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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Passing of Dr. Wangari Maathai


Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 26, 2011

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I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Wangari Maathai. The world has lost a powerful force for peace, democracy and women’s rights.

From early on, Dr. Maathai was a tireless advocate for the environment, for women and for all those in the developing world who are unable to realize their potential. She founded the Green Belt Movement that has planted millions of trees and helped women throughout Africa improve their lives and the futures of their families and their communities. She understood the deep connection between local and global problems, and she helped give ordinary citizens a voice. Her death has left a gaping hole among the ranks of women leaders, but she leaves behind a solid foundation for others to build upon. I was inspired by her story and proud to call her my friend.

My thoughts and prayers are with her three children, Waweru, Wanjira and Muta, and her granddaughter, Ruth Wangari.



PRN: 2011/1594

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