The United States and the African Union (AU) met on November 28 and 29, 2012 in Washington for the third annual U.S.-AU High Level Meetings. The discussions focused on how the AU and the United States can work together to address challenges and opportunities of mutual interest in order to promote global peace and development. The U.S.-AU talks provided an opportunity to discuss a number of cross-cutting issues, including the leadership role the AU plays throughout the continent in promoting a prosperous Africa at peace with itself.
This third annual round of U.S.-AU High Level Meetings covered the full range of mutual priorities, including strengthening democratic institutions and good governance; spurring prosperity through trade, investment, and regional economic integration; advancing peace and security, including in several current conflict situations; and promoting opportunity and development by improving health conditions and educational opportunities in Africa, and enhancing agriculture and bolstering the infrastructure of the continent, as well as by empowering women and youth in all spheres of life.
The two sides shared deep concern over delays in the implementation of the historic agreements reached by Sudan and South Sudan on September 27 and reiterated their strong support for the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel’s proposal to resolve the conflict in the Abyei region. The two sides expressed grave concern over the renewed fighting and the consequent rapid deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United States applauded the AU for its growing role in addressing the multifaceted crisis in Mali, both through political mediation and in developing plans for the creation of an African-led international military force. On Somalia, the United States congratulated the success of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in combating al Shabaab extremists and liberating Mogadishu and its environs, and both sides pledged continued support to AMISOM and to the new Somali Government as it seeks to create political stability and establish responsive, inclusive governance.
The AU delegation, led by AU Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, met with several senior Obama Administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Under Secretary of State Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats, and Ambassador-at-Large for International Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer. On November 29, AU Chairperson Dlamini Zuma helped launch the new PEPFAR Blueprint on HIV/AIDs Shared Responsibility with Secretary Clinton. The high-level AU delegation also met with Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes, Senator Christopher Coons, and Congressman Christopher Smith. Both the United States and the AU look forward to continued engagement on the range of critical issues of interest to both parties as they strive to foster a stable and strong global community.