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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > August

Ralph Johnson Bunche Centenary

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
August 8, 2003

Yesterday, August 7, 2003 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche. The international community began the observance of the Ralph J. Bunche Centenary Commemoration. Over the next twelve months, several key policymakers and academic, professional and governmental organizations will be joining to celebrate Dr. Bunche's life work and achievements. I am pleased to recognize that commemoration.

As a scholar, an activist, a State Department employee, a Nobel Prize laureate and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Bunche faithfully served his country at home, and superbly represented his country abroad. Dr. Bunche exemplified the American dream. Representing his country's values with dedication, he broke racial barriers by working in the classrooms of Howard and Harvard Universities and in the civil rights movement. He transcended national boundaries to participate in one of history's defining moments: the creation of the United Nations. His contributions to the drafting of the UN Charter, to conflict resolution and peace, and to the advancement of domestic and international civil and human rights has left a legacy upon which we still build today.

Let us welcome the celebration of a man who contributed so much to his country and to the international community. I encourage all of us to learn more about Dr. Bunche's life and the example he set for responsible leadership and exemplary public service - an example to which, I am proud to say, the fine men and women of the State Department strive to follow each day.

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