The AU and its various organs and programs were created primarily to improve governance, promote sustainable development, uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights. Since its creation in 2002, the AU has acknowledged the importance of the contribution of non-governmental actors to society and the development process, recognizing that only through cooperation with trade unions, cooperatives and cultural, professional, business, neighborhood and community associations can AU member states fully realize their aspirations within a just social order. The five-person Sub-committee meets once a month. They can meet in emergency sessions as and when there is a need.
The AUOP works in conjunction with the Policy Programme of the organisation. It has oversight of eight specialized units.