president sam nujoma speech
I am proud to be associated with the name of Dr. Boutros Ghali, who was the first African to serve as UN Secretary-General in 1992, a period of great global challenges that faced the United Nations.
Ambassador Dr. Moushira Khattab, Executive President of KEMET Boutros Boutros Ghali Foundation for Peace and Knowledge (KBBG);
Mr Mamdouh Abbas, Foundation President;
Honourable Hala Al Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development and Head of the Foundation Advisory Board;
Honourable Nabila Makram, State Minister of Migration and Egyptian Affairs Abroad;
Dr. Mahmoud Al- Saeed, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science of the University of Cairo;
Your Excellency, Ambassador Ahmed Hegazy, Former Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU);
Dr. Moufeed Shehab, Former Minister of State for Parliamentary Councils and Legal Affairs;
Mr Mohammed Fayek, President of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights, Foundation Member of the Board of Trustees and Former Minister of Family and Population of the Arab Republic of Egypt;
Distinguished Members of the Board of Trustees of the KEMET Boutros Boutros Ghali Foundation for Peace and Knowledge (KBBG);
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps present;
Distinguished Invited Guests;
Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a great honour for me to be here today to receive the prestigious Annual Award for “Outstanding Achievements” in the field of Diplomacy for Peaceful Conflict Resolutions and Strengthening of Cooperation and Peace between civilizations.
In this regard, allow me on behalf of my delegation and I, to express our deepest gratitude to Ambassador Dr. Moushira Khattab, Executive President and the entire Board of Trustees of the KEMET Boutros Boutros Ghali Foundation for Peace and Knowledge (KBBG), and through you, to the Government and the fraternal people of the Arab Republic of Egypt, for the exceptionally warm welcome and traditional generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival in the beautiful Garden City of Cairo in this country of rich and long history in human civilization.
As you may recall, the friendship and strong bonds of solidarity between the Republic of Namibia and the Arab Republic of Egypt are historical and date back to the years of our protracted armed liberation struggle.
It was during those testing times of our liberation struggle that SWAPO joined hands with other progressive forces at multilateral fora such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Anti-apartheid Movement as well as the United Nations (UN) through the United Nation Council for Namibia, who supported the noble cause of the struggle for the liberation of our motherland Namibia.
In this regard, I recall that I attended the Third All-African People’s Conferences that took place in March 1961 in Cairo, Egypt, where I met many other Pan-Africanists, including the Late President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, who was a dedicated supporter of African liberation. He assured us of support to SWAPO and offered me air tickets for military training of our combatants.
As a result, in July 1962, SWAPO sent seven men to the Arab Republic of Egypt for military training in guerrilla warfare tactics, including parachuting and marine training. These were among the first combatants of SWAPO’s Military Wing, who lit the torch of our armed liberation struggle on the 26 of August 1966 at Omugulugwombashe in Northern Namibia.
As Egypt played a pivotal role in supporting our struggle, the country hosted the first SWAPO Office in Ahmed Hishmat St, Zamalek, Cairo, which was the home of Africa’s liberation movements, hosting and training African freedom fighters and supplying us with arms and ammunition.
I equally recall with fond memories that in 1964 the OAU set up the African Liberation Committee, later renamed as the Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa, with headquarters in Dar-es-Salaam. Among the nine OAU member states who formed part of the Liberation Committee, was the United Arab Republic of Egypt.
This Committee, under the Chairmanship of Egypt, recognized SWAPO as the Sole and Authentic Representative of the Namibian people which was also endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.
Against this background, I shall be failing in my duty if I do not thank the gallant people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the unflinching political, material, diplomatic and moral support they gave to our liberation movement, SWAPO, until the attainment of our freedom and genuine independence on the 21st March 1990.
As SWAPO was promoting unity of purpose among all Namibians, immediately after independence, we introduced a policy of national reconciliation, which brought former enemies together under one umbrella. This we did because we were conscious of the fact that only peace could assure sustainable development and nation-building for our country.
This award is a dedication to the Namibian people for whom I was honoured to provide leadership during the bitter and protracted liberation struggle against foreign rule of our country and for whom we laid a foundation to chart the future destiny of a free and independent Namibia.
I am therefore most grateful to have been selected as a recipient of this distinct honour and accept it with humility on behalf of the Namibian people and other progressive people of the world, especially those who stood in solidarity with us during our liberation struggle for freedom and genuine independence.
I am proud to be associated with the name of Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, who was the first African to serve as UN Secretary-General in 1992, a period of great global challenges that faced the United Nations Organisation.
His significant achievement was his document “Agenda for Peace” which initiated a plan for the U.N. to start examining socio-economic dimensions of development in a more integrated way, especially in the aftermath of conflict.
Against this background, when I received the notification of this award, my heart was filled with joy because of the value that is attached to it through the work of the former UN Secretary General, the Late Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali.
It is therefore also befitting that this award is conferred on me on the 14th of November, the birthday of the Late Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali.
The theme of the KEMET Boutros Boutros Ghali Foundation for Peace and Knowledge Annual Award, namely, “Outstanding Achievements” in the field of Diplomacy for Peaceful Conflict Resolutions and Strengthening of Cooperation and Peace between civilizations, is very important, especially for us in Africa.
It resonates well with the African Union’s (AU) wish to silence the guns on the African continent, as perceived in Agenda 2063, on the Africa we want. It is also in conformity with United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, as contained in United Nations Agenda 2030.
With regard to finding peaceful solutions to various situations in Africa, we express our deep appreciation for the positive and constructive approach displayed by the three Parties of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Sudan and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in finding a peaceful, negotiated settlement, in the case of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
In this regard, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of a win-win outcome, in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation and express our confidence in the African Union (AU)-led processes and strongly support the mediation undertaken by the current President of the African Union (AU).
We therefore urge all African Union (AU) member states to always work towards finding African solutions to African problems.
I thank you!