BY HONOURABLE BECHIR KHALFALLAH
As you might have observed, as a result of my health condition, I could not resume activities except at the beginning of the deliberations of the 51st Ordinary Session. Indeed, I arrived in Banjul just on 14 April, 2012. I forwarded a medical record to you and the Secretariat as proof of my state of health.
I seize this opportunity to express my gratitude to you, Madam ATOKI, Chairperson of our bureau and to all colleagues, Honourable Commissioners for all your best wishes and your prayers, in particularly to my dear colleague Madam Soyata MAIGA who accompanied me almost every week during the long and painful treatment. I also express my thanks to members of the Secretariat headed by Dr. Mary MABOREKE. Finally, I express my appreciation to States’ representatives and members of civil society who were eager to know about my state of health and prayed for my recovery.
For more than fifteen years that I have been participating assiduously in the work of this august assembly, my experience and devotion have been enhanced and boosted by the kindhearted attention you have given to me throughout all these years in spite of our philosophical and ideological diversity. This state of affairs undoubtedly shows that we all belong to a single big family.
I WISH TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL
I. In my capacity as Commissioner:
1. I participated in several meetings with representatives of the African Diaspora living in Paris and particularly, in a conference-debate facilitated by my friend, Mr. Abdoulaye Lelouma DIALLO, representative of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) at the ILO in Geneva on the theme :
«The Role of the Trade Union Movement, in particular the African Trade Union Movement, in the light of the Algiers Appeal, vis-à-vis occupation wars and foreign interference in Africa»
The ensuing discussions once again showed how members of the Diaspora are attached to their motherland and its freedom; and are always ready to defend its sovereignty while respecting the political, philosophical and religious choices of every individual. Furthermore, they expect greater clarity of action from our African Union and its African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. They do not stop asking themselves the following two questions: «When will African problems be solved solely by Africans themselves? When will African resources directly benefit the African population?
2. On 1st April, 2012, I received a 53-page report from the Secretariat on the mission undertaken to the Central African Republic from 6 to 16 June, 2011 requesting that I submit my observations and contributions as head of delegation responsible for human rights problems in the Central African Republic. I sent back the report on 4 April, 2012 via Chronopost.
3. I responded to several mails sent my legal assistant, Mr Lassana KONE, on countries for which I am responsible, namely : Chad, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, the Central African Republic and Mauritania in my capacity as the Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and generally when it had to do with my participation in any initiative. Mr Lansana KONE left us on 10 April, 2012, and since then I do not have any French-speaking legal assistant, in spite of the numerous requests I have made in that respect.
Thank you for your kind attention