Former Prime Minister Meles was remembered at a memorial service in Harlem, New York at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, a historic New York African-American outpost, on Saturday (October 27th). Hundreds of friends and colleagues of the late Prime Minister came together for the first service ever to be held on this scale on American soil. UN personnel, past and present, American government officials, leading scholars, and a large group of Ethiopians from across the US attended the service. United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said at the memorial that he was unable to attend the funeral service in Addis Ababa but had sent his deputy to represent him. Susan Rice, the Permanent Representative of the US to the United Nations, whose friendship with Meles dated back to the mid 1990s, was in Addis Ababa for the funeral and again, she was at the church to deliver another tribute. Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Tekeda Alemu underscored that many people did not know just how far Ethiopia had changed dramatically in the last twenty years primarily because of Meles. Meles’ desire and commitment to tackle poverty inside Ethiopia was also made clear in the testimonies of economists such as Jeffrey Sachs and Akbar Noman from Columbia University.
* Originally published on A Week in the Horn – Nov. 2, 2012 issue, titled “A memorial service for former Prime Minister Meles in Harlem”. Items from A Week in the Horn are re-published here with a permission to do so.
Check the drop down menu for posts on related topics.