The African Union (AU) was established on July 8, 2001. Its predecessor was the Organization for African Unity (OAU)—established in 1963. The charter that created the OAU was the result of several multinational African conferences held in the 1950s and 1960s aimed at supporting Africans who were still under colonial rule to incite change through non-violent means. The OAU had just four organs: the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Council of Ministers, the General Secretariat and the Commission of Mediation, and Conciliation and Arbitration. On September 9, 1999, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, toward accelerating the process of integration in the continent, and also address the social, economic and political problems that derive from globalization. The main objectives of the OAU were, inter alia: to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African states; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States; and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.
"Rights-Based Approaches to Development: The African Union,"
Human Rights & Human Welfare: Vol. 6:
1, Article 41.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.du.edu/hrhw/vol6/iss1/41