DECLARATION OF ACCRA
The Socialist International Africa Committee met in Accra, Ghana, on 15 and 16 June 2007. The meeting focused on three themes: ‘Fulfilling the democratic commitments in Africa: an evaluation of electoral processes’; ‘Resolving conflicts in Africa: the case of Côte d’Ivoire’; and ‘Tackling urban poverty and dealing with causes of migration: policies for job creation’. At the end of a rich and fruitful discussion, it has been agreed:
A. Regarding the first theme: Fulfilling the democratic commitments in Africa: an evaluation of electoral processes
1. To create mechanisms which will allow the political actors involved, stakeholders and observers to participate in the elaboration and implementation of the electoral processes in all stages, which would give more value and a bigger scope, at all levels, to the intervention of the stakeholders and the role of observers.
2. To design and apply a system of sanctions that would punish those leaders and governments responsible for not respecting the democratic rules and established electoral procedures, but not innocent populations. This system would be based on a consensus agreed by the above-mentioned stakeholders.
3. To accept the invitation extended by the National Democratic Congress of Ghana to observe the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for early December 2008.
B. Regarding the second theme: Resolving conflicts in Africa: the case of Côte d’Ivoire
1. Although conflicts in Africa are still a serious concern, regarding the case of Côte d’Ivoire, it was recognised that after five years of fratricidal war despite the intervention of regional and international organisations, President Laurent Gbagbo has made a considerable effort to reach and to sign with Prime Minister Soro, the agreement of Ouagadougou of 4 March, in order to put an end to the hostilities, and proceed with the disarmament of the rebels. To secure a lasting and honorable solution for the parties it will be necessary that Ivorians learn again to live together in mutual respect, and demonstrate the will to forgive and forget, as was the case in South Africa to overcome the consequences created by the apartheid system. The Socialist International Africa Committee agreed to support and accompany the process of peace and national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.
2. With regard to Western Sahara, the Committee welcomed the direct negotiations to be undertaken by the parties further to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1754, in the search for a solution to this long-standing conflict. It called for all efforts to be made for the success of these talks, respecting the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
C. Regarding the third theme on tackling urban poverty and dealing with causes of migration: policies for job creation
The meeting discussed in detail the causes of migration, and made the following recommendations for policy-makers:
1. The system of education should be redesigned to lay emphasis on training young people in agriculture to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to play productive roles in their communities and to prevent rural-urban migration; and in training managers in all the economic sectors.
2. Governments should enter into specific global alliances with both governmental and non-governmental organisations in order to create more jobs in the rural areas with the view to developing them and to attract young people.
3. To create the opportunity for a meeting between involved African governments and the European Union in order to create concerted policies regarding migration towards European countries. The Committee also supported the holding of the second EU-Africa Summit planned for December 2007.