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From NonInterference to NonIndifference: Reflecting on the Implementation of the Article 4(h) Agenda at the African Union

Conference Report
March 2014

The Constitutive Act of the African Union Charter signed by member states in 2000 represented the historic switch from the "noninterference" approach of the Organization of African Unity to the "nonindifference" approach of the African Union (AU).

More importantly, Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act established the right of the Union to intervene in a member state pursuant to a decision of the Assembly regarding grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

However, there remains varied success within the AU with regard to the implementation of this commitment largely based on issues related to political will and financial and military capacity to implement the necessary policies and mechanisms for prevention and response.

At a meeting in late January in Ethiopia, African civil society organizations shared their experiences in engaging with the African Union, member states, and other intergovernmental organizations to help thwart mass atrocities.

The conference—"Civil Society Perspectives: A View from Africa: Reflecting on the Implementation of the Article 4(h) Agenda at the African Union"—was organized by the Stanley Foundation, the Pan African Lawyers Union, and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect.

Find video from the Addis Ababa event on our Multimedia page.
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