By PAC Correspondent
Public Affairs Committee executive director Robert Mbilizi Phiri, was elected Deputy Presiding Officer of African Union Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).
The election of the 4th Permanent General Assembly of the the African Union Economic, Social, and Cultural Council-ECOSOCC-was held in Nairobi, Kenya 6-9 December 2022.
“…the Secretariat has the immense honour to inform that Mr.Robert Mbilizi Phiri of Public Affairs Committee (PAC) (Malawi) was elected as Deputy Presiding Officer (Southern Africa Region) at the 4th Permanent General Assembly of ECOSOCC,” reads a part of the communication sent by ECOSOCC to the Malawi embassy in Adis Ababa.
In March 2023, Mr. Robert Phiri (in his capacity as deputy presiding offive for ECOSOCC), attended the conference on the role of CSOs as locomotive for social security and gaurantor of peace which was held in Tripoli, Libya from the 6th to the 9th.
“The conference underscored the need to promote peace in the pursuit of transitional justice like Malawi’s experience of 1992,” says Mr. Phiri.
ECOSOCC exists to provide an opportunity for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Africa to actively contribute to the principles, policies and programmes of the continental body- African Union (AU).
The purpose of the AU includes promotion of unity and solidarity of African States; coordination and intensification of cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa; defending sovereignty of member states, their territorial integrity and independence;
The AU also exists to help eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa; and to promote international cooperation, having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The AU has a membeership of 55 states and was officially launched as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 2002. The OAU existed between 1963 and 1999.
The Executive Council Decision EX.CL1143(XL) of the 40th Ordinary Session of February 2022, therefore, called upon the ECOSOCC Secretariat in collaboration with the relevant departments of the AU Commission to launch the call for applications of the 4th Permanent General Assembly of ECOSOCC and ensure strict compliance with eligibility criteria of ECOSOCC membership as provided for in the Statutes of the Organ.
AU member states supported the constitution of the 4th Permanent General Assembly of ECOSOCC which had been guided, all throughout, by cherished AU values and characterized by the spirit of consensus, collegiality, peace and fairness.
The ECOSOCC Standing Committee is in office from 2022 to 2024 where as the Credentials Committee is in office from 2022 to 2026.