Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Death of U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
March 6, 2012


I am deeply saddened by the passing of my dear friend and esteemed colleague, U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne. Throughout his long career, Congressman Payne worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents, all Americans, and people across the world who need the most. He fought passionately for the causes the poor, the oppressed, the hungry, the sick and those living in conflict. Above all, he was an extraordinary champion for human rights and human dignity in every corner of the earth.

Africa was his calling and his cause. I was proud to work closely with him on so many key issues, both as a public servant and as a private citizen. Don Payne was our moral compass. I am forever grateful to him for teaching me so much and always keeping me straight. Congressman Payne was a relentless advocate, a valiant warrior for justice, and a friend to the friendless. As a leader of so many critical causes, Donald Payne proved every day to the people of Africa that they had a true friend in the U.S. Congress.

I am most grateful for Congressman Payne’s unparalleled leadership on the behalf of the people of South Sudan, Darfur and all of Sudan. We last travelled together in July, when he represented the Congress on the Presidential Delegation to Juba to mark the independence of South Sudan. It was a joyous day that was, indeed, in part, a testament to his many years of effort and advocacy.

Donald Payne will also be remembered as an ambassador for peace, democracy, and life-saving efforts against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

I admired him tremendously and will miss him terribly.

My husband, Ian Cameron, and I and extend our deepest condolences to Don’s three children, Donald Jr., Wanda, and Nicole, his four grandchildren, his great grandson, his brother, Bill, and his sister, Kathryn James.


PRN: 2012/048