H.E. HAROLD A. AGYEMAN
AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GHANA
ON BEHALF OF THE AFRICAN GROUP
TO THE MEMORY OF HIS EXCELLENCY ABDELAZIZ BOUTEFLIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE 29TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ALGERIA
It is with profound sadness that I read this tribute on behalf of the African Group, to the memory of His Excellency Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the President of the 29th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and a former President of Algeria.
The passing away of this great pan-Africanist on 17th September 2021 marked the closing of a remarkable chapter in Africa’s history. A fierce fighter for the rights of others, President Bouteflika was visible in his opposition to the obnoxious apartheid regime, especially in 1974, when he served as the Foreign Minister of President Ahmed Ben Bella and was elected as the President of the 29th Session of the United Nations General Assembly – the fourth African to assume the role after Liberia’s Angie E. Brooks, who incidentally was also the first female PGA.
Like many of his generation, President Bouteflika saw the efforts to liberate Africa not as an end in and of itself, but the necessary struggle required to place Africa on an independent and sustainable path towards economic development, self-sufficiency, prosperity, peace, and stability for the benefit of the peoples of Africa,
Together with President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, President Bouteflika was instrumental in the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. The core initiators of NEPAD were subsequently joined by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal in pushing further the NEPAD initiative. Later to be joined by President Amadou Toumani Touré of Mali, and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, the work carried out on NEPAD became globally accepted as the framework for partnership for Africa’s development.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s commitment to international peace and security was also well known, including his contributions to the fight against counterterrorism and active participation in the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership.
While he was known to be a fighter for freedom, justice and fairness, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was a man who embraced peace. He will forever be fondly remembered for his immeasurable contribution for a just and fair international order and his commitment to the cause of Africa. His life and legacies continue to serve as an inspiration to many on our continent and across the world.
On behalf of the Africa Group, I would like to use this occasion to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and to the Government and people of Algeria.
May his soul rest in peace.