To commemorate the signing of the Élysée Treaty 56 years ago on 22nd January 1963, Mrs. Stéphanie Rivoal, Ambassador of France to Uganda, and Dr. Albrecht Conze, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Uganda, hosted the third Peace & Reconciliation Award Ceremony and a Reception at the French Residence on Monday, 22nd January 2019.
His Lordship Bart Katureebe, Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda, graced the celebration during which the 3rd Peace and Reconciliation award was presented to Ms. Brenda Akia, a Ugandan lawyer and human rights activist, for her efforts in promoting respect for fundamental human rights, accountability, transitional justice, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in Uganda.
The Chief Justice thanked Germany and France for their valuable support to Uganda and for localizing the celebration of the Elysée treaty whose message, he said, was still very relevant in Uganda today given its turbulent past.
Justice Bart Katureebe underscored the importance of human rights and the rule of law in achieving sustainable peace and reconciliation.
In their speeches the ambassadors referred to the long history of relation between the two countries, once defined by hatred and war, which is nowadays characterized by cooperation, joint efforts, partnership and friendship, but also to the challenges Germany, France and Europe are facing these days.
The Ambassador of Germany Dr. Albrecht Conze described the friendship between France and Germany as “an ongoing adventure, more ambitious than anything else Paris and Berlin are doing,” adding that the two Airbus 330 planes Uganda is acquiring for its revived national is a product of this relationship.
The French Ambassador Stéphanie Rivoal highlighted some recent France-Germany collaborative projects undertaken in Uganda, including the “Open Doors” conference and exhibition on the integration and impact of Refugee populations, organised in Kampala in September 2017 by the Alliance Francaise and the Goethe-Zentrum. The Kampala Geopolitics Conference organised last October by the Embassy of France and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung was another joint event which brought together over 4400 young intellectuals at Makerere University to debate current geopolitical issues in the world.
Ms. Rivoal reiterated the resolve of Germany and France, in the face of the 21st century challenges, to building a prosperous, more united Europe which could inspire other regional integration blocks like the East African Community.
“France and Germany were hereditary enemies, we are now strong partners and even more, we are inseparable friends. I wish that this long lasting French-German cooperation in the context of the European integration could inspire not only the East African region, but also more globally the African continent for the stability, peace and prosperity it brings to the people,” she declared.
About the Elysée Treaty
The treaty signed on 22nd January 1963 - 56 years ago - by President Charles de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer sealed the reconciliation between France and Germany for the benefit of a long and lasting era of peace and friendship between the two countries. It put an end to the German-French enmity which had led to several disastrous wars between the two neighbours. The Élysée Treaty is one of the crucial documents which paved the way for European Integration.
On 22nd of January 2019, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron signed a sequel to this treaty in Aachen to renew and further deepen this historic commitment. It shall expand the cooperation of Germany and France in various areas like economy, research, foreign and security policy for a strong and democratic Europe.
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