When I think of my school days in Paris, I am filled with affection and gratitude to the distinguished professors, classmates, and good people of France including all those who we met along the way. January 13, 2023, was so special in many ways for several good reasons. This day was not just an ordinary one but was destined for history. I can still feel the thankfulness, excitement, and enthusiasm on this faithful Friday during our visit to the Alma Mater in Paris now located at 110-110 ESP du General de Gaulle, Courbevoie 92400, La Defense, Paris. The day which provided the opportunity to once again establish contact with the illustrious professors was extraordinary and unique to meet and speak with the well-learned and sophisticated professors and the academic director once again. Indeed, the CEDS-HEIP Graduate School (established in 1984 and 1889) has molded the minds of its alumni for years to positively give back to society and face global challenges.
Although no words can explain our utmost appreciation for this higher institution of learning, I am however very grateful for the knowledge and great values this great institution has imparted to us, thus pushing us towards the standard of quality, hard work and to render needed services to the state, people and institutions.
Fortunately, hatred, envy, bitterness, devised mischiefs, and anger towards progress and achievement have no place in this great institution and French society. Instead, ideas and innovations are turned into realities at this European sophisticated, dynamic, and fantastic higher institution for the greater good of French society. As a tradition, students are mentored, developed, and adequately prepared for global challenges.
HEIP University established in 1899 is the parent institution of CEDS Graduate School established in 1984 has produced presidents, the Assistant Secretary-General of UL, foreign ministers, renowned ambassadors, and presidents and Professors of universities. This French institution of higher learning, HEIP, has produced five winners of the Nobel Prize for remarkable inventions in historic fields of studies and practical research.
HEIP-CEDS holds active membership in Omnes Education, formerly INSEEC University which contains 15 institutions including CEDS-HEIP, ESCE, IFG, and INSEEC all situated at Omnes Education campus in the heart of La Defense, Paris. Omnes Education is a leader in private Higher education in France, with 13 schools, 180.000 alumni, 3,000 experts, 40,000 students, and 19 campuses in France and abroad.
It operates in France, European and international campuses in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Chambéry, Monaco, Geneva, Abidjan, and Shanghai. Its global annual budget is about US$400 million.
By way of a brief introduction, the CEDS Graduate Institution established in 1984 has existed for three and half decades, while HELP the parent institution of CEDS was established in 1899 and is well respected for producing five winners of the Nobel Prize for remarkable inventions in historic fields of studies.
They include Paul Deschanel, President of the French Republic in 1920, Professor at HEIP from 1908 to 1918; Émile Durkheim, Founding member of modern French Sociology, Founding member of the League of Human Rights, Professor of “Sociology” at HEIP from 1903 to 1909; Aristide Briand, President of the Council of Ministers 1909 – 1929, Nobel Peace Prize in 1926, Professor of “Social Questions” at HEIP from 1901 to 1902; Paul Vidal De La Blache, Founding member of Modern Geography, Professor of “Geography” at HEIP from 1901 to 1917 and André Siegfried, Founding member of Electoral Sociology, Professor of at HEIP from 1902 to 1905.
Others are Bertrand Russell, a British Philosopher, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and professor at HEIP from 1910 to 1911; Romain Rolland, a Writer, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915, Professor of “Literature and literary and Musical Criticism”, professor at HEIP from 1902 to 1911; Arthur Fontaine, Drafter of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), First President of the International Labor Organization from 1919 to 1931, professor of “Right to strike” at HEIP from 1900 to 1915; Leon Duguit, French jurist, Founder of the School of Public Service, professor of “Questions of general law” at HEIP from 1907 to 1911; Leon Bourgeois, President of the Senate from 1920 to 1923, Nobel Peace Prize 1920, Professor of “Democratic Doctrines” at HEIP from 1901 to 1911; and Victor Basch, Co-founder of the Human Rights League, Professor of “Political and Artistic Theories” at HEIP.
Few alumni of the CEDS- HEIP Graduate School include Her Excellency Dr. María Ángela Holguín, former Interim of President of Colombia, Former Assistant Secretary-General of UN, Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Colombia Permanent Representative to the UN; Her Excellency Dr. Naela Chohan, former Pakistan High Commission to Australia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay; Dr. Sidi Tiémoko Touré, Ivorian current Minister of Fisheries and Animal Resources; Dr. Dr. Dr. Idriss Aberkane, French Consultant and astute Lecturer; Her Excellency Dr. Gabriela Dancău, Romanian Ambassador to Spain, Italy, Malta, and San Marino; Prof. Dr. Mickael Strauss, Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur and Professor at CEDS Graduate School; B/Gen. Dr. Robert Mansour, Director of Signals at Lebanese Armed Forces; Her Excellency, Dr. Maryse Saint-Pierre Cyprien, a Haitian diplomat and Minister-Counselor, Permanent Delegation of Haiti to UNESCO in Paris; Prof. Dr. Paul F.J. Araña an American international relations scholar and Professor at the University of HAWAII, USA and Dr. Adebayo E. Adeyemi, Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria.
Others are Dr. Aguiar Cristina – A renowned Lawyer at the Special Court in the Hague, former Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the O. N.U., Previous Minister for Human Rights; Dr. Fremaux Christian – Lawyer at the Court of Paris; Dr. Garcin Thierry – Program Manager at Radio France; Dr. Gastaut Thérèse – Honorary Director of the United Nations Department of Public Information; Dr. Lebedev Mickael Former diplomat of the Russian Federation, Lawyer at the Court; Dr. Papathanassiou Fotis – Deputy Mayor of Athens, and Director of the C.E.D.S. branch of Athens; Dr. Strauss Michael –a renowned diplomat and international relations expert and professor in France, and Prof. Dr. Souha Akiki-President of Paris Graduate School.
Meanwhile, it is a great honor to recognize the meaningful contributions of people and institutions that have assisted in several ways during the entire course of my doctoral studies in France. It’s in this light that I have decided to appreciate the following individuals and institutions for their contributions which have led to the successful completion of this dissertation and the study program. Most importantly, my sincere thanks go to the Academic Director, Prof. Dr. Fouad Nohra for his professional motivation and special thanks also go to all the professors of CEDS for their sincere assistance of guidance during the last four years of studies.
My sincere gratitude to the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan for his encouragement, tolerant and standing by me when forces of resistence attempted to undermine me not to complete my hard earned studies program in France. I appreciate Minister Ngafuan open-minded, and also the former Liberian Ambassador to the Republic of France, His Excellency William Allen for his inspirations and moral supports given me while my appreciation goes to the former President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the moral encouragement during the course of praiseworthy historic studies in France. My decisions to pursue doctorate studies was driven by the words of inspirations by President Johnson-Sirleaf who has encouraged me to take advantage of my days in France.
My appreciation also goes to Mrs. Pamela Buyu, Mr. Yatay Tuoway and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Claude Parjloh for being so supportive and helpful to me during the course of my studies in France. They stood with me during my most difficult and frustrating encounters in Paris, France where man-made barriers and obstacles created alone the ways by certain questionable characters with covetous spirits fought hard to deny me this praiseworthy journey but with the grace of the Most High, their failed plan has collided; through the blessings of Most High, I managed to successfully overcome all odds.
I owe great gratitude and special thanks to my parents and family for their motivation, and personal and special support given me to reach this milestone. The entire doctoral study program was one hundred percent financially supported by my hard-earned saving without a penny from any individual or institution. Special thanks to the following persons: Ralph Geeplay of Canada, Rinny Kanneh of the USA, Gus Jeaploe, and Tarlue Worwee of Liberia.
Further thanks go of course to my wife, Rita Nyenpan-Gray, my friends and staffers of the New Vision Newspaper for their inspiration and encouragement and especially thanks go to my brothers and sisters, and classmates. Great appreciation also goes to the wonderful librarians of the following Libraries in Paris: BNF Francois Mitterrand, American, Richelieu Louvis, Bibliotheque Chateau-d’Eau, Opera BNF Museum and Municipal Ville De Libraries for their patients and professional assistance during my interactions with them at these libraries in searching for useful materials, books, documents, data, publications, officials’ statements.
Other Libraries include the Chinese Foreign Affairs University Library in Beijing, China; Grafton Public Library in Grafton, North Dakota, USA, New York Public Library in New York, USA, the Chinese and British Embassies in Paris, France, and the Chinese Foreign Affairs reading room in Beijing. I am also grateful to the Embassy of Chine near Monrovia for sponsoring five of my trips to China to undergo studies.
Finally, I would like to thank the Most High for His bountiful blessings and protection throughout the entire process that able me to overcome “man-made barriers and obstacles. I could not have achieved this great hallmark without the Almighty wonderful blessings.
I am obliged to the great people of France, the Government and my mentors (professors), Lord, Thank You for the bountiful blessings!!
In appreciation of the ten scholarships awarded by the Paris Graduate School in France, The Dean of Prof Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, UL, Prof. Dr. Josephus M. Gray presents to Prof. Dr. DR. SOUHA AKIKI, Paris Graduate School a copy of his latest book titled: The Effect of Diplomacy: Liberia-US-China’s Triangular Relations.