|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL PRAISES FRANCE’S EFFORTS TO HELP RESOLVE AFRICA’S
‘PLAGUE’ OF CRISES, IN MESSAGE TO FRANCE-AFRIQUE SUMMIT IN CANNES
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Tuliameni Kalomoh, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, to the France-Afrique Summit in Cannes, 14 to 18 February:
It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to President Chirac and the African leaders who are gathered in Cannes for this important France-Afrique Summit.
Your presence together demonstrates yet again that France and Africa have a long and special relationship, to which both sides attach great importance.
This relationship has enabled France to support Africa at a number of critical junctures. I would like to acknowledge France’s efforts, in support of the United Nations and African regional organizations, to resolve the crises that continue to plague the African continent. France has consistently advocated the African agenda within the United Nations and the wider international community. We saw this again last September, when France was the first to develop and launch an innovative international facility for the purchase of life-saving drugs. The United Nations is very grateful for this initiative.
Last month, at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa and in visits to Kinshasa and Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as Brazzaville and Nairobi, I was deeply struck by Africa’s diversity, vitality and enormous potential. I also saw, at first hand, some of the huge challenges ahead. And I had constructive meetings with a large number of African leaders, to whom I reaffirmed that, under my stewardship, the United Nations will give high priority to Africa. I am determined to do everything possible to support Africa’s own courageous efforts to end violent conflict, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to be a full and effective partner in international affairs.
In these efforts, it is encouraging to know that France remains a strong partner, as it is across the spectrum of United Nations concerns. Let us strengthen that spirit of partnership -- and of solidarity with Africa’s people. Please accept my best wishes for a successful Summit.
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