President Ian Khama will stay away from the forthcoming 26th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government, from Thursday 21 – Sunday 31 January 2016, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
To be held under the theme: “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women,” the Summit will bring together policy making Organs of the Union, representatives from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the Private Sector, the Diaspora, continental and international media and dignitaries as well as invited guests.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has been delegated to attend the summit.
The first part of the Summit will be dedicated to the election of the New Chairperson of the African Union for the year 2016, who will take over from the AU Chairperson for 2015, Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The Summit will then proceed with the launching of the theme “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”, before the group photo of the AU Heads of State and Government.
The Summit will also deliberate on other strategic issues including Agenda 2063, which Africa has set as the vehicle to drive her regional integration and socio-economic progress; the AU Budget for 2016; Sports development; AIDS, TB and Malaria; Climate Change; and Peace and Security.
In 2015, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi confirmed to Parliament that President Khama has never attended both African Union (AU) and UN General Assemblies and the African Caribbean Pacific- European Union meeting. Khama says he never attends the meetings because they often clash with his local commitments adding that there is always a conscious decision to balance his internal and external commitments.