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NEWS & VIEWS



Agreement Establishing
The Sana'a Forum for Cooperation


The Republic of the Sudan, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Yemen, having decided to establish the Sana'a Forum for Cooperation;

Cognizant of the need to further enhance the materialization of economic, political, social and cultural development, integration ad prosperity of their peoples;

Convinced that the promotion and strengthening of close cooperation among the member countries will contribute to the promotion of peace, security and stability in the Horn of Africa and the Southern Red Sea;

Stressing the importance of maintaining and strengthening regular consultations and coordination on all matters of common concern;

Reaffirming the need to establish a framework for cooperative management and its implementation among the member countries;

Reiterating their full adherence to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, particularly the principles of respect for territorial integrity and political independence of all states and peaceful settlement of disputes;

Have agreed as follows:

Article I
Definitions
In this Agreement, unless the context means otherwise, the following words shall have the specified meanings:

"Agreement" shall mean the Agreement Establishing the Sana'a Forum for Cooperation;

"Forum" shall mean the Sana'a Forum for Cooperation established by this Agreement.

"Member State" shall mean a member State of the Forum

"Summit" shall mean the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Forum.

"Executive Committee" shall mean the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Member States.

"Specialized Committee" shall mean the committees of the Forum at the levels of Ministers, Ambassadors, heads of agencies or departments.

Article II
Establishment and Members of the Forum
1. The Sana'a Forum for Cooperation (SFC) is hereby established.

2. The founding Members of the Forum are the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of Yemen.

3. Membership is open to any country of the Horn of Africa and the Southern Red Sea region that is committed to and recognizes the objectives of this Agreement.

4. New members are admitted by unanimous agreement of the founding Members of the Forum.

Article III
Objectives
The following shall be the objectives of the Forum;

1. Promotion of cooperation among the Member States to fulfill the aspirations of their peoples for economic, social and cultural development.

2. Maintenance of peace, security and stability for the Horn of Africa and the Southern Red Sea region ;

3. Promotion of cooperation among the Member States in areas of joint investment and smooth movement of capital and combating of all forms of smuggling;

4. Further strengthening of the historic, social and cultural relations that bind the peoples of the Horn of Africa and the Southern Red Sea;

5. Prevention and peaceful settlements of disputes; resolution of conflicts among the Members States of the sub-region through dialogue and by other peaceful means; and

6. Mutual assistance and coordination of regional efforts in the fight against international terrorism.

Article IV
Organs
1. The Organs of the Forum shall be:

1. The Summit:

2. The Executive Committee: and

3. The specialized Committees:

Political;

Peace and Security; and Economic and Trade.

2. The Executive Committee may, whenever it is deemed appropriate, establish additional Specialized-Committees.

Article V
The Summit
1. The Summit shall be the supreme organ of the Forum

2. The Summit shall oversee the implementation of the objectives of the Forum

Article VI
The Executive Committee
1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States.

2. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the functioning and development of the Forum.

3. To this end, it shall :

a. make recommendation to the Summit on any action aimed at attaining the objectives of the Forum.

b. guide the activities of the Specialized Committees:

c. submit to the Summit proposals concerning programs of activities:

d. examines the reports it receives from the Specialized Committees and submit same to the Summit; and

e. carry out all other functions assigned thereto under this Agreement and exercise all powers designated to it by the Summit.

Article VII
The specialized Committees
1. The Specialized Committees shall comprise a representative or representatives of each Member State.
2. Each Specialized Committee within its area of competence :

a. prepares action plans of the Forum and submit same to the Executive Committee for approval ;

b. ensures the coordination, follow-up and evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by the Executive Committee and / or the Summit;

c. ensures the coordination and harmonization of the activities of the Forum;

d. Submits to the Executive Committee, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Executive Committee, reports on its activities and recommendations on the implementation of the objectives of the Agreement; and

e. Carries out any other functions assigned to it by the Executive Committee.

Article VIII
Focal Point
Each Member State shall designate a relevant Government institution to serve as a focal point for the respective Organs of the Forum.

Article IX
Meetings and Decision Making
1. The Summit shall meet once a year in ordinary session. The Executive Committee and the Specialized Committees shall also hold their regular meetings at least every six months.

2. Any Member State may, where there arises a need, request the convening of an extraordinary meeting.

3. Unless otherwise agreed, the venue shall be by rotation.

4. The Executive Committee and the Specialized Committees shall prepare their respective rules of procedures and submit same to the Summit and the Executive Committee, respectively, for approval.

5. The hosting Member State shall serve as Chairperson of the Forum up the next Summit meeting.

6. All decisions shall be passed by consensus.

Article X
Amendments
1. Any Member State may submit proposals for the amendment of this Agreement
2. Proposal for amendments shall be submitted to, and examined by the Executive Committee, which shall submit same to the Summit for approval.

Article XI
Withdrawal
Any Member State wishing to withdraw from the Forum may do so by giving one-year notice in writing to the Chairperson of the Forum who will circulate it to the Member States within two months of receiving it. Upon the expiration of this period, that Member State shall, if the notice is not withdrawn, cease to be a member of the Forum.

Article XII
Entry into Force
This Agreement shall come into force the day when the last of the founding Member States inform the other two of the finalization of the legal process in accordance with its legislative requirements.

Signed this 29th Day of the Month of December 2003, in Addis Ababa, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in Arabic, Amharic and English languages, all being equally authentic.

H.E. Omer Hassan Ahmed El bashir
President of the Republic
of the Sudan
H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi
Prime Minister of the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh
President of the Republic of Yemen

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