Botswana National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 29, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I offer warm wishes to the people of Botswana on the 47th anniversary of your independence on September 30.

Our close friendship and partnership is grounded in shared values and aspirations for a more peaceful, stable and prosperous world.

I am especially proud of our partnership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This is a deeply personal issue for me.

During my travels as a Senator and now as Secretary of State, I’ve seen firsthand the compassion of caregivers who devote their lives to this cause; children left with no choice but to assume adult responsibilities at a tender age; and single mothers praying that AIDS would not make their children orphans.

Our shared fight against HIV/AIDS is far from over. But together, we have made important strides: those receiving an HIV positive diagnosis, who were once presumed to be facing an imminent death sentence, are now living satisfying, productive lives.

The partnership between the United States and Botswana is an investment in the future.

It’s about promoting regional peace and stability, from South Sudan to Liberia. It's about protecting human rights in places like Zimbabwe and Syria. It’s about combating the scourge of wildlife poaching, and strengthening democratic governance and the rule of law.

In the coming years, we look forward to deepening our strong cooperation to meet these shared challenges.

As you gather with family and friends from Kanye to Kasane, the United States joins you in the spirit of friendship and wishes you peace and prosperity in the year ahead.

PRN: 2013/1214