The seventh annual summit conference of the 41-nation Organisation of African Uiity (OAU) opened in Africa Hall, Addis Ababa on Tuesday (September I).
GV Africa Hall
MV Kaunda Arrives
SV Gowon arrives
MV Ghana Delegation seated.
MV Gowon seated.
MV Haile Selassie speaking.
SV Gowon Speaks.
SV U Thant Speaks.
General Gowon (Nigeria): Once again I wish to place on record the profound gratitude of myself and of the entire peoples of Nigeria, to the member states of our organisation for their moral support during the Nigerian Civil War. We are indeed grateful to God an to you that we were able to make the necessary sacrifices to safeguard our independence and to maintain our territorial integrity. The wounds sustained are healing and national reconciliation has indeed become a fact.
U Thant: I have little to report that could be of comfort to anyone. After the gigantic upsurge from 1955 to 1965 the great wave of liberation which swept over Africa appears, as I said 3 years ago, to have met a solid wall of defiance in the southern most part of this continent, despite all the effort of the General Assembly and the Security Council the forces of racism and reaction still remain strongly entrenched in that part of the world, and derive aid and comfort from the failure of certain powers to lend their wholehearted support and cooperation to the United Nations in the application of effective solutions.
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Background: The seventh annual summit conference of the 41-nation Organisation of African Uiity (OAU) opened in Africa Hall, Addis Ababa on Tuesday (September I). Emperor Haile Selaisse, host to the conference, addressed delegates after the outgoing Chairman President Ahmadou Ahidjo of Cameroun declared the four-day meeting opened.
Thirteen heads of State, four Prime Ministers and three Vice-President were gathered in the blue and gold Conference chamber to hear the opening speeches. Most other OAU members were represented by Ministers. This is the first OAU Summit, since the formation of the Organisation in 1964, not to be faced with any major problems within a member state or among member states. Nigeria has resumed links with Tanzania, Zambia, Gabon and Ivory Coast which recognised the breakaway state of Biafra during the Nigerian Civil war.