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AU ministerial meeting kicks off
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The 12th Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) attended by African ministers kicked off Sunday afternoon in Addis Ababa, seat of the 53-member pan-African body.

Deliberations at the session will focus particularly on the consideration of the reports of ministerial conferences, organized by the AU during the second half of the year 2007, as well as reports of the just-concluded 15th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), which started on January 25.

The ministers will also discuss a number of issues tabled for consideration such as the Draft Budget 2008, the Report of the Ministerial Committee on Candidatures to the International System, the Report on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, the Report on the Status of Trade Negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Report of the Ministerial Committee on Candidatures to the International System, and the report of the chairperson of the AU Commission, amongst others.

The Report on the African Union Ministerial Committee on the Implementation of the Accra Declaration on the Union Government will also be deliberated during this session.

Featuring on the agenda of the session is the election of members of the AU commission as well as the members of the Peace and Security Council.

The session, due to end Tuesday, is held in preparation for the 10th AU Summit under the theme "Industrial Development of Africa," scheduled to be held from January 31 to February 2.

One highlight of the summit will be the election of AU commission chairperson and other members.

Other topics to be discussed during the summit include the adoption of the 2008 AU Budget, consideration of the Reports of the Executive Council on the Audit of the Union and the Report of the Ministerial Committee on the Union Government, the Report on the activities of the Peace and Security Council and the State of Peace and Security in Africa as well as the AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) Report.

The AU was established in 2002 to replace the Organization of African Union (OAU), which was founded in 1963.

(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2008)

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