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Archive for October, 2010

Yes indeed, Sierra Leone needs a President like Dr. Ernest Koroma

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Published on October 21, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

Koroma

By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :

The article by new Cocorioko columnist, Rosetta Zizer, titled SIERRA LEONE NEEDS A PRESIDENT LIKE ERNEST BAI KOROMA,  struck a cord , because it was the truth. Sierra Leone is just coming out of a deadly war and the country needs a President like Dr.Koroma, who is open-minded, fair even to his detractors and not full of vindictiveness, venom and poison. This is one of the most impressive things about President Koroma that endears him not only to citizens of Sierra Leone, but foreigners within our midst , world leaders and members of the International Community. Many of his old college mates voted for him and are ready to die for him not only because he is competent and doing his job well; they love him also because he is an honest man who has no evil in his heart even for those who wrongfully criticize him.

President Koroma succeeded  to become Standard Bearer of the All People’s Congress ( APC) after a bitter court battle with some members of his party who tried everything to derail him. Though he prevailed, thank God, President Koroma came out of his persecution with no malice in his heart for those who fought him to a standstill and tried to stop him from being the Presidential candidate of the party . And when President Koroma won the elections, he demonstrated exemplary magnanimity by bringing some of those who fought him to occupy senior positions in the government. This is the spirit that is needed in Sierra Leone where we need to avoid opening old wounds and seek national reconciliation and national unity.

President Koroma, since he came to power, has received tons of unfair press attacks. He is the most productive President we have had since Independence and within three years he has achieved what other leaders could not do for quadruple the number of years he has spent in power.Inspite of this, some journalists at times write as if President Koroma has not achieved anything in power. Despite the unfair attacks on him, President Koroma has maintained his dignity and cool-headeness and today Sierra Leone boasts of having one of the most free press in Africa. A small country like Sierra Leone has over 50 newspapers, most belonging to opposition parties and they write stinging articles against the President everyday. To this day, however, journalists enjoy freedom that they have never had before in Sierra Leone. There is no journalist in jail and no newspaper office has been ransacked or illegally searched as it used to be in the past. This is because President Koroma and government officials have not been vindictive at all.

The President’s controlled, measured and tolerant personality makes it easier for citizens, foreigners and members of the International Community to listen to him and believe him. Whatever the President says is highly respected and believed because those listening to him know that he is honest and fair about what he says. The President has no communication barriers or trigger points that make people doubt what he says. This is what makes him a successful communicator who is able to pass on his message without any credibility problems.

President Koroma has addressed three town meetings in the United States since he came to power and all of them have been successful . The town meetings ended with the President being held in high esteem and his ratings to soar more than ever .The reason is that during these meetings, President Koroma faced difficult questions from people ,  but he maintained his cool,  stuck to the main issues and gave credible explanations that won him applause from his listeners. During the last OGI Town Meeting in New York , somebody asked him to explain how he felt about his government being labelled   ‘WUSUM STARS’ , with Northerners mostly constituting his government. Some leaders would have responded to the question with anger by either being condescending to the question-asking person or  lashing the critics and calling them names, which would have created a communication barrier. The skillful and composed President he always is, President Koroma took on the question with impressive calmness and decided to demonstrate that his government was not BOMBALI WUSUM STARS as some of his critics were contending. He called  on members of his government present at the meeting who were from the South-East to stand up. As one after the other  stood up , the crowd cheered , without the President having to say much. In the end, the President was able to make the audience believe that it was untrue to describe his government as WUSUM STARS  because there were South/Easterners occupying key positions. The President succeeded in comfortably and brilliantly answering a  difficult question through his calm and composed approach , based on a demonstration of the truth .If the President had insulted his critics or called them names, his message would have been obscured .People would have seen his anger more than the truth in his message. Anger is never an effective mode of communication. Anger erodes one’s  self-respect .

President Koroma is a magnificient communicator  in what he says and  does and  his pleasant , outward demeanor and body language  give him more credibility. Because of this,  even his critics and detractors don’t get tired listening to him. Efficient communication is the cornerstone of success in today’s world. And President Koroma will succeed as leader not only because of his achievements . He will succeed because he is also a  good and decent  communicator who captivates his audience with a preponderance of salient truths . Anybody who therefore claims to be speaking  for  President Koroma must try to be  truly representative of him .

Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary launches emotional appeal for children

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
The Van Fossen Theatre at Bloomfield College, Bloomfield in New Jersey was last Sunday  the scene of emotional appeals for help to aid the children of Sierra Leone during a fund-raising ceremony organized by the Abdul Mustapha Foundation, an organization set up by a young, patriotic Sierra Leonean lady , Jelikatu Mustapha. The Abdul Mustapha Foundation, according to program notes , “is one that is dedicated to giving a voice to the otherwise voiceless children of Sierra Leone ‘. And when the Foundation organized Sunday’s program to create awareness about the plight of children in Sierra Leone, the response was overwhelming.
kabbs-kanu
MINISTER KABS KANU
Sierra Leone was represented at the program by the Minister Plenipotentiary  to the United Nations who is also C-10 and Media and Public Affairs  Coordinator for the government of Sierra Leone in the United States, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ,who deputized the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Ambassador Shekou M. Touray. .The program was attended by a cross-section of Sierra Leoneans and Friends of Sierra Leone , including the Mayor of the Township of Bloomfield, Mr. Raymond MaCarthy, Judge Julien Neals of the Corporate Council of the City of Newark in New Jersey ; the President of the International School of Art ,Business and Technology in Ghana , Mr. Jonathan Thurston; the Vice=President of Student Affairs at Bloomfield College, Dr. Patrick Lamy ; the Senior Policy Advisor of the New Jersey Governor’s Office, Mr. Nashon Hornsby and  the founder/CEO of Brands Nu Words and author of I  Am Barak Obama ,Ms. Charisse Carney-Nunes,ESQ , among others. Among notable Sierra Leoneans  present were the Public Relations Officer of the All People’s Congress North America, Mr. Foday Mansaray; Ms. Mayeney Kamara and her sister Masiray and indeed the founder of the Abdul Mustapha Foundation ,Ms.Jelikatu Mustapha and her partner Mr. Abdul Savage.
The program started with performances by the Umoja Dance Troupe’s Drummers  .This was followed by the singing of the American and Sierra Leonean national anthems by the NJ Intermediate Youth Chorus .Then there were opening remarks by Dr. Lamy , Mr. Thurston and Jelikatu Mustapha, followed by a dance performance by the Umoja Dance Troupe and a musical performance by the Newark Boys Choir.
In his appeal for help for the children of Sierra Leone, Senior Policy Advisor of the Governor’s Office, Nashon Hornsby revealed some of the plight of kids in Sierra Leone including atrocities they suffered during the war, while the author Charise Carney-Nunez explained efforts she made to reach the hearts of kids of the Southern Regional capital, Bo, with a book she wrote specially for children. She disclosed that  sixty percent of the sales of the  book and ‘I am Barack OBama ‘ will go to the Abdul Mustapha Foundation. She appealed for everybody to open their hearts to the children of Sierra Leone and donate whateve they could afford to relieve the plight of the Sierra Leonean child.
The Mayor of Bloomfield , Mr. Raymond Macarthy looked at the humanitarian dimension of the suffering of kids in Sierra Leone and not only appealed passionately for help for the children but pledged the support of his township to the Abdul Mustapha Foundation. Judge Julien Neals provided statistics to demonstrate that Sierra Leone is the worst place on earh for a kid to be born and raised. He spoke about the atrocities performed on kids in Sierra Leone during the war, including being used as child soldiers, labourers and porters and young girls as sex slaves of the fighting forces .He appealed to the conscience of the world to come to the assistance of the kinds.
The speeches were followed by more moving performances , including a sorrowful poem and song on behalf of the children of Sierra Leone  by Ms. Tempess Williams  and an audio video show titled ‘The Plight of the Children of Sierra Leone’ which showed kids whose limbs were amputated during the war, the daily hurstle by kids of Sierra Leone to survive and some of the slums , like Susan’s Bay, where they interface with pigs , shanty dwellings, filth and squalor. The video also showed an exclusive interview about the plight of kids conducted with the Minister of Information and Communications , Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo by Jelikatu Mustapha during the last UN General Assembly in New York.
In his keynote address, Minister Plenipotentiary Kabs-Kanu,  on behalf of Permanent Representative Ambassador Shekou M.Touray and the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations as well as the government of Sierra Leone. thanked the Abdul Mustapha Foundation and all those who took time off their busy schedules to attend the fund raiser  He thanked them for their commitment to Sierra Leone and the cause of the country’s kids. The Minister said that the children of Sierra Leone underwent situations during the war that none in the hall would ever see or experience in their lives even if they lived for 100 years. He outlined the psychological damage inflicted on the kids by warring factions who did not only rape their parents and family members in their presence but in many cases forced the kids to partake in the horror . He spoke about the kids being also used as child soldiers and to perform monstrous war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Minister Kabs-Kanu told his audience that the government of Sierra Leone , under the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma, was working hard to put in place structures that will help to ameliorate the problems of the kids of Sierra Leone. He said that according to the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Soccoh Kabia, the government had succeeded in putting in place directorates ,with one directly devoted to children .The government, he went on, has rehabilitated a lot of the kids traumatized by the war and sent them to school. With the help of UNICEF and Save the Children UK, Child Welfare committees have been formed at community levels , involving teachers, traditional leaders , representatives of parents and children , to provide support for vulnerable families and to ensure that kids stay home and do not run away. The Minister also stated that UNICEF  was also supporting the government in setting up systems for monitoring children’s homes across the country to ensure proper running of orphanages and to avoid child trafficking.
The Minister said that despite the best efforts of the government and NGOs and international organizations, the situation remains desperate and he called on the international community and benevolent organizations in America to step in and help solve the problems faced by kids in Sierra Leone.
In her closing statement, the founder of the Abdul Mustapha Foundation, Jelikatu Mustapha, thanked everybody for coming to the program. She said that the first quest of her organization is to create awareness about the plight of children in Sierra Leone .She promised to organize more fund-raising programs to help address the needs of the Sierra Leonean child.
The program ended with a reception where foods and refreshments were served.
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Sierra Leone leads West African neighbours in total scores of Mo Ibrahim Index Report

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Published on October 5, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

President-Ernest-Koroma-An-Impressive-Performance-360x270

By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu

President Ernest Koroma’s  optimistic assessment of  Sierra Leone’s socio-economic and political progress  during his gigantic performance at the recent Open Government Initiative ( OGI ) Town Meeting in New York , received a well-deserved  vindication from the Mo Ibrahim  Index  Report yesterday ,when  Sierra Leone scored a higher percentage over most of her West African neighbours .

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is  an organisation “committed to supporting good governance and great leadership in Africa. The Index assesses the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by governments and non-state actors across 88 indicators,” according to a press statement from Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Media Centre.

Sierra Leone ranked 33rd out of 53 countries with a total percentage of 44.61 in the overall assessment of her progress in Safety and the Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and human development , ahead of neighbours Liberia (43.71), Niger (43.6), Mauritania ( 43.56), Togo (42.84), Nigeria ( 42.65), Guinea Bissau ( 42.9), Ivory Coast ( 37.75) and  Guinea ( 36.15) . Other countries Sierra Leone ranked above are Ethiopia, Cameroon, Congo, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Sudan, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Democratic Congo , Chad and Somalia.

PRESIDENT KOROMA MEETS GEORGE SOROS IN NEW YORK : WATCH HIS CONFIDENCE AND SMILE

Though Sierra Leone is  a country  blessed with perhaps the most abundant mineral resources in West Africa, and also one of the best human resources in the continent, with the country once the Athens of West Africa,  and because of these factors she should have done even better , yet  our progress is still very impressive , considering  the fact that we are recovering from the most brutal and destructive war ever fought on the continent.  When  President Koroma AGENDA FOR CHANGE is fully implemented , Sierra Leone will sit head and shoulders above most African countries.

PRESIDENT KOROMA HOLDING TALKS WITH DFID MINISTER ANDREW MITCHELL : OBSERVE HIS SELF-CONFIDENCE AND THAT SMILE

The Mo Ibrahim Report is another telling vindication of the fact that Sierra Leone is headed in the right direction under the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma. The Report , like the other reviews from the United Nations and other International organizations that gauge governance , economic performance and living conditions , demonstrate clearly that efforts  to discredit the President’s performance by the patently unfair anti-government journalists aligned with the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) are not bearing the desired fruits. The Mo Ibrahim Report is another bloody defeat for  these biased elements , most of them journalists, who want to create the wrong impression to the world that Sierra Leone is not doing well under the rule of the All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government.

PRESIDENT KOROMA AND DFID MINISTER ANDREW MITCHELL: ONCE AGAIN, WATCH THE SMILE AND CONFIDENT BODY LANGUAGE OF PRESIDENT KOROMA

However , if there is one person who is fully confident that the government is performing remarkably well , it is none other than President Ernest Bai Koroma himself. No man is as positive and confident both in his public demeanor and statements than President Koroma.While some leaders walk around sullen and downcast as if they are carrying the world’s burden on their shoulders, Sierra Leone has a President who walks around with a fascinating smile on his face. Even the world leaders and stakeholders  President Koroma interfaced with recently in New York noticed the President’s supreme self-confidence and pleasant demeanor always topped with his trademark flashy smiles .

During the jampacked OGI Town Meeting on Saturday September 25 at the Riverside Church in Harlem, New York, President Koroma spoke and answered questions with bold self-confidence and he even told his audience that because of his hard work and achievements, he is not a one-term President and that appreciative Sierra Leoneans will give him a second term.

I was with President Koroma when he held meetings with stakeholders like the British Department of International Development ( DFID ) Minister Andrew Mitchell, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair , Billionaire George Soros and other prospective investors .The President was composed, confident and assured in their discussions and even shared humour with them.  The President knows that he is doing a great job and is unmoved by the propaganda of dissident elements.

Only Sierra Leoneans who do not want to hear good tidings about their country would not find something in the Mo Ibrahim Report that will make them glad and optimistic about the future of their motherland.

COCORIOKO IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU . ALL QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE OPERATIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO KABS-KANU.

East End Lions bouyed by unbeatable performance in Liberia

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Published on October 7, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   2 Comments

East-End-Lions

Red Roaring East End Lions , the Champions club of Sierra Leone, have taken something very positive out of their brilliant performance in neighbouring Liberia early this month. They are confident of  performing better this time in the African Champions League.

It must be recalled that the Killers East End Lions returned from Liberia unscathed with two draws under their hat early last month. On Saturday September 4, East End Lions were forced to a 1-1 draw by Liberia’s champions Mighty Barrolle. Lions scored first through Musa Sesay and led 1-0 for a spell before the Liberians equalized in the second half.

In their second match against former champions , Invincible Eleven ( IE ), Lions were again held to a 1-1 draw after leading 1-0 at halftime after a goal by Mohamed Wiseman.

Lions are now busy preparing for the African Champions League .

Sierra Leone Arc of Hope Fundraiser was a grand success

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

 

 By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :

The Second Annual Humanitarian Fund Raising Event and Dance  was staged at the Mirage Hall, Langely Park , Maryland last Saturday October 2, 2010 . The much-publicized program lived up to its hype as it was  not only jampacked with distinguished Sierra Leoneans and foreign friends and supporters but it provided lots of fun and excitement and the Organization was able to raise an appreciable amount of funds to further its grand plans to build a state-of-the-art children’s hospital in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown.

The well-organized event started with  Christian prayers rendered by the Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, who is also a religious leader, the Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , and muslim prayers led by Retired Sierra Leone Armed Forces Colonel, Lansana Turay. The national anthems of Sierra Leone and the United States followed, with young singing sensation Janet Bona as lead-singer.

It was then time for Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the U.S, Mr. Bockarie Stevens, to  open the program officially. Arc of Hope is the brainchild of Ambassador Stevens and he wasted no time to express the rationale behind the foundation of the organization. Ambassador Stevens said it was to raise money to help promote efficient health care delivery in Sierra Leone by building a modern children’s hospital.project, the dreams of Arc of Hope will be realized. He clarified to his audience that Arc of Hope is non-political , non-regional and non-tribal. It is a national organization with executive and members drawn from the different political parties, regions and tribes in Sierra Leone.

DR. JOHN SANDY MAKES OPENING REMARKS

DAVID VANDY SPEAKING

SINGING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEMS : DAVID VANDY AND YOUNG  JANET BONA

The Chairman of Arc of Hope, Dr. John Sandy , in his remarks , re-echoed the points raised by Ambassador Stevens and  with the opening ceremony over, it was then time for a most outstanding and exciting performance by the two MCs of the occasion, brilliant  radio journalist David Vandy of the Voice of America ( VOA ) and the equally impressive Dr. Noahleen Betts , a medical practitioner  ,  who held the big crowd of guests spellbound with enticing jokes and raps , especially during the fundraising segment .

DR. NOAHLEEN BETTS

AMBASSADOR RUPERT DAVIES OF THE UN MISSION ENJOYS THE PARTY WITH A DIPLOMATIC COUPLE WHO SERVED IN SIERRA LEONE AND MANY COUNTRIES

COCORIOKO MAN JOSEPH SHERMAN ( RIGHT ) AND FRIENDS AT THE PARTY

AMBASSADOR DAVIES AND HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE, MADI

YOUNG SINGER JANET BONA AND OTHER GUESTS

 AMBASSADOR STEVENS’ PRETTY WIFE , MUSU, WHO MADE SURE OF THE HIGHEST BID TO BE ABLE TO MONOPOLIZE HER HUSBAND EVEN ON THE DANCE FLOOR

FODAY MORRIS, YOU SABBY DANCE SO ? AMBASSADOR  STEVENS AND HIS WIFE STEAL THE SHOW

THIS COUPLE WON AN AWARD DURING THE PARTY

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS-KANU WITH SENSATIONAL SINGER GIILEH AND HER SPOUSE MR. SOLOMON SCHOLZ

REV. FLORENCE KROMA RECEIVES AWARD ON BEHALF OF MOUNT ZION HEALTH AGENCY

NANETTE THOMAS RECEIVES AN AWARD

NEW JERSEYANS WHO ATTENDED THE PROGRAM STOPPED BY A CONVENIENCE STORE ON THEIR LONG DRIVE BACK AS DAWN BREAKS TO GET COFFEE : FROM LEFT -ALLIE BADARA KAMARA, AZIZ NABE, PAVI JALLOH AND KABS KANU

FODAY MANSARAY ( FAR RIGHT ) AND THE OTHER NEW JERSEYANS

Mr. Vandy and Mrs.  Betts displayed an uncanny ability to captivate their audience and they contributed immensely to a night of stupendous fun and enjoyment. Dr. Sandy also gave an eloquent performance each time he took the mike and the magnificient output of the three demonstrated the fact that Arc of Hope  was thoughtful and efficient in choosing the leaders of the organization. It was also demonstrative of the reality that there are many brilliant Sierra Leoneans spread across the diaspora. Sandy, Vandy and Betts were among  my men and women of the show.

There were some enthralling side events apart from the fundraising and dancing  to the delicious music dished out by  top DJ, Donald Moore  , who also deserves praise for his choice of a marvellous mix of contemporary Sierra Leone and African music as well as memorable sounds from the past which evoked nostalgia among the guests .

There was a splendid solo from rising  singer Giileh Scholz , who rocked the packed hall with her composition , “Jesus is the Way”  . Giileh, a Sierra Leonean,  ”has been in the musical industry since childhood, winning choreography performances from age 11 until her early teens when  she decided to put her rising career on hold to complete her education. Her songs are a unique mosaic of R&B, Soul, with a touch of African beat blended together to create a melodious musical explosion, “ according to her bio prepared to announce a new release. COCORIOKO will conduct  exclusive interviews with  Giileh and indeed Dr.Sandy, David Vandy and Noahleen Betts.

The side event that took the cake was DANCING WITH THE AMBASSADOR, another fundraising  item beside the 50/50 Raffle, Macy’s Coupons and personal appeal by Dr. Geli. “Dancing With The Ambassador” was   reserved specially for the woman who would bid the highest to  enjoy the priviledge of dancing with Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr.Bockarie Stevens.  Thrillingly , some beautiful women in the crowd started bidding to win the right to dance with the ambassador whose skills on the dance floor were immediately jokingly challenged by Foday Morris , the P. R.O of Arc of Hope , who was recently tapped by Minister Plenipotentiary Kabs-Kanu to serve as Editor-In-Chief of the online Daily Mail.

While the bidding and challenges were going on, somebody was hatching a plot on the sidelines.

GOD ALMIGHTY , while pronouncing judgement at the Garden of Eden , told Eve, the personification of women  among other things : “…Thy love shall be for thy husband …” (Genesis 3 : 16) .  In consonance with His immortal  pronouncement, the Lord God has put in every woman’s heart a yearning and craving for her husband ,which could be interpreted as the reason for the extremes women go to hold fast to their husbands against competing interests from other women.

MADAM AMBASSADOR’S WIFE, Mrs. Musu Stevens, to be exact, purposed that nobody else would steal the show under her nose. As the bidding progressed from $500 to $800 and then to $1,000, Madam Stevens gracefully interjected and began bidding too, going for the jogular and bidding sums higher than the other women’s . At first, it appeared as if the women would go toe-to-toe with the ambassador’s wife to gain the right to dance with His Excellency .However, the relentless Musu Stevens was determined that  nothing of the sort would happen and she would steal the show instead by having that special dance with the Ambassador, her husband . $1,500 she shouted . A seeming determined lady outbid her and  shouted “$2,000. ! ! ” .  But Musu was more determined. “$2,500   ! ! ! ” , she countered. At this point, it became clear to all that Madam Ambassador’s Wife would not mind to burst her bank account this night to win that special dance with His Excellency, who by this time was standing and  blushing boyishly on the dance floor. And Madam Stevens nailed it when she screamed “$ 3,000  ! ! ! “.There was something about that chant. It was not only higher than any other woman in the hall was prepared to pay to dance with the Ambassador but there was determination in her voice that she was ready to go even higher. Charming and pretty Madam Musu Stevens won the day and a most remarkable drama followed when she took the dance floor, amidst earsplitting cheers , to do that Special piece with the Ambassador, her beloved husband.

The younger and more agile Foday Morris was left standing agape as he watched  the wonderful skills performed on the dance floor by Mr.Ambassador ,who showed that he was not a “Hose Pikin” and ‘unsocial man’ during  his youth.  Foday Morris could not have won a dancing contest with Mr. Stevens. The crowd cheered and cheered and formed a circle around the couple, dancing too, while some fascinated guests showered the dancing couple with the almighty dollar,which an Arc of Hope member gratefully kept collecting from the floor . It was indeed a night of relaxing fun from the rigors and stress of American life.

More dancing followed later and the enjoyable occasion came to an end with the vote of thanks by Texas-based socialite , Nannette Thomas , who provided more humour when after thanking all those individuals and the guests who contributed to make the fundraiser a success , she ended by thanking and praising herself for her hard work ,as if to jokingly enact the popular belief that one should blow his/her own horn because nobody else would do it in a thankless world( Though it must be said that Nannette is highly appreciated by Arc of Hope ). It was just her own contribution to a night of fun and laughter.

The following  people  received awards at the dinner and dance:

Mount Zion Home Health Agency – Mrs. Florence Kroma
Prelude Health Care _ Mr Sheikh and Mrs. Juliana Daboh
Siera leone International Ship Registry
Mrs. Elizabeth Sandy

COCORIOKO IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU . ALL QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE OPERATIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO KABS-KANU.

© 2010, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

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African leaders call for permanent Security Council seat for the continent

Friday, October 1st, 2010

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
24 September 2010 – African leaders today called on the United Nations to grant the continent a permanent seat on the Security Council, declaring that 65 years after its founding the world body remains mired in the legacy of the past.
 

“The exclusion of Africa from the permanent member category of the Security Council can no longer be justified,” President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country with some 150 million people, told the General Assembly on the second day of its annual debate.

“We urge the UN to quicken the pace of its reforms. Not only to better reflect the current global realities but also to ensure that it enjoys genuine legitimacy.”

Mr. Jonathan, who devoted much of his speech to the progress Nigeria has made while noting the challenges it faces regarding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) relating to reducing maternal and child mortality, recalled that just seven days after gaining independence in 1960, his country contributed to a UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended Nigeria for its support of UN peacekeeping operations in a bilateral meeting today with Mr. Jonathan, during which the two discussed forthcoming elections on the continent and the need to curtail the small arms traffic feeding violence in Africa.

Presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Ali Bongo of Gabon also called for African representation on the Security Council.

“To maintain at all costs the status quo is to turn one’s back on the radical changes in the state of the world and at the same time to expose the Council to more mistrust, more defiance and more criticism,” Mr. Wade said, seeking the right of veto for the continent..

He noted that from 51 Member States in 1945 the UN had now grown to 192, yet the Council, “the body intended to reflect the collective will” whose resolutions are legally binding while those of the Assembly are not, had increased its membership only once, in 1965, from 11 to 15.

“Are we prepared to define a new world order within which Africa and the emerging powers will fully play the role which the changing circumstances confer on them?” he asked.

“How indeed can one conceive of a credible role for our organization in world governance while Africa, comprising more than a quarter of its troops and occupying 70 per cent of the Council’s agenda, has no permanent seat on it?

“It is to end this anomaly and right a historical injustice that Senegal has proposed, independent of current reforms that will take time, that our continent be granted a permanent seat with the right of veto.”

At present only the five original permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – have veto rights. All five were victorious allies in World War II, part of what Mr. Wade called the legacy of a closed historical period.

“If numerous Council decisions are today questioned and their execution deficient, it is because they are perceived by the great majority of Member States more as the expression of national interests than the transmission of a mandate in the name of the community of nations,” he said.

Mr. Bongo called on the UN to adapt to the changed international context. “At a time when the democratization of world governance is a necessity, I wish to reaffirm from this tribune the aspirations of Africa to full occupy its place in the concert of nations,” he said.

“It seems to me the time has come for Africa not only to have a permanent seat on the Security Council but also to assume the full breadth of its responsibilities as a fully recognized actor on the international scene.”

Also adding his voice to the chorus of African leaders today calling for the continent’s permanent representation on the Council was Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Comprehensive reform of the body will make it “more representative, democratic and accountable,” he told the Assembly.

“It is unjust that Africa remains the only region in the world without permanent representation on the Security Council,” Mr. Pohamba stressed.

Togolese Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo said that the noble goals for which the UN was founded are still far from being attained. “The work to be undertaken is still immense,” he declared. “Poverty and misery are not empty words, they are oppressive realities lived every day. They generate violence, instability, conflicts and other scourges that we combat today without success. Only international solidarity can allow us to overcome the world’s ills.”

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu
Minister Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN
245 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017
Tel:  (212 ) 688 – 1656 Ext. 18