Press Releases

    SG/SM/8352
    AFR/465
    2 September 2002

    MOZAMBIQUE’S CONTINUING SUCCESS IS "BEST POSSIBLE
    ANTIDOTE" TO SKEPTICS, CYNICS ABOUT AFRICA,
    SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS

    NEW YORK, 30 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a toast by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the dinner given by Joaquin Chissano, President of Mozambique, in Maputo on 29 August:

    It is an honour to visit this beautiful country, and I am deeply grateful for the hospitality you have accorded my wife and me, as well as all my team.

    In particular, I am moved that my first visit to Mozambique as Secretary-General coincides with the tenth anniversary of the signing of the agreement that brought peace to Mozambique. Despite the very real challenges that still confront your nation, what I have seen since arriving are, above all, the many and enduring dividends of a decade of peace.

    Mozambique’s hard-won stability provides an example to every nation striving to rebuild after conflict and turmoil, not least in the African continent. You have shown that it can be done. For the United Nations, Mozambique's triumph is of special significance. It will be remembered as one of the biggest success stories in which we have been involved -- in peace-making, peacekeeping, mine action, humanitarian and electoral assistance, and the repatriation of refugees.

    Today, the Mozambican success story continues. Your economy is growing rapidly, despite the terrible floods that afflicted the country two years ago and the AIDS crisis which you are confronting head-on. Your regional leadership benefits the whole of the continent, whether through your chairmanship of the Politics, Defence and Security Organ of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), your contributions on individual issues ranging from Swaziland to the Comoros to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or your work on the Steering Committee of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

    Mr. President, your personal leadership and statesmanship, as well as your commitment to safeguarding the democratic and electoral process in your country, is an example to all Africa. Your pragmatic approach to the present drought is also to be commended.

    Mr. President, Mozambique’s continuing success story and the climate of trust it has generated is the best possible antidote to the skeptics and cynics about Africa. On that note, let me thank the bilateral donors, many of whom are here tonight, for the dedicated and constructive partnership they have forged with the United Nations family in the work for Mozambique’s development.

    I know that Mozambique will continue to be a committed partner of the United Nations as we pursue our overriding mission to translate the Millennium Declaration into reality and work for freedom from fear, freedom from want, and the protection of our planet’s resources. That endeavour is about to be put to an important test as the world meets in Johannesburg for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. I know I can count on Mozambique as we seek a successful outcome there.

    And so Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a toast: to an ever closer partnership between Mozambique and the United Nations.

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