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THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN FIRST LADIES AGAINST HIV/AIDS (O.A.F.L.A.)

CONSTITUTION


PREAMBLE

We, the First Ladies of Africa,

CONSIDERING concerns expressed and commitments made during our various meetings in different countries to fight HIV/AIDS,

RECOGNIZING the framework of action of the international partnerships against AIDS in Africa, African Development Forum on Leadership Against AIDS, Addis Ababa 2000, the Declaration and the action plan of the special summit of the OAU Heads of States and Governments on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, (Abuja, Nigeria, April, 2001) and the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS of the 26th extraordinary session of the UN General Assembly, (New York, June, 2001), the creation of a New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in 2002, and the setting up of the African Union (UA-2002).

AGREE to set up a framework for dialogue, networking, information exchange, and strategic action named the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS

CHAPTER I: ESTABLISHMENT

 Article 1: Objective

The Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS, designated as OPDAS in French and OAFLA in English, has hereby been established. The Organization is a non-profit, non-governmental organization.

Article 2: Headquarters

The Headquarters shall be in the offices of the African Union . The headquarters can be transferred to any other place, at any time, upon the proposal of the Steering Committee and after the approval of the General Assembly.

 Article 3 : Duration

The Organisation shall exist as long as it takes to attain its objectives.

CHAPTER II: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ORGANIZATION

Article 4

The goal of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS is to advocate for increased awareness, the mobilization of resources, and the development of leadership, strategies and actions to fight HIV/AIDS at the national, regional and international levels.

Article 5

The objectives of the Organization shall be to:

Strengthen the capacity of members of the Organization to mobilize effective responses to HIV/AIDS for vulnerable populations;

  1. Reduce the stigma and discrimination of people living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS and increase their participation in fighting this pandemic;
  2. Mobilize stakeholders and financial and operational resources at the local, national, regional, and international levels to facilitate an expanded response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic;
  3. Advocate for the expansion of effective strategies for the prevention of HIV / AIDS, and for effective HIV / AIDS treatment;
  4. Monitor and evaluate the implementation of activities of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS.

CHAPTER IV: GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Article 6

The Organization of African First Ladies shall follow the following principles:

  1. Respect the national strategic framework, priorities and policies, and reinforce the activities of those national programs;
  2. Give due regard and complement existing achievements and initiatives;
  3. Recognize that the responsibility for national programs is incumbent upon the countries concerned rather than upon the donor nations;
  4. Promote and protect the fundamental rights of women and children;
  5. Advocate for human rights in general and especially the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.
  6. Press for the integration of a gender perspective into HIV/AIDS programs.
  7. Adopt a consensus approach.
  8. Support a continuum of services and programs, including prevention, treatment, care, and social support.
  9. Conform to and support the implementation of regional and International Conventions and Declarations on HIV/AIDS.

CHAPTER IV: MEMBERSHIP

Article 7 : Membership Qualifications

OAFLA includes:

 

* Active Members

  • Honorary Members and benefactors

Article 8: Active Membership

Active members of the Organization are :

Membership of the Organization shall be open to:

  1. All African First Ladies who meet the requirements as set out in Article 10;
  2. A representative designated by the Head of State of the African country where there is no First Lady, according to the stipulations of Article 10.

Article 9: Honorary Member and Benefactor

An honorary member or benefactor is any person to whom the General Assembly has conferred this title according to the procedures and conditions defined in the Rules of Procedure.

Article 10: Requirements for Membership

Becoming an active member of the Organization is based on the following conditions:

  1. Signing the "FRAMEWORK OF ACTION FOR THE AFRICAN FIRST LADIES AGAINST HIV/AIDS", approved in Geneva on July 19th, 2002;
  2. Payment of the membership fees, the individual participation fee of $5,000 USD per year, payable in one or two payments, as prescribed in the stipulations of the Rules of Procedure;
  3. The respect of the commitments made by OAFLA.

 CHAPTER VI: THE ORGANS OF THE ORGANIZATION

Article 11

The organs of the Organization shall be:

  1. The General Assembly
  2. The Steering Committee
  3. The Permanent Secretariat

 CHAPTER VI: The General Assembly

Article 12

The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Organization. It meets together once a year at the same time as the Summit meetings of the African Union. Between two General Assembly meetings, the coordination of the OAFLA activities is covered by the Steering Committee.

Article 13

Composition of the General Assembly

The members of the General Assembly shall be:

      • All African First Ladies who meet the requirements as set out in Article 10;
      • The representative designated by the Head of State of the African country where there is no First Lady, in conformity with the stipulations of Article 10;
      • The representatives of the First Ladies who are absent, according to the procedures defined in the Rules of Procedure;
 

b) Also attending the General Assembly

        • The Executive Secretary as Rapporteur, who does not have the right to vote;
        • Honorary members and benefactors upon the invitation of the Steering Committee;
        • Any person who might contribute to the meetings, upon the invitation of the Steering Committee, and in conformity with the stipulations in the Rules of Procedure.
 

Article 14

Officers of the General Assembly

  1. The officers of the General Assembly shall include five members: A President who is the OAFLA President, and four Vice-Presidents who are the OAFLA Vice-Presidents.
 

In case there is a duly noted vacancy among these five positions, this vacancy shall be filled according to the stipulations of the Rules of Procedure.

Article 15

Decisions of the General Assembly

In conformity with the guiding principles, decision-making in the General Assembly shall be done according to a consensual approach. If this should fail, decisions shall then be made by voting, according to the stipulations set down in the Rules of Procedure.

Article 16

Powers and Functions

 

 

  1. The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Organization;
  2. It shall be convened by the President in consultation with the four Vice-Presidents;
  3. It is presided over by the President of the Steering Committee, assisted by the four Vice-Presidents;
  4. It designates the members of the Steering Committee, examines the annual report and the budget, adopts the action plan as well as the Constitution and Rules of Procedure, and defines the Organization’s strategies.
  5. It meets together once a year. This meeting is called an Ordinary General Assembly. The General Assemblies are to be scheduled around the dates of the summit meetings of the African Union. Extraordinary General Assemblies can be convened if necessary, according to the stipulations laid down in the Rules of Procedure;
  6. It decides upon the place and date of the following meeting;
  7. It can delegate any power and function to any organ of the Organization;
  8. It confers the title of honorary member and benefactor member to individuals or other entities, according to the stipulations laid down by the Rules of Procedure;
  9. It determines the amount to be paid in annual dues for the active members of the Organization.

CHAPTER VII: The Steering Committee

Article 17

Composition of the Steering Committee:

  1. The Steering Committee shall include the following:
 

* The President

* The 4 Vice-Presidents

  1. The President of the Steering Committee shall automatically be the President of the General Assembly;
  2. The Vice-Presidents of the Steering Committee shall automatically be the Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly;
  3. The Steering Committee may co-opt other ad hoc members (for specific purposes) including, but not limited to, the First Lady of the host country of the following General Assembly meeting.
 

Article 18: Means of Designating the Steering Committee

  1. The active members carry out consultations in the five regions of the African continent ( Southern Africa, Centrale Africa, East Africa, North Africa and West Africa), and designate one representative from each of the regions.
  2. These five representatives together designate a President and submit their recommendation for the approval of the General Assembly.
  3. The four other representatives become de facto Vice-Presidents.

Article 19

Missions of the Steering Committee

  1. The President of the Organization is in charge of representing and promoting the Organization at the national, regional and international levels;
  2. She convenes the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the General Assembly;
  3. The Vice-Presidents represent and assure the promotion of the Organization at the sub-regional level;
  4. The Vice-Presidents carry out their missions given to them by the President.

Article 20

Functions of the Steering Committee

 

 

  1. The functions of the Steering Committee are as follows:
 

1.Implement the decisions of the General Assembly;

2.Submit recommendations or proposals to the General Assembly;

3.Prepare the Agenda of the General Assembly;

        4.Coordinate the work of the sub-regions;

 

5.Provide guidance to the Permanent Secretariat;6.Oversee the functioning of the Secretariat;7.Coordinate the mobilization of resources and the implementation of the activities program;

8.Promote the Organization

Article 21

The Term of Office of Steering Committee Members

The members of the Steering Committee shall stay in office for a two-year term.Article 22Meetings of the Steering Committee

  1. The Steering Committee shall meet together every 4 months in an ordinary meeting, and if possible, at the same time as the international meetings of the Heads of State and Governments;
  2. It can meet in an extraordinary meeting upon the request of the President, or according to the stipulations laid down by the Rules of Procedure.

 CHAPTER VIII: The Permanent Secretariat

Article 23

Offices of the Permanent Secretariat

The Permanent Secretariat of the Organization will be located at the headquarters of the African Union.Article 24Composition of the Permanent SecretariatThe Permanent Secretariat shall include:An Executive Secretary;An Assistant Secretary who is the accountant;Two or three administrative agents.Article 25Means of Recruiting

  1. The recruiting of the Executive Secretary and his assistant shall be done through an international bid offer, according to the stipulations laid down by the Rules of Procedure;
  2. The Executive Secretary shall have the responsibility of appointing the other members of the Secretariat, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

Article 26

The Functions of the Secretariat

  1. The Executive Secretariat is in charge of the implementation of decisions made by the General Assembly, and carrying out of duties as delegated by the Steering Committee;It establishes the Organization’s quarterly activity report, to be given to the Steering Committee;It contributes to the effort of promoting the Organization initiated by the Steering Committee on both a sub-regional and international level;It also supports the mobilization of resources for the implementation of OAFLA activities program;It contributes to the promotion of good working relations with the Secretariat of the African Union;It helps in the Promotion of partnerships with donors, Non Governmental Organizations, and other entities;It administers and manages the finances and resources of the Organization, according to the stipulations laid down in the Rules of Procedure;It supports and monitors the implementation of the activities in the different sub-regions;It coordinates the implementation of the Organization’s activities;
  2. The executive secretary shall compile an annual activities report for the organization at the national, sub regional and regional levels, and submit the report to the General Assembly for approval.

 

Article 27

The working languages of the Organization shall be those of the African Union.

CHAPTER X: BUDGET AND EXPENSES

Article 28

Source of finances for the Organization and the activities of the First Ladies and the work-plan of the Organization shall be from a variety of sources. These may include, but shall not be limited to: the obligatory contribution from the First Ladies in the form of membership fees, Government subsidies, voluntary contributions from the private sector and from bilateral and multi-lateral organizations, fund-raising activities, grants, endowments, charities, trusts, or other donations.

Article 29

The Secretary shall prepare and submit the annual budget to the General Assembly for approval.

Article 30

The funds of the Organization shall be kept in a first-rank international bank at the headquarters of the Organization.

Article 31

The Executive Secretary shall manage the expenditure of finances in accordance with the rules and regulations in the Rules of Procedure of the Organization. 

CHAPTER XI: RELATIONS WITH THE AFRICAN UNION AND OTHER PARTNERS

Article 32

Subject to agreement with the African Union, the Organization shall establish relations with this institution defined through a Memorandum of Understanding, or Protocol Agreement.

Article 33

The Organization shall establish effective relations and co-operate closely with such other relevant partners of its choosing. Any formal agreement entered into with such partners shall be subject to approval by the Steering Committee.

Article 34

The Organization may, on matters within its competence, make suitable arrangements for consultation and co-operation with international, regional and national non-governmental organizations.  

CHAPTER XV: FINAL CLAUSES

Article 38

Dispute Settlement

Differences that may arise between members and between the members of the Organization and other partners will be solved amicably and where necessary with the involvement of an external arbitrator.

Article 39

The Organization shall be incorporated as a legal entity according to the law of the host country where its headquarters is basedArticle 40The law of the host country shall determine the privileges and immunity that the Organization may have.Article 41Amendment and RevisionAmendments or revisions of this Constitution shall be submitted to and adopted by the General Assembly by consensus

Article 42

The Loss of Membership

A member shall lose membership when

  1. The First Lady ceases to be a spouse of an African Head of State/ Head of Government. The spouse of the member is no longer a Head of State/Head of State.The person designated by the Head State/Head of State of ceases to be the latter’s representative.
  2. She acts against the provisions of the statutes of the Organization

Article 43

Entry into ForceThe Constitution shall enter into force upon approval by the General Assembly.

Article 44

Dissolution

The Organization shall be dissolved by the General Assembly on consensus subject to Article 29

Article 45

Subject to Article 29, the General Assembly can examine other options including the adoption of new objectives.

 

 

 


 

 
 
   
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