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Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Says US Believes Strongly African Voices Matter In Global Conversation

Molly Phee
Assistant Secretary for African Affairs of the United States of America
(Photo: US State Department)

By Landing Ceesay 

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs of the United States of America, Molly Phee has said that her country believes strongly that African voices matter in the international community and in the global conversation.  

“Today is day 8 in Putin’s full-scale war against Ukraine.  Here is why I wanted to talk to you, to African journalists.  The United States believes strongly that African voices matter in the international community that your voices matter in the global conversation.  We believe that it is critical at this moment in time that the entire international community demonstrates unity and speaks with one voice against this aggression and in support of principles, timeless principles.  These include sovereignty, territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of disputes, and protection of civilians. 

“Yesterday, the UN General Assembly voted for a resolution that condemned this aggression, and that vote was higher than almost any vote count we have seen in response to international events, and African votes were very important in that – in that discussion and in that vote.  Why were they important?  They were important to send a message that this aggression is unacceptable in Ukraine and anywhere else in the world,” Assistant Secretary Phee said.

The Assistant Secretary for African Affairssaid the United States is sensitive to the legacy of the Cold War, particularly in Africa; adding that the position and policy of the Biden administration has been to encourage more, not fewer, choices for Africans. Saying Putin’s “unprovoked aggression” is an assault on world order.

“We are not asking you to choose sides. We are asking Africans to join us in choosing the principles I’ve discussed, in choosing people who are now suffering from this assault,” she said.

The US Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs said they recognize that the early days of Russia-Ukraine conflict is already having an impact on African economies, as they are in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

She further stated that they are seeing the rise of fuel prices, commodity prices, and that they know the disruption is doubly hard given the earlier impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But we are already engaged in efforts to promote stable energy and commodity prices, working on supply chains, and you saw this week that President Biden joined other international leaders in releasing strategic oil reserves in an effort to manage fuel prices,” she said.

Talking about the racial abuse African Students faced while crossing to Poland from Ukraine, Ms. Phee said the US Foreign Minister has made clear that all individuals caught up in the chaos of the war must receive equal treatment and since then the Government of Ukraine has established an emergency hotline for African students.

 “We’ve also talked to neighboring countries about the need for visa-free entry to help people caught up in this war.  And we’re also working with our partners in the UN who are providing assistance to underscore the need that every individual deserves assistance and should receive assistance without regard to race, religion, or nationality.

“So, this is a difficult time for the international community, but we’re proud of the– of the global response, the global rejection of this aggression, and we’re grateful to Africans for being partners with us and other members of the international community in dealing with this unprecedented action,” Assistant Secretary, Molly Phee said.

The diplomat made the remarks on 3rd February, at a virtual briefing with African Journalists on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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