Summit of the African Union
The 6th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) took place in Khartoum, Sudan, on January 23-24. In the course of the debate held at the summit such pressing issues of the regional and global dimension as counteraction against international terrorism, conflict settlement and peacebuilding, the promotion of political and economic integration on the continent and the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development - NEPAD - were discussed.
Priority attention was paid to problems in the development of the humanitarian sphere. A decision was adopted to establish an African Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, AFESCO. Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and Alpha Konare, AU Commission Chairman, signed a cooperation agreement between UNESCO and the African Union.
Important organizational matters were examined. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, was elected the new Chairman of the African Union. Agreement was reached that Sudanese President Omar el Bashir will become the next leader of the organization in 2007.
With the purpose of further strengthening the traditionally friendly relations between Russia and the countries of Africa and of improving cooperation with the pan-African organization, a Russian delegation led by Doku Zavgayev, General Director of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took part in the work of the forum as observer.