On February 3, 2016, thirty-three students in Communications and International Humanitarian Public Action from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC), visited the U.S Embassy in Yaounde. The delegation was headed by course coordinator Dr. Armand Elono. See Facebook album of visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156479960735716.1073742159.312546460715&type=3&uploaded=15.
Welcoming the students, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Roberto Quiroz II congratulated them for having been admitted into IRIC. Commending the achievement that the majority of students were women, he said that no nation which seeks to further develop can do so without welcoming the immense talents and contributions of women. “As President Obama has said and Ambassador Michael S. Hoza has reaffirmed here in Cameroon, promoting the empowerment of women and girls is one of the United States’ highest foreign policy priorities. Providing women with greater opportunities to attain a quality education and future leadership positions in all sectors is essential to ensure this nation achieves its highest potential to guarantee economic development for all citizens,” he said.
Mr. Quiroz outlined some of the responsibilities of diplomats in a changing and interconnected world, and exhorted them as future diplomats and civil servants to advance Cameroon’s interests. “Public service is a noble profession and any privileges must be accompanied by great responsibilities. All of us must earn the public’s trust, place our nations before ourselves, and combat corruption. When you are asked which is the greatest nation on Earth, your answer as future diplomats must be first and foremost Cameroon. Advancing your country’s interests and those of your citizens must be your top priority. This can be done by assessing your countries’ key interests, promoting private sector growth to create jobs and reduce unemployment, negotiating transparent trade and investments to benefit the economic life of your nation, protecting your natural resources such as fighting illegal logging, fishing, ivory trade, and wildlife to preserve them for future generations, and expanding prosperity, health, and educational opportunities for all citizens,” he said.
During a questions and answers session, Mr. Quiroz outlined steps the United States has taken at Cameroon’s request to support its efforts to defeat Boko Haram so that Cameroonians can then build a future of peace and prosperity through their own talents and ideas. He also addressed transitions in global diplomacy from both World Wars in the 20th century, the Cold War, post-Cold War period, post-9/11, and the present. “As President Obama has said, the United States and the world benefits when nations enjoy good governance and prosperity for all citizens, not just a few. We seek a world where nations enjoy economic prosperity. On the other hand, when nations are threatened by violent extremism all other nations are also threatened, as we have seen in recent history.”
Following Mr. Quiroz’s presentation, Information Resource Center (IRC) Director Mathias Tientcheu, and Reference Librarians Edna Enyeji and Mabel Foncham-Chingang briefed the students on the mission, objectives, activities, resources, and services of the center. Social Media Manager Dorine Takam offered a presentation on the embassy’s Facebook and Twitter account platforms to expand our engagement with Cameroonians at home and in the diaspora. Finally, Cultural Affairs Assistant Gerald Chilla delivered a briefing on the Fulbright and Humphrey exchange programs. The students expressed their appreciation for “an extremely enriching visit” and reaffirmed their commitment to use the opportunity to study at IRIC to serve their country and fellow citizens.
To learn more about services provided by the IRC, please see: https://cm.usembassy.gov/education-culture/irc/.