Three high ranking U.S. Department of State officials the assistant
secretaries for Africa, the Near East, and Europe gave
major lectures before Howard University audiences during February-
The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center collaborated
with the departments of African Studies, History, and Modern
Languages and Literatures in hosting the distinguished visitors
Walter H. Kantsteiner, Assistant Secretary of State
for Africa; Ambassador William J. Burns, Assistant Secretary
of State for Near Eastern Affairs; and Ambassador A. Elizabeth
Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs.
Diplomat-in-Residence June Carter Perry coordinated the appearances,
working closely with the State Department bureaus and the
chairs and committees of departments at Howard.
In observance of African American History Month (February
27), Assistant Secretary Kansteiner headlined the African
Policy Forum at the Bunche Center, addressing "Whither
Africa in an Era of Crisis?" Also on the panel were African
Studies chair Dr. Robert Cummings; and Ambassador
George E. Moose, Senior Fellow in International Affairs at Howard.
Mr. Kansteiner underscored the need for economic development,
resolution of conflict, assistance in addressing the HIV/AIDS
pandemic, and support for democratic institutions in Africa.
He noted that dealing with conflict situations such as the
slavery issue in Sudan, takes away from the attention donor
nations can devote to other pressing issues, such as economic
Kansteiner also criticized President Mugabes government
for constraining the opposition in the then pending elections
in Zimbabwe."Tactics such as these were counter productive
in terms of promoting the democratic process and in nation
building," he said.
Following the Forum, the Bunche Center hosted a luncheon
for the Assistant Secretary with honor students, Harris and
Pickering Fellows, and faculty members attending.
On March 6, Assistant Secretary Burns delivered the prestigious
Merze Tate Lecture for the Department of History. On the verge
of his departure for the Middle East with