Message on the 20th Anniversary of the Organization of African Unity

May 25, 1983

On the occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Organization of African Unity, it is both a pleasure and an honor for me to express the congratulations and good wishes of the people of the United States to you as Chairman of the OAU and to the member nations of the organization. The United States shares with the OAU its objectives of ``freedom, equality, justice and dignity for all African peoples.''

We also support the fundamental principles of the OAU, embodied in Article III of your charter: sovereign equality of all member states; non-interference in the internal affairs of states; territorial integrity; peaceful settlement of disputes; condemnation of political assassination and subversion; dedication to the total emancipation of still dependent African territories; and genuine nonalignment. We believe the OAU has made a positive contribution to stability and progress in Africa over the past twenty years, and that it has the potential for even greater accomplishments in the years to come.

The United States remains supportive of African efforts to seek a cessation of conflict and violence, as well as efforts aimed at meaningful economic progress. And we firmly agree that African problems can best be solved by African solutions. We applaud when your Organization moves forward to meet serious challenges on the African Continent, as was demonstrated by the OAU's peace-keeping force in Chad.

The OAU has experienced a difficult twentieth year, perhaps the most difficult year in its history. We are confident, however, as most OAU member states must be, that the Organization can and will continue to provide the unique forum for continental cooperation. We wish the OAU well on this important day marking the Organization's first two decades, and we wish it well in all the years ahead.

Ronald Reagan

Note: The message was addressed to His Excellency Daniel T. arap Moi, President of Kenya and Chairman of the Organization of African Unity.