Speeches and Articles
Remarks by Ambassador Nancy J. Powell at the Eleanor Roosevelt Dedication Ceremony
Roosevelt House, New Delhi | August 28, 2012
Ambassador Rice, Honorable Minister, Anil Kapoor, and many, many friends who are here tonight,
Welcome to Roosevelt House and thank you for coming on this special evening. Roosevelt House is the home of the American Ambassador to India since 1961. It has for many years honored the legacies of Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. Tonight we add the name of First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who was both the niece of Theodore Roosevelt and the wife of Franklin, but more importantly an outstanding American in her own right. As the first woman American Ambassador to India, I am proud to add her bust to those of the Presidents as a mark of respect for her accomplishments and as a symbol of America’s continuing efforts to support human rights around the globe.
In 1952, Mrs. Roosevelt came to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Nehru. As you can see from the photographs on the walls around this room, she traveled throughout the country and she interacted with a wide spectrum of Indian society. The warm reception Mrs. Roosevelt received and the interest her travels generated reflect both the deep and enduring nature of the U.S.-India relationship.
It is my distinct honor tonight to introduce another remarkable woman, a very special guest who has graciously joined us tonight: the United States’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice. At the United Nations, Ambassador Rice works very hard every day to advance American interests, but also to defend universal values, strengthen the world’s common prosperity, and to promote respect for human rights. As a senior U.S. government official working over the years on emergency response and African affairs as well as the mother of two children, Ambassador Rice’s own career represents a sterling example of effective response to the Call to Action on Child Survival. [Ambassador Rice remarks]
I now have the pleasure of introducing Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath. This ministry is one of the key actors in India’s response to the global Call to Action for Child Survival. The minister’s distinguished political career and her skills as an organizer make her an ideal leader for this initiative on behalf of children of India and the world. [Minister of State remarks]
I want to thank all of you for coming tonight. I want you to enjoy the rest of the evening and I hope that you will be inspired by the example of Eleanor Roosevelt to respond to this call to action on behalf of the world’s children. As President Obama reminded us this week as we remembered the exploits of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the giant leaps of mankind begin with the small steps of courageous men and women. I hope that you will each step up, sign up on our signboard, and respond to the Call to Action on behalf of the world’s children. Again thank you very, very much for joining us tonight.