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Words of RasTafarI, Haile Selassie I
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Message to 6th Session of E.C.A.
February 20, 1964
 
The Lion of Judah has prevailed
Haile Selassie I, Elect of God
King of Kings of Ethiopia
We extend our most sincere welcome and warmest greetings to all the delegates and observers who have come to our Capital City of Addis Ababa to attend the Sixth Session of the Economic Commission for Africa.

We attach great importance to your present meeting because you are today gathered for the first time since the adoption of the historic Charter of African Unity in May of last year here in Addis Ababa. This Charter is a truly becoming symbol of the coming of age of our great continent, and your deliberations will be inspired by the same noble spirit as inspired the historic Summit Conference of African States.

The Heads of State and Government made a united resolve that we should pool our resources and harmonize our activities in the economic field.

To this end an Economic and Social Commission of O.A.U. has been established, and We are pleased to see that already in its meeting the Commission has come up with important recommendations regarding in particular coordination of effort between ECA and the new Economic Commission of African Unity.

We consider the two commissions to be complementary in character, and We feel that jointly they can play an important role in the vast and urgent task of economic development and coordination.

In this respect We have been interested to note that your agenda provides for the study and consideration of the creation of an African Common Market and Payments Union. These are vital steps in the process of African economic integration and your work here in this Conference can make a positive contribution towards the attainment of these common objectives.

It is only through economic cooperation and coordination of effort that African states can hope to maintain and strengthen their independence while ensuring the rapid progress of their peoples.

In order to achieve this common goal of strength through progress, it becomes necessary for us to abandon once and for all petty differences and artificial barriers that tend to perpetuate a state of division and confusion between our countries.

Objectives

We should instead jointly strive for those objectives that will enable us to be strong and united.

Let us therefore leave aside all misguided aims and groundless ambitions that can only lead us into wasteful and time consuming conflicts.

Let us instead mobilize our resources for our common good and for the good of our great continent.

This is the heartfelt desire of African peoples everywhere, and it is the duty of us all always to bear this in mind and to strive for its full and final achievement.

Another event of vital importance which you should keep well in mind during this Session is the forthcoming UN Conference on Trade and Development which will be held in Geneva next month.

Our continent relies greatly on external trade for its development and economic progress, and it is important that you should make every effort at this Session to harmonise the trade and economic policies of your respective Governments with a view to putting a strong and united case at the Geneva meeting.

We wish to express our confidence that the Economic Commission for Africa and its Secretariat will continue to afford to our Governments the service and assistance that would enable us to fulfil the basic targets of the United Nations Decade of Development.

We are pleased once again to reiterate our continued interest in the work of your Commission and our belief in its contribution to a greater understanding of Africa’s Economic problems.

We earnestly pray to Almighty God to guide you in His wisdom through all your work and deliberations.


Words of Ras TafarI