Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, on Wednesday signed the Host Country Agreement for the establishment of the Headquarters of AFCONE to be located in Pretoria, South Africa, according to an AU statement.

The Host Agreement will allow AFCONE and its Secretariat to function fully and effectively to implement the mandate of the African Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty, which entered into force in July 2009, noted the statement.

Dlamini-Zuma said AFCONE would play a key role in supporting sustainable development on the continent, notably in supporting key Agenda 2063 priority areas such as infrastructure, health, agriculture, industrialization and energy amongst other priorities.

She underlined the positive role that AFCONE would play in advancing the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

The South African Minister for International Relations expressed the satisfaction of her government to host the Pan-African institution, noting the significant contribution toward the ultimate goal of achieving a world in which nuclear weapons no longer exist.

Following the signing, the Chairperson of the AU Commission seized the opportunity to call on all concerned states to ratify and accede to the Treaty of Pelindaba and its Protocols without further delay.

The African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Pelindaba, was signed in Cairo, Egypt, on 11 April 1996 and entered into force on 15 July 2009. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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