Posted by: africanpressorganization | 14 June 2011

Remarks by H.E. Dr. Jean Ping Chairperson African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 June 2011





Remarks by H.E. Dr. Jean Ping Chairperson African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 June 2011


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 14, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks by H.E. Dr. Jean Ping Chairperson African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 June 2011


Your Excellency Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America

Deputy Chairperson

Executive Secretary of UNECA


Chair of the PRC and other Members of the PRC,

Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Representatives of the RECs,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I wish to warmly welcome all of you to this afternoon’s function. On your behalf, I am exceedingly delighted to very warmly welcome Madam Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, on her maiden visit and indeed the first visit of a US Secretary of State to the Headquarters of our pan-African organization, the African Union.

It is my pleasant duty to introduce her to you and to say a few words about the great personality we have in our midst today. Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States in the Administration of President Barack Obama on 21 January 2009. Prior to that, she had devoted nearly four decades of her life in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady and Senator.

Mrs. Clinton embarked on a career in law after graduating from Yale Law School in 1975. Named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979, she was twice listed as one of the 100 major important lawyers in America. As the First Lady of the State of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, she successfully led a task force to reform the State’s educational system.

Following the election of Governor Bill Clinton, her spouse, as President of the United States of America, from 1991 to 2000, the First Lady became an advocate of healthcare reform and worked on many issues relating to children and families. As the most empowered presidential spouse in American history, she travelled to more than 80 countries, including African countries, as a worthy representative of America, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy and civil society. In Africa, it is recalled that she was a strong advocate of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which her spouse, then President Clinton, signed into law in May 2000 to support Africa’s trade and economic development. It is no wonder that, she came as the first Secretary of State to an AGOA meeting in Lusaka, Zambia to assure Africa of the extension of the programme beyond 2015. We can assure you Madam Secretary that we will go on lobbying to the Congress for AGOA….(inaudible)…

Madam Secretary, your famous speech in Beijing in 1995 during the Fourth World Conference on Women, when you declared that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”, inspired women worldwide and helped galvanize a global movement for women’s rights.

In 2000, Madam Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate and the first woman elected statewide in New York. She was re-elected in 2006. While in the Senate, she served on several Committees, including the Armed Services Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, as well as the Budget Committee. She worked across party lines to build support for causes important to America, including the expansion of economic opportunity and access to quality and affordable healthcare.

In 2007, Madam Clinton began her historic campaign for President of the United States in 2008 and came close to winning the Democratic Party’s nomination. She then campaigned vigorously for President Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency.

Madam Clinton is the author of best-selling books, including her memoir “Living History” and her groundbreaking book on children “It takes a village”.

Since her assumption of office, she has made it her duty to raise the strong historical and cultural ties between the US and Africa to a higher pedestal. Under her watch, there have been two annual US-AU High Level Meetings in Washington, which have enabled the two sides to establish the framework for enhanced cooperation in a number of areas on the basis of the principles of shared values, mutual respect and strategic partnership. The evolving dynamic and constructive relationship between the African Union and the United States has also provided us an opportunity to discuss a full range of regional and multilateral issues of mutual concern. The US continues to show full interest in and commitment to the African Union’s efforts at handling issues of peace and security, economic growth and sustainable economic development as well as terrorism and trafficking in Africa. We are happy that this enhanced AU-US cooperation of ours has become a win-win venture for both sides, contributing significantly to the achievement of our respective strategic objectives.

While we recognize that overcoming our challenges would not be possible without interacting with our friends and partners such as the US, we also believe that recognizing Africa’s leadership and ownership in these endeavors will better serve our quest for peace, security and development on the Continent.

Following the democracy movements in North Africa, where our youth have played a preponderant role, the African leaders have become aware of the magnitude of the aspirations and potentialities of our youth. To meet these expectations, the upcoming AU Summit at the end of this month will focus on the theme of I quote “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development» end of quotation. I know that this is also an area that the US Government, under the impulse of Madam Clinton, attaches a great deal of importance, and we hope to count on the support of the US in the implementation of the outcome of the discussions on the Summit theme.

We are also conscious of the US interest in seeing to it that the relations between the UN and the African Union yield fruitful results. In this connection, the US has put its weight behind the actualization of the UN Support to the African Union as outlined in the 10 year capacity building programme. The accreditation of the US Ambassador not only to the African Union, but for the first time to the ECA which you, Madam Clinton, effected today, bears ample testimony of this new beginning.

Permit me to state that since Secretary General Ban Ki Moon assumed office about four and a half years ago, the African Union and the UN have enjoyed close and expanding partnership. He has sought to place African issues at the centre of the UN’s work. He has participated in our meetings and we have worked together to consolidate democracy, advance development and strengthen our capacities for peacekeeping, peace building and electoral assistance. It is in the light of this that the African Group in New York has unanimously endorsed his candidature for a second term as Secretary General. I have therefore no reservation whatsoever to pledge my personal support and the support of the African Union Commission for his candidature, hoping that he will continue to build on these outstanding achievements during his second term.

On this note, I now have the distinct pleasure to invite Madam Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, to take the floor and to deliver her address.

I thank you for your attention.



African Union Commission (AUC)


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