Anniversary of Africa Day
"From 40 years of solidarity in struggle,
to a century of unity, peace, and prosperity"
Statement by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan,
President of the General Assembly
28 May 2003
His Excellency Mr. Kenneth Kaunda,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
am extremely pleased to have this opportunity to address the commemoration
of the 40th Anniversary of Africa Day.
would first like to take the opportunity to comment on this year's
theme, which is very telling of the current situation in the African
continent. The theme of this year's commemoration, I'm sure, resounds
very deeply with every African, for a number of reasons, but primarily
because of the challenges Africa has faced and continues to endure,
such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, and in a broad sense, her search
for self-definition in this time of rapid globalization.
year's observance bears special significance because it marks
the first-year anniversary of the African Union, the new voice
of Africa, which was established to succeed her 4-decade-old predecessor,
the Organization of African Unity.
this design, the African continent earlier on envisioned the integration
of all the apparatus Africa would need to provide the framework,
tools and common purpose needed to achieve its goals in the next
we witnessed the birth of a very important initiative - the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), which has forged
a new path under the direction of Africa's leaders who, unfettered
by the constraints of external conditions, are tirelessly working
towards the ultimate goal of empowering and cultivating the potential
of the African continent. The United Nations had expressed its
strong support to this initiative during last fall's deliberations
on this issue, and through resolution 57/2, the Assembly reaffirmed
its conviction that, if given the essential assistance and tools,
Africa would succeed in achieving the aspirations envisaged by
large part of the assistance Africa needs lies in the areas of
Infrastructure, Integration and Development; moreover, Africa
needs to find a way of strengthening the link between these integral
factors of development. These issues still need to be thoroughly
reviewed as they lie at the heart of the central mechanism that
will allow the continent to build a stable foundation upon which
other mechanisms and developmental strategies can be built.
issues are currently deliberated through this African blueprint,
and through its guidance, and in concert with efforts from other
UN and non-UN bodies, represent the framework for a number of
developmental issues that are currently being discussed and, in
some cases, started to be implemented.
have to continue with helping to bridge the infrastructure gap,
mobilize Africa's resources, continue efforts in debt relief for
highly indebted countries, and most importantly, support the conditions
for sustainable development, through peace, security and governance.
heartens me to know that the support of the world body for Africa
has not waned, in fact, since the Millennium Summit Declaration,
the commitment and effort towards Africa has grown.
remains the UN's priority and thus the UN continues to play an
important role in strengthening partnerships for development and
peace. The continent is reliant on the international community
to bring its physical and social structures together to harness
its potential for development.
this said, I should stress the African continent is a critical
piece to the global mosaic of development of the entire world
community, thus I urge all actors involved in the process to redouble
their efforts to help Africa fulfill her destiny. At this critical
juncture in Africa's development, we have to continue with our
pledge to work towards the common goal of African parity with
the global community. Let us share in her struggle towards the
objectives of unity, peace and prosperity.