Pagina Oficial de la Union Africana Union Africana - Wikipedia The African Union (abbreviated AU in English, and UA in its other official languages) is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 53 African states. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Overview Among the objectives of the AU's leading institutions, are to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent; to promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples; to achieve peace and security in Africa; and to promote democratic institutions, good governance and human rights. The African Union is made up of both political and administrative bodies. The highest decision-making organ of the African Union is the Assembly, made up of all the heads of state or government of member states of the AU. The Assembly is currently chaired by Bingu wa Mutharika, leader of Malawi, elected at the tenth ordinary meeting of the Assembly in January 2009. The AU also has a representative body, the Pan African Parliament, which consists of 265 members elected by the national parliaments of the AU member states. The current president of the Pan African Parliament is Idriss Ndele Moussa. Other political institutions of the AU include the Executive Council, made up of foreign ministers, which prepares decisions for the Assembly; the Permanent Representatives Committee, made up of the ambassadors to Addis Ababa of AU member states; and the Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), a civil society consultative body. The AU Commission, the secretariat to the political structures, is chaired by Jean Ping of Gabon. The main administrative capital of the African Union is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the African Union Commission is headquartered. Other AU structures are hosted by different member states: for example, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is based in Banjul, The Gambia; and the NEPAD and APRM Secretariats as well as the Pan-African Parliament are in Midrand, South Africa. The AU covers the entire continent except for Spanish North Africa and Morocco, as that state opposes the membership of Western Sahara as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. However, Morocco has a special status within the AU and benefits from the services available to all AU states from the institutions of the AU, such as the African Development Bank. Moroccan delegates also participate at important AU functions, and negotiations continue to try to resolve the conflict with the Polisario Front in Tindouf, Algeria and parts of Western Sahara. The AU's first military intervention in a member state was the May 2003 deployment of a peacekeeping force of soldiers from South Africa, Ethiopia, and Mozambique to Burundi to oversee the implementation of the various agreements. AU troops were also deployed in Sudan for peacekeeping in the Darfur conflict, before the mission was handed over to the United Nations on 1 January 2008 UNAMID. The AU has also sent a peacekeeping mission to Somalia, of which the peacekeeping troops are from Uganda and Burundi. The AU has adopted a number of important new documents establishing norms at continental level, to supplement those already in force when it was created. These include the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (2003) and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007), as well as the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and its associated Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance.