Going back to the roots: The OAU Charter

The following are the OAU’s purposes principles as agreed to by Heads of State on May 25, 1963.Purposes

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Article II

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1. The Organisation shall have the following purposes:

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(a) To promote the unity and solidarity of the African States;

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(b) To co-ordinate and intensify their co-operation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa;

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(c) To defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity and independence;

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(d) To eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa; and

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(e) To promote international co-operation, having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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2. To these ends, the Member States shall co-ordinate and harmonise their general policies, especially in the following fields:

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(a) Political and diplomatic co-operation;

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(b) Economic co-operation, including transport and communications;

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(c) Educational and cultural co-operation;

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(d) Health, sanitation and nutritional co-operation;

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(e) Scientific and technical co-operation; and

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(f) Co-operation for defence and security.

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Principles

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Article III

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The Member States, in pursuit of the purposes stated in Article II, solemnly affirm and declare their adherence to the following principles:

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1. The sovereign equality of all Member States.

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2. Non-interference in the internal affairs of States.

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3. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State and for its inalienable right to independent existence.

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4. Peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation or arbitration.

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5. Unreserved condemnation, in all its forms, of political assassination as well as of subversive activities on the part of neighbouring States or any other States.

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6. Absolute dedication to the total emancipation of the African territories which are still dependent.

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7. Affirmation of a policy of non-alignment with regard to all blocs.