11 December 2012

Tanzania: EU Scoops Nobel Peace Prize

THE European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its relentless efforts in promoting peace, democracy and human rights.

Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam, the EU Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, said the Nobel Peace Prize is a result of six decades of contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

Ambassador Sebregondi said this was the first time that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to such an entity. The prize is normally awarded to individuals and states. "We are very proud of this award.

The EU construction during the 55 years from its foundation, growing from six countries to 27 and very soon 28 member countries, represent the most successful peace project in the world, which could be taken as an example," he said.

He explained that EU has transformed Europe from a continent of war to that of peace, becoming an attraction for more countries to join, including former socialist states. The prize consists of nearly 1 million Euros, a Diploma and a medal. Ambassador Sebregondi noted that the money will go into assisting children affected by war, while the medal and Diploma will be kept by EU institutions.

Ambassador Sebregondi said that the EU delegation together with EU States' Missions in Tanzania had organized a reception and the Tanzania Vice-President, Dr Gharib Bilal, will be the guest of honour.

Commenting on what the East African Community (EAC) can learn from EU, Ambassador Sebregondi noted that the community which is still in its infancy has a path similar to that of the union but has not been in the forefront in addressing conflicts in Somalia or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He said EU has been closely engaged in promoting peace in the Horn of Africa, including the DRC, through different initiatives including supporting AMISOM financially.

The Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, was quoted calling on East African countries to utilize the regional body to curb the wave of intra regional conflicts and terrorism which are detrimental to economic development, peace and stability.

Mr Carson who has a vast experience in diplomatic circles and African affairs said that Kenya and the DRC are in dire need of assistance from their neighbours to resolve ongoing problems.

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