AU to push for Rome Statute amendments, says Amina

Cabinet Secretary Foreign Affairs Amb. Amina Mohammed at the Arab-Africa Summit in Kuwait

By PSCU

African Union (AU) is headed for the assembly of State Parties of the Rome Statute meeting later in the month to present its position on the Kenyan ICC cases after UNSC snubbed its deferral request.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the AU will push for amendment of the Rome Statutes to provide for immunity from prosecution to sitting heads of state and government when the group meets in The Hague from 20th November2013.

Amb. Mohamed said African states came together for the common good of the member countries and would meet to discuss the way forward after rejection of its petition over Kenya ICC cases.

“The decision by some permanent members of the UN Security Council to abstain from voting on AU request for deferral of ICC cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto was a disappointment,” she said.

The Cabinet Secretary was speaking to the press in Kuwait ahead of the 3rd Afro/Arab Summit. She added that Kenya “will continue to engage constructively” on the ICC matter to its logical conclusion.

“We are going to the State Parties meeting at The Hague. We will present the AU proposal for amendment of the Rome statute and are optimistic of a positive consideration,” she said.

Amb Mohamed said AU was confident of garnering the support of a two-thirds majority of the states’ parties necessary to effect the amendment in the interest of peace and reconciliation in the country.

On the Summit, the Cabinet Secretary said Africa and the Arab world are coming together as traditional partners and neighbours to renew the existing collaboration on diverse spheres of development.

“The relationship between Africa and the Arab world can be traced from the 17th century when Arab traders frequented the East African coast for trade and investment,” she said.

Top on the Summit agenda, she said, are discussions to establish Africa-Arab Technical and Coordination Committee on Migration to help protect migrant workers.

The over 65 Heads of State and delegations will also discuss collaboration on food security, research, capacity building and decision making mechanisms to ensure viable resolutions are made and implemented.

“Before the next joint summit in Uganda in 2015, the collaboration between Africa and the Arab countries should produce something tangible to show to the world,” she said.

Uhuru travels to Kuwait

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta left the country Monday morning for a three day official visit to Kuwait.

The plane carrying President Kenyatta and his delegation departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 10:00am

The President will be joining more than 65 other leaders from Africa and the Arab world for the third Arab-Africa economic summit.

The Summit, whose theme is, “Partners in Development and Investment”, is expected to launch a new phase of Arab-African joint cooperation.

The forum also provides a platform for African and Arab business actors to meet policy makers at national, regional and continental levels and share ideas on improving the business climate.

Deputy President William Ruto led other senior Government officials in seeing of the President at the airport.