For information only - not an official document.
17 January 2001


NEW YORK, 16 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the creation of the new East African Community (EAC) comprising Kenya, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania, launched on 15 January in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, at a signing ceremony presided over by the presidents of the three countries. The EAC is the latest of many efforts of groups of African countries to integrate their economies more effectively and to collaborate more actively in the design and implementation of their economic and social policies. This most recent effort may well turn out to be a building block for the envisaged African Economic Community. The United Nations supports the strong commitment of African countries to multilateralism and initiatives such as the EAC that strengthen Africa's capacity to meet the challenges of globalization. The demands of a rapidly changing international economic environment require new responses and the Secretary-General wishes the EAC all success.

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