November 15, 2002

Musambachime Visits Cornell U.

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Mwela Musambachime, the Zambian Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke to students in the African Development and Peace Studies programs at a lecture entitled “The Role of the United Nations in Conflict Resolution in Africa: Success and Failures” yesterday in Uris Hall.

Musambachime discussed the main role of the United Nations (U.N.) in Africa, emphasizing the importance of bringing about peace and security within its states. He said he believes that there must be a political will from Africa’s leaders to aid the peacekeeping process.

“He [talked] about what the U.N. has done right in Africa and how the U.N. can learn from its failures,” said Jackie Sayegh, Institute for African Development (IAD) Program Coordinator.

As peace builds, so does prosperity, Musambachime explained. While Africa has suffered more war than any other continent, Musambachime said that Africa chooses peace over conflict and hopes other countries aid in in the continent’s struggle to move forward. In addition, he said that Africa is historically committed to the global peace effort.

Students in African Development class and Peace Studies program said that Musambachime’s lecture helped them gain more insight into foreign affairs.

“[The lecture] tied into my [Seminar on Issues in African Development] class such as the effects of war. We have had a lot of speakers this year, and he concentrated more on the war in Africa than other speakers,” said Rich McGrew ’04. “I thought he was very good.”

Musambachime said he hopes his lecture helps students better understand the role of the U.N. in Africa. “We really need to broaden our view of issues. There needs to be an emphasis on personal levels … We need to cooperate and share our views with one another,” he said. “These are our future leaders right here, talking to students like this.”

IAD holds weekly seminars every Thursday, hosting guest speakers who are lecturing on this semester’s theme, “African Development: Security and Institution Building.” Muna Ndulo, IAD Program Director, chose Musambachime to address faculty and students because of his experience in the field of peace and conflict studies. “It ties in very well [with this semester’s theme]. He spoke on the role of the U.N. in Africa and the conflict in Africa,” said Ndulo. In addition, Musambachime has played an active role in international affairs.

“He has a degree in peace and conflict studies,” said Sayegh. “We try to bring in speakers who have experience in the field.”

Musambachime is one of 14 speakers to lecture this semester.

IAD hosts guest speakers every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in Uris Hall and the lectures are open to everyone.

Archived article by Eileen Soltes