I would like to add my voice to all those that have paid tribute to President Mandela here.

Nelson Mandela’s death is a great loss to Africa and the world.

His life and work will forever be a source of inspiration for future generations.

On behalf of the Cameroonian People and on my personal behalf, I extend my heart-felt condolences to the family of the deceased, to President Zuma and to the entire People of South Africa.

The President of the French Republic,

Excellencies Heads of State, Government and Delegation,

The Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization,

The current Chair of the African Union,

The President of the European Council,

The President of the European Commission,

The Chair of the African Union Commission, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Taking the floor at this stage of our proceedings, I feel that my speech is coming too late, when all has been said and very well said. And so, my address will basically be to express gratitude and satisfaction.

Let me congratulate and thank you Mr President of the French Republic for the laudable initiative of this Summit on Peace and Security in Africa.

You were right to complement the general theme with a reflection on Economic Partnership and Development. In fact, since 1967, when Pope Paul VI published the Encyclical “Populorum Progressio”, “Peoples’ Development”, it is accepted that Development is the new name for Peace.

The theme of our discussions is “Peace, Security and Development in Africa”.  It is an important theme because it forms an entire agenda by itself. An agenda which is of interest to us all, urging us to act in a joint and concerted manner in the mutual interest of Africa and Europe within the framework a win-win partnership.

I would also like to express my gratitude and satisfaction for this new opportunity given us to highlight the threats to Peace posed by poaching, all forms of trafficking, hostage-taking, piracy and climate change. Poverty is another threat to Peace. And the UN Security Council was right to make the fight against poverty a crucial element of Peace building.

To overcome these threats and ensure Peace itself, we need to pool our efforts, energies and resources in order to act as partners.

Lastly, permit me to express our appreciation of the excellent preparation of our proceedings.

The Final Declaration is a perfect illustration of this. In our opinion, it has the edge of addressing all the threats to Peace in Africa and our key concerns, and proposing actions which together we must take as part of the much desired international partnership. Thus, the idea of an International Forum on Peace, Security and Development in Africa is of interest to us and has our full backing.

Of great concern to us is the situation in the Central African Republic, a neighbouring country to Cameroon. I wish to commend the International Community’s mobilization and determination to work with us.

I am thinking of the United Nations Organization whose Security Council has just adopted Resolution S/2013/717 under Chapter 7 of its Charter.

I am also thinking of the commitment of France, its prompt response to appeals from the authorities of the Central African Republic. We appreciate its decision to send troops to back the ECCAS forces already on the ground. By so doing, we will, together, ensure the protection of civilians and restore security and State authority throughout this brotherly country.

Such contribution by the International Community to Peace Keeping in Africa is, of course, not a waiver of the key responsibility of Africans in the search for peace.

Mister President,

Africa is referred to as the continent of the future. We readily add that Africa is a land of growth for France, the European Union and the World.

I would like to conclude my address where I started by thanking the President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande. Mr President, you had the brilliant idea of inviting us to this beautiful city of Paris to jointly seek ways of furthering Africa-France partnership. Such partnership presupposes the establishment of peace without which no development action is possible.

Thank you for the commitment from France, the European Union and the United Nations Organization alongside Africa in its quest for peace, security and development.


Paris, 7 December 2013