ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, JULY 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic lay Community of Sant’Egidio and the African Union will continue to cooperate in improving living conditions and promoting peace, according to a contract signed this month by the two groups.
Vittorio Scelzo, a representative of the Sant’Egidio Community, and Jean Ping, the chairman of the African Union Commission, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on July 15 in Ethiopia.
The agreement recognizes the community’s role in searching for peace and dialogue, within the framework of the AU’s role in preventing and resolving conflicts.
It also establishes cooperation in promoting the value of life and the dignity of each person, respect for human rights, rejection of violence and the struggle against poverty. It further foresees information exchange in the fight against AIDS.
According to a statement from the African Union, “Ping commended the institution for its humanitarian achievements in Africa, particularly in the field of peace.”
The AU official also underlined the unique nature of Sant’Egidio, the community reported, since it “is not one [of] the many NGOs, but only cares for the good of the poor and of Africa” and is a resource for the whole continent.
He recalled Sant’Egidio’s mediation, including in a peace agreement in Mozambique and the recent signing of an agreement for the future of Guinea-Conakry.
The Sant’Egidio delegation meanwhile highlighted the results of their DREAM program in the fight against AIDS, and the Bravo! program implemented in Burkina Faso for the registration of personal data.