President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with President Joe Biden of United States of America, the Albright family, and the global diplomatic community, on the passage of the first female United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.
The President said he has pleasant memories of his meeting with the international diplomat at Washington in 2015, recalling the warmth and savvy of a woman who excelled in a turf hitherto considered the exclusive preserve of men.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Thursday by the President’s media aide, Femi Adesina.
“She helped shape and steer Western foreign policy after the Cold War. She will be sorely missed,” President Buhari said.
He also recounted the exploits of the woman who first served as US Ambassador to the UN under President Bill Clinton, and later as Secretary of State.
The President said it is to her eternal credit that she championed human rights and democracy around the world, raised funds for Democratic presidential hopefuls, and Co-chaired the Independent Global Commission on Justice, Security and Governance, along with Nigeria’s Professor Ibrahim Gambari, in what is known as Albright-Gambari Independent Commission, and was also Convener of the Aspen Ministerial Forum of former Foreign Ministers drawn from all over the world, among others.
President Buhari salutes the mentoring Albright gave younger diplomats, who are now at the peak of their careers, and prays that her soul would rest in peace, even as America and the world continue to relish her services to humanity.
Tributes poured in Wednesday from diplomatic players around the world remembering Madeleine Albright, the first female US secretary of state and one of the most influential stateswomen of her generation, who has died at age 84.
Albright, who came to the United States as an 11-year-old political refugee, rose to serve as the country’s top diplomat under president Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001.
Clinton, as well as successors George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, hailed her historic service.
Albright “paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable corners of the world, and was a champion for democratic values. And as an immigrant herself, she brought a unique and important perspective to her trailblazing career,” Obama said in a statement.
Born in Prague in 1937, Albright’s family — who were Jewish, although she did not know of her heritage until later in life — fled ahead of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, losing several family members to extermination camps. She moved first to England, then to America a decade later.
“A Czechoslovak-born leader, a strong advocate for democracy & human rights. Today more than ever, Central Europe remembers her commitment to NATO enlargement. My heartfelt condolences to her family,” the Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said on Twitter.
In a statement, Albright’s family said she died of cancer, “surrounded by family and friends,” and paid tribute to “a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend” as well as a “tireless champion of democracy and human rights.”
– ‘Trailblazer’ – After studying political science, Albright made her entry into politics as a fundraiser, then a congressional aide — and entered president Jimmy Carter’s administration working for Polish-American Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Carter’s national security advisor.
Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote on Twitter that he was saddened by the death of Albright, who “brought enormous contribution to the transatlantic community of security and of values, including to the accession of Poland and of other European countries to NATO.”
The United Nations, where Albright had served as US ambassador from 1993 to 1997, held a moment of silence for her.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he worked with Albright for years both in and out of government and will remember her as a dear friend.
“I was always struck by her wise counsel, deep experience, unique insights, abiding humanity, warmth and wit,” Guterres said in a statement.
“Her life is a powerful testament to the invaluable contributions refugees bring to countries that welcome them,” Guterres added.
Albright — whose global influence at the height of her career was compared to that of Margaret Thatcher in Britain — knew she was part of a new generation of women in public service.
“It used to be that the only way a woman could truly make her foreign policy views felt was by marrying a diplomat and then pouring tea on an offending ambassador’s lap,” Albright once said.
“Today, women are engaged in every facet of global affairs.”
At her former department, of which she became the head in 1997, current US Secretary of State Antony Blinken remembered Albright’s accomplishments as a “brilliant diplomat” and “courageous trailblazer,” and reflected on his friendship with his predecessor.
“She was also a wonderful friend to many, including me. I’ll miss her very much,” Blinken said.
Madeleine Albright, who came to the United States as a child refugee and rose to be the first female secretary of state, shaping American foreign policy at the end of the 20th century, has died at the age of 84.
Tapped by President Bill Clinton as ambassador to the United Nations then as the US top diplomat, Albright was one of the most influential stateswomen of her generation.
In mourning her passing, Clinton said Albright had been “a force for freedom, democracy and human rights,” calling her death an “immense loss to the world.”
President Joe Biden said Albright had “turned the tide of history,” adding that she “defied convention and broke barriers again and again.”
At the United Nations, the Security Council observed a moment of silence before voting on a Russian-led resolution on Ukraine.
Clinton, announcing his choice of Albright to head the State Department in 1997, said gender “had nothing to do with her getting the job” and she was the most qualified candidate.
Albright, however, was aware of the significance of the appointment.
“It used to be that the only way a woman could truly make her foreign policy views felt was by marrying a diplomat and then pouring tea on an offending ambassador’s lap,” she once said in a speech to the Women in Foreign Policy Group.
“Today, women are engaged in every facet of global affairs.”
Albright took the helm of the State Department in a post-Cold War world in which the United States had emerged as the sole superpower, leading crucial discussions with world leaders on arms control, trade, terrorism and the future of NATO.
Not since Margaret Thatcher governed Britain had a woman held such a position of global influence.
Born Marie Jana Korbelova in Czechoslovakia on May 15, 1937, Albright came to the United States as a refugee with her family in 1948 and became a US citizen in 1957.
Her father, Josef Korbel, a diplomat, had converted from Judaism to Catholicism after the family fled to London in 1939 to escape the Nazis.
Albright said she only learned about her Jewish origins late in life and the fact that three of her grandparents had perished in concentration camps.
– ‘Short, noisy type’ – Fluent in English, Czech, French and Russian, Albright earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College.
She earned her doctorate in political science at Columbia University and went to work for Democratic senator Edmund Muskie.
She later joined the National Security Council in the White House of president Jimmy Carter, serving under his national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, her former professor at Columbia.
After Carter’s defeat, Albright began teaching at Georgetown University in Washington but remained an influential voice in Democratic foreign policy-making circles.
She was named US ambassador to the United Nations by Clinton in 1993 and served in that role until 1997, when she became secretary of state.
One of her final voyages in the post was an official visit to North Korea, where she met with then-leader Kim Jong-Il.
In an interview with AFP as she prepared to leave the State Department in 2001, Albright said she would remain involved in foreign policy.
“I am not going to be a wallflower,” Albright said.
“I also have never thought of myself as the tall, silent type, so I will be the short, noisy type and I am going to stay out there,” she said. “I love foreign policy, I am passionately interested in how the world evolves.”
Just a month ago, The New York Times published an opinion piece by Albright in which she argued that Russian leader Vladimir Putin would be making an “historic error” if he invaded Ukraine.
Albright married Joseph Albright in 1959. They had three daughters and divorced in 1982.
Her memoirs, “Madam Secretary,” were published in 2003.
She also wrote a book about her huge collection of brooches which, she explained to Smithsonian magazine in 2010, sometimes were “reflective of whatever issue we’re dealing with.”
Once during her stint at the United Nations, state media in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq compared her to an “unparalleled serpent” — she responded by wearing a snake pin to a meeting on Iraq.
“In every role, she used her fierce intellect and sharp wit — and often her unmatched collection of pins — to advance America’s national security and promote peace around the world,” Biden said.
This edition of Law Weekly examines a global perspective on combating terrorism while focusing on what the African Continent and Nigeria needs to get right to continue attracting foreign investment and patronage.
The programme also featured the International Bar Conference (IBA 2013) which held in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States of America.
The IBA is the largest yearly gathering of lawyers from all over the world and it is regarded as the global voice of the legal profession. The 2013 edition attracted 6000 international delegates from 120 countries.
On this episode of the program, we featured highlights of the conference as well as highlights from the African Regional Conference when the IBA came to Lagos.
Former United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference. While Governor Babatunde Fashola, of Lagos State, was one of the speakers at the conference.