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Ralph J. Bunche Center Howard University

Three Assistant State Secretaries Lecture at Howard

Secretary Kansteiner

Ambassador Burns

Ambassador Jones

Secretary of State Powell, Burns spoke on "Prospects for Peace in the Middle East" in the Blackburn Center, where he was welcomed by President H. Patrick Swygert.

It was an "off the record" discussion in which the State Department official pointed to poverty and deprivation as "among root causes" of conf lict in the Middle East and in other countries around the world. With candor, he responded to questions ranging from

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- March, 2002.

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 development.

Kansteiner also criticized President Mugabe’s 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

the US-Israeli bilateral relationship to "land for peace" proposals in the Palestinian conflict. History Department head Dr. Ibrahim Sundiata chaired the program.

Ambassador Jones, heading one of the largest bureaus in the Department of State, was featured lecturer, March 26, at the 7th Annual Women Ambassadors Conference directed by Dr. Marilyn Sephocle of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Her theme was US policies in the wake of events of 9/11. She cautioned the audience to take note of "the frontline states," those bordering Afghanistan, in their bilateral relations with the US and in multilateral relationships with members of the Coalition and the UN. Taking special note of the role of Pakistan, the Secretary said support by this and other nations in the region was "critical" to the promotion of peace and stability. The Deputy in the Embassy of Pakistan attended the program.

All three speakers from the Department of State spoke to large audiences and responded to numerous questions in lively Q&A sessions.


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Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, Howard University
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