African Union Privileges and Immunities Order: SOR/2020-129
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 13
SOR/2020-129 June 16, 2020
FOREIGN MISSIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ACT
P.C. 2020-450 June 14, 2020
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to paragraphs 5(1)(f) footnote a to (h) of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act footnote b, makes the annexed African Union Privileges and Immunities Order.
African Union Privileges and Immunities Order
1 The following definitions apply in this Order.
- United Nations Convention means the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations set out in Schedule III to the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act. (Convention des Nations Unies)
- Vienna Convention means the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations set out in Schedule I to the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act. (Convention de Vienne)
Privileges and Immunities
2 (1) The Chairperson of the African Union, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the African Union Permanent Representative to the United States of America have, to the extent required for the exercise of their functions,
- (a) the privileges and immunities comparable to the privileges and immunities accorded to diplomatic agents under the Vienna Convention, other than duty and tax relief privileges; and
- (b) the same immunities and facilities in respect of their personal baggage as are accorded to diplomatic agents under paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.
(2) Other officials of the African Union have, to the extent required for the exercise of their functions, the privileges and immunities set out in paragraphs 18(a) and (c) to (f) of Article V of the United Nations Convention, subject to paragraph 20 of that Article.
(3) Experts who perform missions for the African Union have, to the extent required for the exercise of their functions, the privileges and immunities set out in Article VI of the United Nations Convention.
Coming into Force
3 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
The granting of privileges and immunities to African Union African senior officials, officials and experts on mission is required to support Canada’s growing relations with the African Union.
The African Union is an international organization established in 2002 consisting of 55 members, headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The African Union is the leading continental forum and the principal interlocutor for Africa. The African Union is a continental leader on peace and security, socio-economic development, governance, climate change, and continental integration. The African Union Commission serves as the key administrative and executive branch of the organization.
Canada and the African Union share a number of priorities, including peace and security, gender equality, empowering women and youth, helping the poorest and most vulnerable, good governance and pluralism, addressing climate change and the advancement of regional integration and a diversified trade agenda. Canada and the African Union have committed to deepen ongoing work on common priorities through regular high-level consultations.
Previously, senior officials, officials and experts of the African Union did not enjoy the privileges and immunities necessary for them to participate in high-level meetings held in Canada.
Privileges and immunities are granted to officials of international organizations to the extent necessary to permit the performance of their official duties, independent of the laws of the host state, in this case, Canada.
The Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act provides senior officials privileges and immunities by reference to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and provides other officials and experts privileges and immunities by reference to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
To provide certain privileges and immunities to the African Union to facilitate high-level meetings with the African Union in Canada.
The African Union Privileges and Immunities Order (the Order) grants
to African Union senior officials
- to the extent required for the performance of their functions, immunity from arrest or detention and from criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction;
- inviolability (i.e. protection) of the person, private residence, papers, correspondence and property; and
- immunity from seizure of personal baggage.
to other African Union officials
- to the extent required for the performance of their functions, immunity from legal process for words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity, and an exemption from immigration restrictions.
to African Union experts
- the privileges and immunities that are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions while transiting to and from, and during, their missions in Canada, such as the inviolability of all papers and documents, the right to receive correspondence in sealed bags and inviolability of their personal baggage.
No public consultation or prepublication was required because the Order aligns with international conventions.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
An initial assessment of the geographic scope and subject matter of the Order did not identify any modern treaty obligations.
The Order is made pursuant to the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act and is the only instrument that is available to grant privileges and immunities to the African Union.
Benefits and costs
Granting certain privileges and immunities to African Union senior officials, officials and experts on mission to Canada will support Canada’s deepening relations with the African Union and improve existing diplomatic and programmatic engagement with the organization by facilitating meetings in Canada with key African Union counterparts.
Strong diplomatic relations with the African Union are expected to advance Canada’s explicit interests in the region, including regarding peace and security, gender equality, empowering women and youth, helping the poorest and most vulnerable, good governance and pluralism, addressing climate change and the advancement of regional integration and a diversified trade agenda.
The current Order grants only the privileges and immunities considered most important for the purpose of described above. Specifically, the Order does not provide tax and duty privileges to officials and experts of the African Union. There are no costs associated with the implementation of the Order. Therefore, it will not result in lost fiscal revenue to the Government of Canada.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply, as there are no costs to small businesses.
The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs to businesses.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
Canada is offering the African Union the privileges and immunities considered necessary for our current level of engagement. For this reason, these privileges and immunities may differ in scope from those offered by the United States or by other countries hosting permanently African Union representatives and offices on their soil, which is not the case for Canada.
Strategic environmental assessment
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.
Gender-based analysis plus
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been considered in relation to the making of the Order and no differential impacts have been identified.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
The Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered. The senior officials, officials and experts of the African Union will enjoy privileges and immunities described in the Order whenever they come to Canada on official business.
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