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cooperationis inter Sanctam Sedem et Unitatis Africanae Institutionem.



The Organization of African Unity (the "OAU") and the Holy See, hereinafter referred to as the "two Parties".

Whereas the OAU was established with a view to, inter alia, coordinating and intensifying cooperation among its Member States, fostering international cooperation in conformity with its own Charter, the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and to that end, to coordinate and harmonize the policies of Member States in certain specific fields;

Whereas the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community stipulates that the objectives of the Community, which constitutes an integral part of the OAU, shall be, inter alia, to promote cooperation in all fields of human endeavour in order to raise the standard of living of African peoples, and maintain and enhance economic stability, foster dose and peaceful relations among Member States and contribute to the progress, development and the economic integration of the continent.

Considering that the Holy See has been making significant contributions to the cause of peace, liberty and justice in Africa and that it wishes to improve and strengthen its cooperation with the OAU in these areas;

Hereby agree as follows:

Article I

Cooperation and Consultations

In order to facilitate the actual realization of the objectives outlined in the basic legal instruments of their respective entities. the OAU and the Holy See shall agree to cooperate closely and to engage in regular consultations on matters of mutual interest such as education, health, human rights and social affairs.

Article II

Attendance of Meetings/Conferences

1. Subject to procedures in force at the OAU, the Holy See may be invited as observer at meetings organised by the OAU on matters of interest to the Holy See.

2. Subject to procedures in force at the Holy See, the OAU may be invited to participate as observer at meetings organised by the Holy See on matters of interest to the OAU.

Article III

Organization of a Meeting/Conferences

1. The OAU and the Holy See may, if need be, agree to organise joint meetings on matters of mutual interest under their auspices and in conformity with modalities stipulated for each specific case.

2. The modalities of such cooperation and participation shall be subject to agreement between the two Parties.

Article IV

Joint Activities

On the basis of modalities jointly agreed upon, the OAU and the Holy See may undertake to carry out joint activities with a view to achieving their common objectives. The said modalities shall specify the type of participation in such joint activities as well as the financial commitments, if any, that might be entered into by each of the two Parties.

Article V

Technical Cooperation

Within the framework of their cooperation and regular consultations, the OAU and the Holy See shall extend mutual assistance to each other through, inter alia, the exchange of views and technical studies on matters of mutual interest. Such cooperation may also include material and financial assistance.

Article VI

Exchange of Information and Documents

Subject to any agreement or arrangement which may subsequently be adopted with a view to safeguarding the confidentiality of certain documents and information, the OAU and the Holy See may exchange information and documents on matters of mutual interest.

Article VII

Consultation on Programmes

When one of the two Parties embarks on a programme or activity in an area of interest to the other Party, information may be exchanged on the matter and consultations undertaken with a view to ensuring maximum harmonization of their efforts and avoiding duplication.

Article VIII

Entry into Force - Amendment - Termination

1. This Agreement shall come into force on the date it is signed by the duly authorized representatives of the two Parties. Each Party shall take the necessary administrative measures required for the implementation of the Agreement.

2. This Agreement may be amended by mutual consent of the two Parties, provided the Party seeking the amendment notifies the other in writing of the proposed amendment. The amendment shall come into force once it is approved by the two Parties.

3. This Agreement may be terminated by either Party which shall then notify the other Party of its decision in writing. The Agreement shall cease to exist ninety (90) days following the date of the notification. However, after the termination of the Agreement, both Parties shall still be bound to honour any outstanding, obligations incumbent on them as provided in the Agreement.

In witness whereof, the duly authorized representatives of the General Secretariat of the OAU and of the Holy See have hereby signed the present Agreement in two copies, in French and English, both texts being equally authentic.

Done at Addis Ababa this Nineteenth day of October Two Thousand.

For the Organization of African Unity  For the Holy See
Secretary General
Archbishop SILVANO TOMASI, c.s.
Secretary General Apostolic Nuncio


Quemadmodum ibidem in art. VIII n. 1 praecipitur, haec Pactio eodem die quo subsignata est vigere coepit, quod Neanthopolitana in urbe die XIX mensis Octobris anno MM contigit.

*A.A.S., vol. XCIII (2001), n. 1, pp. 15-18