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Posts Tagged ‘Ban Ki-moon’


November 8th, 2012

May 1955 — August 2012
The Abyssinian Baptist Church
27 October 2012

GTAH co-sponsored the Memorial for Meles Zenawi, along with the United African Congress and the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations. GTAH’s participation was in recognition of the outstanding accomplishments of the Zenawi Government in advancing the development of Ethiopia in almost every aspect of life. Zenawi was recognised by most world leaders, financial institutions and world economists as the most successful and inspirational Head of State in Africa in many years. In fact, for several years during the last decade, Ethiopia and China enjoyed the highest rate of economic growth of any country in the world. In the area of education, Zenawi’s Government built as many as thirty new universities throughout the country.

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s Ethiopia was frequently devasted by drought and famine requiring international aid to feed millions of its people. That situation has changed and in recent years Ethiopia has found itself sending food aid to other countries in Africa that were experiencing drought and famine. Zenawi supported green policies and espoused ideas to address climate change and global warming. No other country in Africa has made as much progress as Ethiopia in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Ethiopia is a country of many ethnic groups which had fought each other for hundreds of years. Zenawi instituted a Federal System of Government which granted autonomy to the various regions and this has proven to be successful and has brought about relative peace and new-found prosperity in the country.

The high regard in which Zenawi was held by world leaders is reflected in the calibre of the dignitaries who attended the memorial service and who spoke in glowing terms about him. The list included the Secretary-General of the United Nations – Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador to the United Nations – Ms Susan Rice, Senior Director at the National Security Council and Special Assistant to the President of the United States – Ms. Gayle Smith, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Bush Administration – Ambassador Jendaye Frazer, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia under the Bush Administration – Ambassador Tibor Nagy and Ambassador of Benin to the United Nations and Representative of the Chairman of the African Union – Jean Francis-Zinsou. Also, from Academia, Professor Jeffery Sachs of The Earth Institute, Professor Akbar Noman, Columbia University, and Professor Awash Teklehaimanot of the Mailman School of Public Health. Prominent New York Pan Africanist and President of the United African Congress – Sidique Wai also spoke.

The Reverend Calvin Butts officiated over the secular event which included beautiful renditions of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song and Michael Jackson’s Heal the World performed by saxophonist Jerry Johnson, as well as musical numbers by the Abyssinian Baptist Church Cathedral Choir and its soloist. A 17-year old young lady Ferda Fuad representing the youth of Ethiopia performed a poem she wrote in honor of Meles Zenawi.
The event was hosted by Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the UN , H.E. Tekeda Alemu, co-ordinated by Dr. Mohamed Nurhussein and produced by Gordon Tapper.

The Permanent Represen-

tative of Ethiopia to the

United Nations delivering

his remarks

The Secretary General Of UN, H.E. Ban Ki Moon making his speech at the memorial.


Give Them a Hand Foundation and United African Congress host Interfaith Harmony event at the United Nations during World Interfaith Harmony Week – February 2012

February 22nd, 2012

Give Them a Hand Foundation (GTAH) responded to the call of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, for Governments, Religious Organizations and the NGO community to organize events during the first week of February each year to promote Interfaith Harmony.

Recognizing the value of bringing people of different faiths and cultures closer together, GTAH and partnering organization the United African Congress, along with key sponsor, the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations, seized the opportunity to engage the Diasporas of the many countries now domiciled in the United States. The organizers of the event hoped to promote the aims of World Interfaith Harmony Week, as proclaimed in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/65/5, and that their effort, even in some small measure, would help to enhance understanding and cooperation between immigrants of different faiths and religions and their adopted communities here in the United States. They intended their deliberations during Interfaith Week also to serve as a catalyst to the often disparate groups in their respective homelands.

GTAH Chairman Gordon Tapper, in addressing the Diasporas at the UN event, declared “We do not want this event to be a simple love-in but one that will eventually be able to influence behavior back home. We believe that the various Diasporas here in the United States who enjoy the benefits of freedom of speech, freedom of association and the opportunity to go where their abilities can take them, are perfectly positioned to play a role back in their respective homelands.”

The Panel Discussion, themed ‘The Role of the Diaspora: A Force for Positive Change’ held at the United Nations Headquarters on Monday February 6, was well attended and included leaders of five of the major faiths in the Tri-State area. The event was co-chaired by popular NY1TV News Anchor, Ms. Cheryl Wills and Mr. Mamadou Niang, CEO of NextMedia.

Amongst the faith-based leaders who participated were Rabbi Robert G. Kaplan, Director of C.A.U.S.E, formerly known as the New York Center for Community and Coalition Building, the Venerable Chuah Chen Shui, currently Abbess of the International Buddhist Progress Society and Representative of the Buddhist Light Organization at the United Nations, Reverend Jean Montas, Senior Pastor of Premier Eglise Methodist Unite in Brooklyn, NY, Reverend Demetrius Carolina, Senior Pastor of the First Central Baptist Church in Staten Island and Executive Director of the Staten Island Central Baptist Church, Imam Shamsi Ali, Chairman of Al Haikam Mosque in Astoria Queens, and Anindita Chatergee Baumik of the Hindi faith.

Amongst the non-faith based leaders who delivered statements were the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, Mr. Sidique Wai, President of the United African Congress and Dr. Mohammed Nurhussein, Chairman of the United African Congress.

This memorable event highlighted the great similarities in the core beliefs of the respective religions rather than their differences. The faith-based leaders and those in attendance, representing more than a dozen countries in Africa, several countries in the Caribbean as well as several in Asia, expressed their support for the meeting and requested that the momentum created be nurtured and expanded upon to increase participation in 2013 and eventually to become a force for positive change back in the various homelands, wherever they may be and wherever the need exists. You may click on the hyperlink below to read more:


Gordon Tapper

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