to effectively implement the Africa-Arab Partnership Strategy and Joint Action Plan 2011-16, as well as the Kuwait Declaration.
They called for rationalizing the establishment of Africa-Arab joint institutions to avoid duplication of efforts and financial burden on the two coordinating organizations, and mandate the Coordination Committee of the Africa-Arab Partnership to take necessary actions in this regard.
They called for institutionalization of meetings of the Monitoring and Follow-up Mechanism of the Africa-Arab Partnership, and strengthening inter-secretariat consultations.
They agreed to hold the Fourth Africa-Arab Summit in Africa in 2016 in line with the principle of rotation in hosting the summits

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