H.E. Mr. Joao Bernardo de Miranda, Minister of External Relations
26 September 2008
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JOÃO BERNARDO DE MIRANDA, Minister of External Relations of Angola, said his country, having just concluded successful democratic elections, would continue its engagement and commitment to the maintenance of peace, security and the consolidation of democracy. It would also continue its respect for human rights and sustainable economic development based on the social laws of a market economy that would safeguard the interests and satisfy the majority of its people.
He said that, by the legislative elections held in “an environment of transparency and total freedom” on 5 September this year, Angola had added one more pillar to its democratic structure, explaining that that had been achieved despite the criticism and pressure on the Government to hold elections earlier.
With gradual, yet significant improvements in the quality of life of the population, and an atmosphere of peace in the nation, a climate of tolerance and political coexistence had begun to take root, he said, adding: “The elections were indeed an expression of the reaffirmation of our dignity.” Further, all efforts put into the complex electoral process that led to the success of that historic event had been made with the country’s own human and material resources.
It was a source of pride to have once more given a good example of political maturity, civic discipline and inclusive popular participation, he said, declaring that the accomplishment showed the world that Africans had the capability and the ability to craft their own destiny and develop participatory democracy.
On the continent’s trouble spots, he said armed conflict continued to absorb resources from both the international community and the parties involved, especially disturbing since those resources could be better utilized for the well-being of the people in the affected territories. He was, however, pleased that, for the first time in many years, Africa was experiencing a significant reduction in conflict, thus allowing for an improvement of its economic indicators.
Progress in the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as the consolidation of peace under way in Sierra Leone and in Liberia, were examples that had brought about this new “aura of hope”. Furthermore, despite some tension in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, progress made there was manifestly encouraging. He hoped that the current efforts by the United Nations, the African Union, as well as by regional organizations, would help resolve the conflicts in Somalia and Darfur in a similar manner.