On Russian State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasily Sredin's Speech at Opening of Scientific Conference African Unity and the Revival of Africa
October 04, 2001
On October 2, a scientific conference on the theme "African Unity and the Revival of Africa" took place in Moscow. As part of South Africa Week, it was organized jointly by the South African embassy and the Institute of Africa RAN. South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Public Enterprises Jeff Radebe, South African Ambassador to Russia Mochubela Seekoe, the representatives of the scientific circles and publics of the two countries, and ambassadors of African states accredited in Moscow took part.
State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Vasily Sredin spoke at the opening of the conference.
In his address he gave a high assessment to the level of political cooperation between Russia and South Africa on the international scene, and efforts by the two countries to develop Russian-South African relations in all fields.
Sredin dwelt on the problems of the African continent and the tasks of converting Africa into a zone of active international cooperation in the context of forming the African Union and realizing the New African Initiative. He underscored the ever greater urgency under today's conditions of improving the cooperation among the UN, its Security Council, the Group of Eight member countries and the African states in working out effective measures to resolve and prevent armed conflicts in Africa and to reinforce regional and sub-regional security structures on the continent, especially tied to processes of consolidation of the efforts by the world community to combat international terrorism.
Sredin, characterizing the major components of the New African Initiative, noted the necessity of creating favorable prerequisites for strengthening the economic potential of African countries through their further integration into the world trade system and the importance of providing a favorable external economic and financial climate for Africa. This should also be the aim behind the solution of the foreign debt problems of the continent's countries. He expressed the confidence that the New African Initiative will serve as a good basis for the consolidation of the efforts by the international community and the states of Africa in the search of answers to the challenges of today and reaffirmed the willingness of the Russian Federation to help the accomplishment of this noble task.