Founding member of the OAU (0rganisation of African Unity) which later became AU, Cameroon has based its diplomacy on one of the basic principles of this pan African organization, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. This desire at maintaining sacred, the sovereignty of third countries has usually been erroneously seen as an astonishing indifference, looking at the leadership position that Cameroon holds in the Central African sub region, which is prey to unceasing conflicts.

Conscious of the distortion and in a bid to give his country a better image to match its real potential, President Paul Biya started a vigorous action of reorientation and dynamisation of Cameroon’s foreign policy. This option was translated by a remarkable coming to power of Cameroon’s diplomacy which is deployed generously in all fronts, starting with organisations and multilateral institutions with which the country is linked: UN, AU, Francophonie, Commonwealth, OCI, CEMAC, World Bank, etc. Here and there, Cameroon has been putting everything in place to make its voice heard by proposing areas of reflection that should help build a better and solid international society.

Added to this will is an increasing involvement in the management of conflicts, from Yaounde, notably through interposition forces whether concerning Cambodia, Darfur, Central African Republic, etc. under the auspices of the UN who are known for their dominant role in world political scene. ‘In this instance as in others, with a constant determination, Cameroon’s participation was constantly exercised in the sense of dialogue, negotiation, respect of the sovereignty and integrity of States. These values are held by Yaounde as being cardinal for democracy and respect for international law.

Cameroon’s continuous efforts to promote these values and make its views known on the international scene have met with recognition from its partners. A Cameroonian, Elisabeth Tankeu is part of the AU government in Addis Ababa at the head of the department in charge of industry; her counterpart Emmanuel Ze Meka is head of the International Organisation of Tropical Woods (0lBT), a UN specialized structure, meanwhile their counterpart Hamat Kalkaba Malboum is the head of the International Military Sport Council (ClSM). Apart from the individual achievements of these personalities, the various promotions translate beyond any doubt, the pertinence and efficiency of a move and above all, confidence manifested by various partners.

The celebration in Yaounde of the 8th edition of the Cameroon-Europe friendship day under the theme “50 years of cooperation Cameroon- Europe and fight against poverty” in June 201 1 with a remarkable show, attests of the vital relationship between the two parties. Since 1958, cooperation be1ween Cameroon and Europe has always been in perfect ‘harmony with development being the priority of Yaounde. We know that the EU is well ahead of Cameroon’s partners, given the volume of exchange, without forgetting French, British, German, Dutch, and Spanish… cooperation on the bilateral side. Besides, in favour of vast diplomatic movement carried out in 2007 and 2008, Cameroon renewed or reinforced its representations in various European capitals with this sought-for objective being to intensify and reaffirm cooperation with each of the concerned States.

Emmanuel Ngota

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