|Newly-elected AU chairman, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Jan. 28, 2013. The 20th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the AU wrapped up on Monday. (Xinhua/Meng Chenguang)
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The 20th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) ended its two-day meeting on Monday in capital of Ethiopia, concluding extented discussion about issues concerning the peace and development of the continent.
The enewly-elected chairperson of the African Union (AU) and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said during a short speech at the closing ceremony that the state of peace and security of this continent are one of the issues most extensively discussed at the summit, including crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia.
Desalegn said he would focus in his one-year term on addressing poverty while taking care of peace and security on African continent.
"We focus on economic transformation on the continent. This is the basis for all, even for conflict resolution and peace and stability on the continent," he said.
"Africa is emerging and becoming next growth pole and out of the 10 fast economies in the world six are in Africa. That shows Africa is on the rise; but, we have to expedite, deepen what we have already started," he noted.
"In the meantime, we have to take care of peace and security which are emerging in some of our member states. There are technical issues that we are going to address in this one year to pacify our continent. So, we will focus on the peace and security issues," said Hailemariam.
He said Africa appreciate the help they receive from donors but they also have to show commitment amongst ourselves before we ask the donors to help.
Earlier on Monday, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki- moon has called on Africa to make further efforts to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Reiterating that the UN and the AU share a history of productive collaboration by working for unity and solidarity, Ban noted that the UN firmly committed to standing with Africa now and in the future.
He has commended African leaders for their endeavor to improve conditions for African people.
He also called on them to strengthen efforts towards achieving the MDGs. During the summit meetings, the African leaders have agreed to contribute 50 million U.S. dollars, nearly 10 percent of the total budget, required to fund the peacekeeping mission in Mali.
About conflict in DR Congo, a Neutral International Force proposed by Africa's Great Lakes region to eliminate all rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will work under the UN peace keeping force (MONUSCO) deployed in the vast central African country.
Ntumba Luaba, the Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the ongoing African Union summit that the member countries including those belonging to Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed that the force will be integrated into MONUSCO but operating separately.
However, discussions between the UN and some African states on the resolution of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) crisis hit a snag on Monday when member countries declined to sign a political and security framework proposed by the UN to resolve the conflict that has left hundreds of thousands of Congolese homeless. The 50th anniversary of AU will be celebrated in Addis Ababa on May 25 under the same theme of this summit "Pan-Africanism and African renaissance".