Session VII: Keynote Addresses (Plenary)
Dr. Paterne Zinsou, the secretary general of UPF for West Africa, was the moderator.
Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal, prime minister of Nepal (2009-2011). The prime minister praised UPF and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), which have “been playing a crucial role in both promoting and networking people and organizations with a view to creating a better world based on social justice and equity.” He outlined IAPP’s four-fold objectives of peace, reconciliation, development and good governance, and said that Senegal can serve as an excellent example for Nepal because it carried out “a successful post-colonial democratic transition.”
H.E. Agbéyomé Kodjo, prime minister of Togo (2000-2002). “We want the world to see that Africa is proud of its identity and authentic values. We have to empower, through our families, love, respect for human dignity, tolerance, and a sense of effort to our children. Our children must be well trained to deal with a world in transformation. We have the power to push back the walls of ignorance. The governments have a role to play. They must be visionaries, fight against inequality and corruption and empower women. … This first Africa Summit is an appeal that we develop a collective consciousness for Africa’s role in the next decade. Africa can surprise the world!”
Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, speaker, National Assembly of Ghana. “Africa is facing a new paradigm; the problem is that most of Africa still follows the old colonial paradigm, which is that Africa would produce the raw materials and the colonial powers would produce the finished products. The new paradigm must see Africa with its own industry and be self-sufficient,” Professor Oquaye said.
H.E. Reverien Ndikuriyo, president of the Senate of Burundi. On behalf of the Burundi people and government, H.E. Ndikuriyo thanked the parliament of Senegal and UPF for the Africa Summit. The president said it is important that the people and their leaders “face the nation’s challenges, not just grumble but take action.” He welcomed Dr. Moon and the UPF as “role models” toward building a more prosperous and peaceful nation.
Hon. Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, speaker, National Assembly of Madagascar. The speaker congratulated UPF for taking up the cause for peace and development in Africa. The refugee and immigrant crises are causing Madagascar to suffer, he said. Poverty deprives people of their dignity. Africa suffers from the globalized world. Arms smuggling is a threat to our countries. He said Madagascar needs a vision for sustainable development and that the summit is a good opportunity to highlight universal values and work toward building a culture of peace.
Hon. Awa Gueye, second vice president of the National Assembly of Senegal, said: “Our wish is to become full human beings who are committed, respectful of society and its common rules, and endowed with qualities of compassion and religious values. Ignorance leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence, said a French philosopher. Human beings who receive character education are more prone to live as a harmonious family in a safer world.”
Ambassador Moustapha Mahmoud el Kouny, the Egyptian ambassador to Senegal. The ambassador said the fight against ideological extremism in all its forms must continue. It should also include the eradication of poverty and social injustice. Egypt believes in a comprehensive approach including dialogue and sustainable development, the ambassador said. He also noted the importance of religion. Egypt was one of the first countries to support UN peacekeeping troops in Congo, beginning in 1960. The ambassador said Egypt will continue its regional and international role toward peace and sustainable growth.
Hon. Cyprien Awudu Mbaya, vice president of the National Assembly, Cameroon