Africa Day Celebrations at the United Nations

Celebrations of Africa Day and the International Year for People of African Descent

The Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations in partnership with the United Nations Senior Africans Group and the African Diaspora are hosting today an event at the UN to celebrate African Liberation Day.

Forging closer links between Africa and the Diaspora


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Ambassador  Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN

We are looking towards the great future that the continent can deliver for its people and to the world. While signs are good, there is much to be done, and much that we who are the sons and daughters of Africa can do to build the continent and to build our countries and communities that form this great Diaspora in partnership with the United Nations system and the international community.

Rev. Jesse Jackson

[…] We are free, but not equal […]

Remarks from the Secretary General

I am delighted to welcome you to this celebration to mark Africa Day. Every year, Africa Day provides an appropriate opportunity to reflect on the continent’s prospects, take stock of its problems, and acknowledge its achievements.

Through such initiatives as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and its Peer Review Mechanism, the leaders and peoples of Africa have helped focus our collective efforts on key priorities for the continent’s renewal. And through such institutions as the Pan-African Parliament and the African Union Peace and Security Council, they are also demonstrating increased commitment to take effective and concrete actions to address the immense challenges at hand. Recent sustained economic growth in many African countries is another encouraging development.

But I also share Africa’s pain and frustration at the persisting and widespread suffering on the continent. Extreme poverty — together with lack of access to basic education, health care and adequate nutrition — continues to prevent millions of talented, promising young people in Africa from fulfilling their potential. At the same time, the devastation being inflicted by HIV/AIDS, including its alarming spread among women, is reversing past development gains.

We welcome the important steps made towards consolidating peace in Africa, including the historic, democratic elections held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the progress achieved in the Côte d’Ivoire peace process. However, armed conflicts continue to have tragic consequences for civilians in Africa’s remaining trouble spots.

In Darfur, despite the joint efforts of the United Nations and the African Union to reinvigorate the peace process and strengthen peacekeeping, the violence is taking an intolerable toll on human lives. Somalia, too, is again in the midst of upheaval, underscoring the urgent need to find a political solution to the protracted crisis afflicting the country.

As we strive to make real progress in our fight against poverty, disease and illiteracy in Africa, let us strengthen our global partnership to reach the Millennium Development Goals, including through more and better aid, debt cancellation and fairer trade. Let us also do all we can to resolve the continent’s destructive conflicts, by making full use of Africa’s institutional mechanisms for the promotion of peace and security. Finally, we must all work diligently to improve respect for human rights, particularly by empowering Africa’s women.

I applaud the continent’s many contributions to the United Nations, and I reaffirm the support of this Organization for the work of the African Union. I also pledge the strong commitment of the United Nations to serve as Africa’s partner in our efforts to bring peace where there is war, prosperity where there is poverty, and hope where there is despair.

Speakers List

Dr. Djibril Diallo, Chairman of the Host Committee for the Africa Day Celebration and Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Cheryl Wills, NY1 Anchor (Co-Hosts)

Ambassador Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN

Ambassador Joy U. Ogwu, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Representatve of the African Group and Chair for the Month of May

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN

Bill Perkins, New York State Senator

Professor Iba Der Thiam, Wirter/Historian, First Vice President, National Assembly of Senegal

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Dr. Julius Garvey, Pan Africanism and the United States of Africa

Vanessa Williams, Executive Director, National Conference of Black Mayors

Uchenwa Njokwu, Youth Leader and President of NGO Flaunt Africa

Dr. Frederic M. N. Bertley, Vice President, Science and Innovation at The Franklin Institute

Nigerian Proverb

If a river changes its direction, the crocodile has to follow.


3 thoughts on “Africa Day Celebrations at the United Nations

  1. I hope this new found information puts Africa on the map:

    Kenya was named in part after Abrahams’ second wife Keturah, the Canaanite (i.e. Kenah/Kenya). This is found in the Book of Jasher, Chapter 25:1-5. Also in the bible, book of Genesis.

    The continent of Africa was named after Abraham and Keturah’s grandchildren (read Josephus Flavius’ Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 15).

  2. Pingback: Cheryl hosts event at United Nations! « Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale

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