Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations to Speak

“The African Union — the Hope for a Brighter Future”

Teaneck, NJ (March 3, 2009) – H.E. Lila Hanitra Ratsifandrihamanana, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, will present “The African Union - the Hope for a Brighter Future” at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus on March 25, 2009. The lecture, sponsored by Fairleigh Dickinson’s Office of Global Learning in collaboration with the Ambassador’s Club at the United Nations, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and be held in the Multipurpose Room, Student Union Building, River Road, Teaneck.

Based on her broad experience in international affairs, Ratsifandrihamanana provides a unique perspective on the future of the African Union. She has gained expertise from positions in the diplomatic arena, regional organizations, scientific research, and her engineering education in the former Soviet Union.

Prior to her appointment, Ratsifandrihamanana served in Dakar as Madagascar’s Ambassador to Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Cape Verde and Cote d’Ivoire. She was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1998, where she served until 2002, after serving a year as Minister for Scientific Research.

As Foreign Minister, Ratsifandrihamanana participated in statutory meetings of the United Nations and its organs, of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Non-Aligned Movement and the “Group of 77” developing countries and China. She also remained active in regional organizations like the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Indian Ocean Commission, which she chaired in 2000.

Ratsifandrihamanana attended the Saint Petersburg Mining School in the former Soviet Union from 1979 to 1985, earning degrees in mining engineering, geophysics and geology.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments are available at 6 p.m.  For further information, please call Dr. Jo Anne Murphy at 973-443-8876 or email her at

For Immediate Release

Metropolitan Campus
Office of Public Relations
Metropolitan Campus
Fairleigh Dickinson University
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Teaneck, NJ 07666
Gretchen Johnson
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Melissa Payton
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Office of Public Relations
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Fairleigh Dickinson University
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Scott Giglio
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Lillian Lukac
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