Presidential Address: The First Lady, A Moral Force

Chantal Biya was a keen listener last Friday September 22, as President Paul Biya addressed the 72nd UN General Assembly.

As the old adage goes, behind every successful man is a versatile woman, whose moral support always gives him a push in addressing both national and international issues. This statement best, adds to the role Cameroon’s First Lady, Chantal Biya, played on September 22, 2017 in New York as her husband, President Paul Biya addressed the 72nd UN General Assembly. Paul Biya was programmed to mount the UN rostrum at 9:00 a.m. Thirty minutes ahead of time, the First Lady, alongside some close aides made their way into the hall. She was handed a copy of her husband’s speech by the State Protocol. Immediately, she began reading the speech which focused on issues dear to her heart. That is peace, poverty, decent life for people and a sustainable planet. Mrs Biya nodded her head in recognition when her husband said the session was being held within a global context marked by multiple hotbeds of tension worldwide, where terrorism continues to affect thousands of people, human activity is causing climate disruptions, and poverty is far from declining. The First Lady, who is also UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador and UNAIDS Special Ambassador paid keen interest as the President said that for Cameroon and most of our States, peace is the sine qua non for the survival of humanity and for sustainable development. Such peace remains dangerously under threat, notably from terrorism, conflicts, poverty and climate change. As an Ambassador for two of UN leading organisations, Chantal Biya could not differ with her husband as he condemned continuing conflicts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, which are causing pain and hardship … so many dead … so many refugees and displaced persons … so many children roaming without a roof over their heads and with an uncertain or even shattered future… Such has been the enormous influx of the many refugees registered in the Northern Parts of the country as well as the East and Adamawa Regions. These groups of people have benefitted from Mrs Chantal Biya’s humanitarian gestures through her organisations such as the African Synergy Against HIV and Suffering and the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC). While calling on every nation and individuals to mobilise, through resources, policies, behaviours and actions which re-focus on people, UNESCOs Goodwill Ambassador is in a good position to mobilise resources and redouble efforts in curbing poverty which keeps persisting amongst her people. There is therefore no doubt that Cameroon’s First Lady was at the right place and the right time listening to the right person for the good of human beings, especially the underprivileged.

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