Press Releases

    SG/SM/9174
    AFR/853
    1 March 2004

    Secretary-General Offers UN’s Continued Commitment as African Union Begins Consolidating Common Strategy for Peace, Security

    NEW YORK, 27 February (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the extraordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union, in Sirte, 27 February, delivered by Tuliameni Kalomoh, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

    I am delighted to convey my warmest greetings to this important meeting at which you, the leaders of the African Continent, will be considering critical issues of peace, stability and security in Africa.  The United Nations, which remains firmly committed to Africa’s welfare, is honoured to be associated with this endeavour.  We will be following the deliberations closely to determine ways and means of working closely with you to achieve the specific goals that you will agree upon as you embark on consolidating a common strategy for Africa’s peace and security.

    As you pursue your bold efforts to develop the institutions of the African Union, let us bear in mind that the decision to establish the Union in the first place was intended to help foster greater political, economic and social integration in Africa.  It is therefore fitting that, at this session, you will be considering how to work together to develop common approaches to critical challenges facing the countries and peoples of the Continent as a whole.  The United Nations has been working with the African Union to assist with the elaboration of concepts and strategies aimed at enhancing the operational effectiveness of the Commission’s institutions.  We will continue to do so as the Union steps up its efforts to take firm charge of the enormous and complex challenges before it.

    A great deal has already been accomplished since the African Union was established.  I commend those achievements.  At the same time, much remains to be done.  Key policy issues are before you for consideration.  I am confident that your judgement and leadership will help the new institutions carry out their tasks wisely and effectively.  In that spirit, I wish you every success in your deliberations.

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