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Archive for September, 2015

President Koroma pops in at UN Plaza rally and is given a champion’s applause

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

President Ernest Bai Koroma  yesterday popped in at the Sierra Leoneans For Peace  rally and received the  most thunderous  applause a Foreign leader has ever enjoyed at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza , UN in New York ( The demonstration grounds where the morale and reputation of world leaders have been  damaged before , at times beyond repairs ) . For President Koroma, it was the opposite. His stature as a hero and a champion of his country’s development endeavors were celebrated and enhanced here .

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PRESIDENT KOROMA GIVES THE CHAMPION’S SALUTE TO THE CROWDS RALLYING ON HIS BEHALF : ON HIS RIGHT IS DR.SYLVIA BLYDEN AND ON HIS LEFT HON. ALPHA KANU , DR. MONTY JONES AND OTHER OFFICIALS

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SIERRA LEONEANS RALLYING IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT KOROMA AT THE UN

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CHAIRMAN IBRAHIM KAMARA , THE CHIEF OF THE SIERRA LEONEANS FOR PEACE, AND ONE OF HIS ABLE DEPUTIES MRS. BEATRICE CONTEH : BEHIND MR. KAMARA IS DR. HORACE DOVE-EDWIN , POPULARLY KNOWN AS TIPEPS. 

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Hundreds of Sierra Leoneans who had gathered at the plaza  in a solidarity rally for President Koroma were thrilled that the President had decided to take a surprise walk  down to the plaza from his hotel to see the rally for himself .  Flanked by Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden ,  Information and Communications Minister, Hon. Alpha Kanu ,  key officials of government and the Secret Service , Dr. Ernest himself was surprised at the reception he received from excited and jubilant Sierra Leoneans. The prolonged and earsplitting applause is captured on video below.

It was utter defeat ONCE AGAIN  for the so-called Concerned Sierra Leoneans group which had once again bragged that they were coming to bury the President’s morale and reputation with a fiery demonstration, but it instead turned out to be an ineffective  psychodrama by  a motely gathering of about 8 or 10 noisy  individuals who made a boisterous appearance at the plaza before they were swallowed up by another group of demonstrators from the Gambia and Benin and drowned out by the booming drums and searing applause of the far larger and more organized and structured  Sierra Leoneans For Peace .

President Koroma, with his clenched fist raised in a victory salute, acknowledged the applause and walked through the length of the barriers facing the street. Not a contrary sound or clatter from any other group. It was cheers and applause for the President all the way.

The rally was staged by the Sierra Leoneans For Peace  and the All People’s Congress ( APC-USA ) , with members traveling from many different states in the continental USA.  The aim of the rally was to celebrate the socio-economic and political developments of President Ernest Bai Koroma as well as his tremendous work to defeat the ebola scourge and also provide relief for victims of the recent flood in Sierra Leone.  Members carried placards and banners hailing the President’s work, including his human rights records, gender empowerment and respect for fundamental human rights.

 

President Ernest Bai Koroma addresses the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

PRESIDENT UN 70

 

Statement by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York – Tuesday, 29th September 2015

Mr. President,

Colleague Heads of State and Government,

Distinguished Delegates

I congratulate you most warmly, Mr. President, on your election to conduct the affairs of this Assembly during this historic 70th Session. I assure you of my personal support as well as that of Sierra Leone during your tenure.

Let me also convey my sincere appreciation to your predecessor, His Excellency Hon. Sam Kutesa of the Republic of Uganda, for the effective manner in which he conducted the previous Session.

I profoundly commend the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his constructive leadership of this Organization. Sierra Leone will continue to support the progressive implementation of his laudable Action Agenda. We welcome his synthesis Report which articulates a “call to action to transform our world beyond 2015”.

Mr. President,

Seventy years ago, we committed ourselves “…to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” Today, this is still our task and common goal, and the very foundation upon which our shared and common values are firmly embedded and should therefore be respected.

It is in the pursuit of this task and shared values that, fifteen years ago, the Millennium Declaration articulated a bold vision to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality, and ensure that children everywhere receive basic education.

Together, we have achieved a lot – getting millions out of poverty, getting millions into schools, and breaking many barriers to the empowerment of women. But our achievements are works in progress; our organization is a work in progress. Many challenges remain. Many actions need to be taken in the offices of our organization; many actions must also be taken in the fields, where the citizens of the world live their lives. The two are interlinked, without changes within the structures of our global organization our actions in the fields will be hindered by lack of ownership, lack of inclusion, and lack of irreversible successes.

This is why we commend you for the choice and relevance of the theme of this Session: “The United Nations at 70 – A New Commitment to Action”.

We have put forward negotiating positions for reforms of our organization, we have drawn up plans for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and we have adopted the Financing for Development Framework in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July this year. What is left now is action on all of these fronts; action to reform our organization, commencing action in fields where there is as yet no action; taking action to overcome challenges, and continuing action to sustain, deepen and expand our achievements.

The unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and its accompanying challenges are critical to the work that lies ahead. We have learned lessons that are invaluable, made progress that is undeniable; but the challenges we still face are the equivalence of millions not going to school, millions not having healthcare; millions of women oppressed, and millions of people having their rights and lives trampled in the war zones and refugee routes of the world. The challenges have the urgency of a life and death situation for millions.

What we see all over the world – in the refugee crises, in the fight against poverty, in the fight against trans-national organized crime, terrorism, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, piracy, violence against women; what we see in our actions for human rights, and in the efforts for expanding access to health and education; what we see in all these are struggles for inclusion in the better achievements of humanity – achievements of security, safety, peace, education, health, development. Where there is exclusion, people seek inclusion. The poor seek inclusion in a fairer world, the refugee seeks inclusion in a safer world, and we believe the SDG is about building a fairer, safer and better world for those excluded from the great achievements of humanity.

Mr. President,

Making our global organization more democratic, more participatory and fairer is part of the struggle for inclusion the world over; it is a prerequisite for achieving our universal aspirations under the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

As the Coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State on UN Security Council Reform, I take this opportunity to once more emphasize the need for urgent reform of the Council and once again re-echo Africa’s concern over the continuous failure of this body to adopt measures that will lead to a comprehensive reform of the Security Council.

I wish to call attention to the regrettable status quo that undermines the principles of equity, legitimacy, accountability and transparency. It also undermines the effectiveness of the Security Council in its pursuit of international peace and security. The need to address the non-representation of Africa in the Permanent category and the under-representation in the Non-permanent category is long overdue and therefore now imperative. Africa’s demand for two Permanent seats and two additional Non-permanent seats as articulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration is just and provides a framework for a fairer and more inclusive United Nations.

I welcome the recent decision by the General Assembly to further the intergovernmental negotiation process and do hope for a meaningful furtherance of consensus building mechanism during the course of this 70th Session.

Mr. President,

Sierra Leone is very committed to promoting inclusion in governance, inclusion in development, and supporting peace around the world. And we shall continue to support initiatives for the sustenance and expansion of democracy, peace and security in Africa in particular, and in the world at large.

The contribution of Sierra Leone to the United Nations peacekeeping efforts demonstrates our strong commitment to global peace and stability. We acknowledge the Report of the High-Level Independent Review Panel on Peacekeeping Operations in all its aspects. And we stand ready to explore further means to increase our contribution to global peacekeeping to enhance the success of UN peacekeeping operations.

I take this opportunity to pay a special tribute to the men and women in uniform, as well as civilian staff who continue to pay the ultimate sacrifice to serve humanity in complex and dangerous environments around the world. We totally condemn attacks against United Nations peacekeepers, and we call for action against the perpetrators of these cowardly acts.

The Report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peace-building Architecture and its recommendations is a useful document that informs lessons learned, best practices, and challenges going forward with preventing and relapse into violent conflict. We look forward to a constructive engagement during the intergovernmental process within the context of Sierra Leone being one of the case studies and a store-house of lessons learned.

We applaud our collective establishment of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCSL) to carry out the continuing legal obligations of the original Special Court. Given the profile of persons convicted by the Court, currently serving prison sentences under the supervision of the Residual Court, it is in the interest of international peace and security as well as ensuring justice that we sustain support to the effective operations of the Residual Court to enable it to fully deliver on its mandate.

Mr. President,

From terrorism to climate change, disease, and refugees, no country is immune from the challenges facing the world at large. Some countries may be able to stave off some of these problems from their shores. However, our globalized world have increased the routes through which these challenges move from country to country, from one region to another, from one group of people to another. That is why we cannot say a particular problem is only a problem for this country or that region. Poorer countries suffer disproportionately from particular problems, but without support from the world to solve them, the problems evolve to haunt other regions, other countries, and other groups. This is the wisdom that we need to integrate into decision making in every country, every region and every global organization.

This is the wisdom we need to integrate into our decisions about climate change. Changes in the weather patterns in the Pacific and ocean currents in the North Atlantic are unleashing devastating floods all over. A week and half ago, we witnessed floods hitherto unseen in Sierra Leone, leading to devastation in many parts of our capital Freetown. Storms rage in the Cape Verde Islands, floods ravaged other parts of West Africa. We believe in our experts’ attribution of these disasters to man-made climate change. We call for action not only to lower emissions of greenhouse gases implicated in these changes, but also action to shore up capacities to deal with the effects of climate change. No country, I reiterate, is immune from the physical, social, health, insecurity and other consequences of climate change. We need to integrate this insight into our decisions about other urgent matters – youth unemployment, insecurity, extreme hunger, violence against women, transnational organized crime and piracy. Letting them out of control in vulnerable nations today increases the vulnerability of all nations.

Africa has made tremendous efforts to strengthen the continent’s capacity for preventing and resolving conflicts. Countries in the global South have also been at the forefront of finding solutions and providing reliefs from the miseries of the world. They host more refugees than other lands; they contribute more personnel to peacekeeping missions. What is imperative is global solidarity in building capacity in our regions to better handle these challenges. Without this solidarity, the challenges would jump borders; evade immigration controls, jump over walls. This is why we need cooperative and coordinated partnerships to strengthen capacities to respond to these challenges. Our voice as fragile and conflict affected states under the g7+ is a call for country ownership and country-led implementation of the SDGs

Mr. President,

Since 2012, Sierra Leone proactively tailored its development framework to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our vision for socio-economic development as contained in my government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) III, and articulated in the “Agenda for Prosperity” (A4P), was launched in July 2013 as Sierra Leone’s roadmap to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Agenda for Prosperity aims to build a sustainable future for all Sierra Leoneans. It demonstrates our firm commitment towards putting Sierra Leone on the path to resilience and sustainability.

We have to that end, recorded significant progress in strengthening political and economic governance, including improvement in social indicators. My government has continued to place emphasis on the protection of the basic rights of the people of Sierra Leone. We have put in place comprehensive reforms in the justice sector in response to both national and global demands to ensure that the rights of citizens are preserved and that access to justice is accorded to all. The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone closely collaborates with the Government in building an entrenched culture of human rights and in ensuring that the Government ratifies several outstanding international treaties and protocols as well as fulfilling its varied reporting obligations.

We have undertaken specific reform measures to improve the national investment climate. My Government is keen on delivering results on several priority areas including infrastructural development, commercialized agriculture, improved access to education and health care services, youth empowerment and employment, women’s empowerment, effective and efficient public service delivery and the social as well as political integration of persons with disabilities.

Mr. President,

At a time when Sierra Leone was being commended for its remarkable progress in peace stability and steady economic growth we were hit by the unprecedented Ebola Virus outbreak. The Ebola Virus disease outbreak has taken a heavy toll on the entire socio-economic fabric of Sierra Leone. But with support from our international friends, we fought back. Today, we have almost defeated the evil virus – only one case of Ebola was recorded in the country for the whole of August. And we have recorded zero number of cases for several days in September. Whilst we are making progress to end the epidemic, I commend the United Nations Agencies and the international community for their support and commitment to end the epidemic as well as support for the Post-Ebola Recovery Plan.

I particularly commend the Secretary General for mobilizing, for the very first time, a coordinated and integrated UN system intervention to support countries affected by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in our region. In addition to the containment of the epidemic, the intervention by the UN and our partners has resulted in enhancing our preparedness to respond to similar outbreaks in the future. This is a useful model that can be applied to contain and tackle pandemics wherever they may surface.

In order to guarantee a lasting recovery, my Government in collaboration with our sister Republics of Guinea and Liberia, have also formulated a sub-regional post-Ebola socio-economic recovery plan to ensure that the three most Ebola affected countries return to the path of stability and prosperity.

The Sierra Leone national recovery plan is based on two main pillars. The first pillar addresses immediate recovery activities that would help in getting to and maintaining zero infections. The second pillar focuses on building national systems of resilience and sustainability that include a viable health system and the establishment of integrated national security and disaster risk management system(s).

With a considerable measure of satisfaction, I must state that the commitment demonstrated by the international community in supporting the Ebola recovery plans has been very encouraging. On behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, allow me Mr. President, to once again applaud our development partners for their unflinching commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s development aspirations. Sierra Leone is poised and ready to continue working with the international community to regain its pre-Ebola development trajectory. We look forward to strengthening partnerships for effective implementation of our Post-Ebola Recovery Plans, both national and sub-regional.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, as our noble organization celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, it is important to reflect on its Charter, which reaffirms the “faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large or small”.

With the commitment of leaving no one behind, it is essential that we objectively follow a pragmatic approach, with renewed vigor and commitment, to provide for our people a future that would guarantee justice, sustainable peace and security, strengthened accountable and democratic governance, employment opportunities, the transparent and equitable distribution of wealth, a safe and sustainable environment, improved health and relevant education. It is also important that conflicts are resolved around the world, if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved, as there can be no development without peace.

Together, with a firmer resolve, let us rise to this challenge and act towards a fairer, safer and better world.

I thank you for your attention

Watch President Ernest Koroma live when he addresses UN General Assembly today

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Ernest Bai Koroma
 FLASHBACK : PRESIDENT KOROMA ADDRESSING THE 67TH SESSION OF THE UN
Dear Sir/Madam,
With the expressed consent of the Minister of Information and Communications Hon. Alhaji Alpha Kanu  we ( Pasco Temple & Wilfred Kabbs Kanu) enjoined members of the public to please click this link below on either your phone, Ipad, Tablet and or computer to watch the general debate of the 70th Session UN General Assembly, and in particular President Ernest Bai Koroma who will be delivering his address to the World Body between 9.00 AM & 1.00pm. EST.  http://webtv.un.org/live/
Pasco Gerald Temple                                                                       WILFRED LEEROY KABS-KANU
                                                                                                                         MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY
Information Attache
Embassy of Sierra Leone to the United States
1701 19th St. NW
Washington, DC
20009
Tel:+202 4466958

Massive rally at UN in support of President Koroma today

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Sierra Leone’s President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will be addressing the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly today. While the President will be on the podium, thousands of Sierra Leoneans will be staging a big rally outside, at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in solidarity with and support for the Head of State.

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The rally will be in appreciation of the good governance , impressive human rights record , respect for the constitution and the rule of law by the President ,  the valiant efforts he made to make Ebola almost a distant past in Sierra Leone and his marvelous development projects.

President Koroma will address partisans of the APC after the rally.

We will bring you the details.

U.S. President Obama’s address to the UN

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

OBAMA ADDRESSING UN

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Seventy years after the founding of the United Nations, it is worth reflecting on what, together, the members of this body have helped to achieve.
Out of the ashes of the Second World War, having witnessed the unthinkable power of the atomic age, the United States has worked with many nations in this Assembly to prevent a third world war — by forging alliances with old adversaries; by supporting the steady emergence of strong democracies accountable to their people instead of any foreign power; and by building an international system that imposes a cost on those who choose conflict over cooperation, an order that recognizes the dignity and equal worth of all people.
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That is the work of seven decades. That is the ideal that this body, at its best, has pursued. Of course, there have been too many times when, collectively, we have fallen short of these ideals. Over seven decades, terrible conflicts have claimed untold victims. But we have pressed forward, slowly, steadily, to make a system of international rules and norms that are better and stronger and more consistent.
It is this international order that has underwritten unparalleled advances in human liberty and prosperity. It is this collective endeavor that’s brought about diplomatic cooperation between the world’s major powers, and buttressed a global economy that has lifted more than a billion people from poverty. It is these international principles that helped constrain bigger countries from imposing our will on smaller ones, and advanced the emergence of democracy and development and individual liberty on every continent.
This progress is real. It can be documented in lives saved, and agreements forged, and diseases conquered, and in mouths fed. And yet, we come together today knowing that the march of human progress never travels in a straight line, that our work is far from complete; that dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.

Today, we see the collapse of strongmen and fragile states breeding conflict, and driving innocent men, women and children across borders on an *epoch epic scale. Brutal networks of terror have stepped into the vacuum. Technologies that empower individuals are now also exploited by those who spread disinformation, or suppress dissent, or radicalize our youth. Global capital flows have powered growth and investment, but also increased risk of contagion, weakened the bargaining power of workers, and accelerated inequality.
How should we respond to these trends? There are those who argue that the ideals enshrined in the U.N. charter are unachievable or out of date — a legacy of a postwar era not suited to our own. Effectively, they argue for a return to the rules that applied for most of human history and that pre-date this institution: the belief that power is a zero-sum game; that might makes right; that strong states must impose their will on weaker ones; that the rights of individuals don’t matter; and that in a time of rapid change, order must be imposed by force.
On this basis, we see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law. We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution’s mission; information is strictly controlled, the space for civil society restricted. We’re told that such retrenchment is required to beat back disorder; that it’s the only way to stamp out terrorism, or prevent foreign meddling. In accordance with this logic, we should support tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children, because the alternative is surely worse.

The increasing skepticism of our international order can also be found in the most advanced democracies. We see greater polarization, more frequent gridlock; movements on the far right, and sometimes the left, that insist on stopping the trade that binds our fates to other nations, calling for the building of walls to keep out immigrants. Most ominously, we see the fears of ordinary people being exploited through appeals to sectarianism, or tribalism, or racism, or anti-Semitism; appeals to a glorious past before the body politic was infected by those who look different, or worship God differently; a politics of us versus them.

The United States is not immune from this. Even as our economy is growing and our troops have largely returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, we see in our debates about America’s role in the world a notion of strength that is defined by opposition to old enemies, perceived adversaries, a rising China, or a resurgent Russia; a revolutionary Iran, or an Islam that is incompatible with peace. We see an argument made that the only strength that matters for the United States is bellicose words and shows of military force; that cooperation and diplomacy will not work.

As President of the United States, I am mindful of the dangers that we face; they cross my desk every morning. I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known, and I will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies, unilaterally and by force where necessary.
But I stand before you today believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backwards. We live in an integrated world — one in which we all have a stake in each other’s success. We cannot turn those forces of integration. No nation in this Assembly can insulate itself from the threat of terrorism, or the risk of financial contagion; the flow of migrants, or the danger of a warming planet. The disorder we see is not driven solely by competition between nations or any single ideology. And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences. That is true for the United States, as well.

No matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy, we understand the United States cannot solve the world’s problems alone. In Iraq, the United States learned the hard lesson that even hundreds of thousands of brave, effective troops, trillions of dollars from our Treasury, cannot by itself impose stability on a foreign land. Unless we work with other nations under the mantle of international norms and principles and law that offer legitimacy to our efforts, we will not succeed. And unless we work together to defeat the ideas that drive different communities in a country like Iraq into conflict, any order that our militaries can impose will be temporary.

Just as force alone cannot impose order internationally, I believe in my core that repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed. The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable. The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow. You can jail your opponents, but you can’t imprison ideas. You can try to control access to information, but you cannot turn a lie into truth. It is not a conspiracy of U.S.-backed NGOs that expose corruption and raise the expectations of people around the globe; it’s technology, social media, and the irreducible desire of people everywhere to make their own choices about how they are governed.

Indeed, I believe that in today’s world, the measure of strength is no longer defined by the control of territory. Lasting prosperity does not come solely from the ability to access and extract raw materials. The strength of nations depends on the success of their people — their knowledge, their innovation, their imagination, their creativity, their drive, their opportunity — and that, in turn, depends upon individual rights and good governance and personal security. Internal repression and foreign aggression are both symptoms of the failure to provide this foundation.
A politics and solidarity that depend on demonizing others, that draws on religious sectarianism or narrow tribalism or jingoism may at times look like strength in the moment, but over time its weakness will be exposed. And history tells us that the dark forces unleashed by this type of politics surely makes all of us less secure. Our world has been there before. We gain nothing from going back.

Instead, I believe that we must go forward in pursuit of our ideals, not abandon them at this critical time. We must give expression to our best hopes, not our deepest fears. This institution was founded because men and women who came before us had the foresight to know that our nations are more secure when we uphold basic laws and basic norms, and pursue a path of cooperation over conflict. And strong nations, above all, have a responsibility to uphold this international order.

Let me give you a concrete example. After I took office, I made clear that one of the principal achievements of this body — the nuclear non-proliferation regime — was endangered by Iran’s violation of the NPT. On that basis, the Security Council tightened sanctions on the Iranian government, and many nations joined us to enforce them. Together, we showed that laws and agreements mean something.
But we also understood that the goal of sanctions was not simply to punish Iran. Our objective was to test whether Iran could change course, accept constraints, and allow the world to verify that its nuclear program will be peaceful. For two years, the United States and our partners — including Russia, including China — stuck together in complex negotiations. The result is a lasting, comprehensive deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while allowing it to access peaceful energy. And if this deal is fully implemented, the prohibition on nuclear weapons is strengthened, a potential war is averted, our world is safer. That is the strength of the international system when it works the way it should.

That same fidelity to international order guides our responses to other challenges around the world. Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

Now, within Russia, state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia — a view shared, by the way, by a number of U.S. politicians and commentators who have always been deeply skeptical of Russia, and seem to be convinced a new Cold War is, in fact, upon us. And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians.

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world — which is why we continue to press for this crisis to be resolved in a way that allows a sovereign and democratic Ukraine to determine its future and control its territory. Not because we want to isolate Russia — we don’t — but because we want a strong Russia that’s invested in working with us to strengthen the international system as a whole.
Similarly, in the South China Sea, the United States makes no claim on territory there. We don’t adjudicate claims. But like every nation gathered here, we have an interest in upholding the basic principles of freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce, and in resolving disputes through international law, not the law of force. So we will defend these principles, while encouraging China and other claimants to resolve their differences peacefully.

I say this, recognizing that diplomacy is hard; that the outcomes are sometimes unsatisfying; that it’s rarely politically popular. But I believe that leaders of large nations, in particular, have an obligation to take these risks — precisely because we are strong enough to protect our interests if, and when, diplomacy fails.

I also believe that to move forward in this new era, we have to be strong enough to acknowledge when what you’re doing is not working. For 50 years, the United States pursued a Cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. We changed that. We continue to have differences with the Cuban government. We will continue to stand up for human rights. But we address these issues through diplomatic relations, and increased commerce, and people-to-people ties. As these contacts yield progress, I’m confident that our Congress will inevitably lift an embargo that should not be in place anymore. (Applause.) Change won’t come overnight to Cuba, but I’m confident that openness, not coercion, will support the reforms and better the life the Cuban people deserve, just as I believe that Cuba will find its success if it pursues cooperation with other nations.
Now, if it’s in the interest of major powers to uphold international standards, it is even more true for the rest of the community of nations. Look around the world. From Singapore to Colombia to Senegal, the facts shows that nations succeed when they pursue an inclusive peace and prosperity within their borders, and work cooperatively with countries beyond their borders.

That path is now available to a nation like Iran, which, as of this moment, continues to deploy violent proxies to advance its interests. These efforts may appear to give Iran leverage in disputes with neighbors, but they fuel sectarian conflict that endangers the entire region, and isolates Iran from the promise of trade and commerce. The Iranian people have a proud history, and are filled with extraordinary potential. But chanting “Death to America” does not create jobs, or make Iran more secure. If Iran chose a different path, that would be good for the security of the region, good for the Iranian people, and good for the world.

Of course, around the globe, we will continue to be confronted with nations who reject these lessons of history, places where civil strife, border disputes, and sectarian wars bring about terrorist enclaves and humanitarian disasters. Where order has completely broken down, we must act, but we will be stronger when we act together.

In such efforts, the United States will always do our part. We will do so mindful of the lessons of the past — not just the lessons of Iraq, but also the example of Libya, where we joined an international coalition under a U.N. mandate to prevent a slaughter. Even as we helped the Libyan people bring an end to the reign of a tyrant, our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind. We’re grateful to the United Nations for its efforts to forge a unity government. We will help any legitimate Libyan government as it works to bring the country together. But we also have to recognize that we must work more effectively in the future, as an international community, to build capacity for states that are in distress, before they collapse.

And that’s why we should celebrate the fact that later today the United States will join with more than 50 countries to enlist new capabilities — infantry, intelligence, helicopters, hospitals, and tens of thousands of troops — to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping. (Applause.) These new capabilities can prevent mass killing, and ensure that peace agreements are more than words on paper. But we have to do it together. Together, we must strengthen our collective capacity to establish security where order has broken down, and to support those who seek a just and lasting peace.
Nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in Syria. When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs — it breeds human suffering on an order of magnitude that affects us all. Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

I’ve said before and I will repeat: There is no room for accommodating an apocalyptic cult like ISIL, and the United States makes no apologies for using our military, as part of a broad coalition, to go after them. We do so with a determination to ensure that there will never be a safe haven for terrorists who carry out these crimes. And we have demonstrated over more than a decade of relentless pursuit of al Qaeda, we will not be outlasted by extremists.

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.
Let’s remember how this started. Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that, in turn, created the environment for the current strife. And so Assad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population who have been brutalized by chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing. Yes, realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL. But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild.

We know that ISIL — which emerged out of the chaos of Iraq and Syria — depends on perpetual war to survive. But we also know that they gain adherents because of a poisonous ideology. So part of our job, together, is to work to reject such extremism that infects too many of our young people. Part of that effort must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror. (Applause.)

This work will take time. There are no easy answers to Syria. And there are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa. But so many families need help right now; they don’t have time. And that’s why the United States is increasing the number of refugees who we welcome within our borders. That’s why we will continue to be the largest donor of assistance to support those refugees. And today we are launching new efforts to ensure that our people and our businesses, our universities and our NGOs can help as well — because in the faces of suffering families, our nation of immigrants sees ourselves.

Of course, in the old ways of thinking, the plight of the powerless, the plight of refugees, the plight of the marginalized did not matter. They were on the periphery of the world’s concerns. Today, our concern for them is driven not just by conscience, but should also be drive by self-interest. For helping people who have been pushed to the margins of our world is not mere charity, it is a matter of collective security. And the purpose of this institution is not merely to avoid conflict, it is to galvanize the collective action that makes life better on this planet.
The commitments we’ve made to the Sustainable Development Goals speak to this truth. I believe that capitalism has been the greatest creator of wealth and opportunity that the world has ever known. But from big cities to rural villages around the world, we also know that prosperity is still cruelly out of reach for too many. As His Holiness Pope Francis reminds us, we are stronger when we value the least among these, and see them as equal in dignity to ourselves and our sons and our daughters.

We can roll back preventable disease and end the scourge of HIV/AIDS. We can stamp out pandemics that recognize no borders. That work may not be on television right now, but as we demonstrated in reversing the spread of Ebola, it can save more lives than anything else we can do.
Together, we can eradicate extreme poverty and erase barriers to opportunity. But this requires a sustained commitment to our people — so farmers can feed more people; so entrepreneurs can start a business without paying a bribe; so young people have the skills they need to succeed in this modern, knowledge-based economy.

We can promote growth through trade that meets a higher standard. And that’s what we’re doing through the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement that encompasses nearly 40 percent of the global economy; an agreement that will open markets, while protecting the rights of workers and protecting the environment that enables development to be sustained.

We can roll back the pollution that we put in our skies, and help economies lift people out of poverty without condemning our children to the ravages of an ever-warming climate. The same ingenuity that produced the Industrial Age and the Computer Age allows us to harness the potential of clean energy. No country can escape the ravages of climate change. And there is no stronger sign of leadership than putting future generations first. The United States will work with every nation that is willing to do its part so that we can come together in Paris to decisively confront this challenge.
And finally, our vision for the future of this Assembly, my belief in moving forward rather than backwards, requires us to defend the democratic principles that allow societies to succeed. Let me start from a simple premise: Catastrophes, like what we are seeing in Syria, do not take place in countries where there is genuine democracy and respect for the universal values this institution is supposed to defend. (Applause.)
I recognize that democracy is going to take different forms in different parts of the world. The very idea of a people governing themselves depends upon government giving expression to their unique culture, their unique history, their unique experiences. But some universal truths are self-evident. No person wants to be imprisoned for peaceful worship. No woman should ever be abused with impunity, or a girl barred from going to school. The freedom to peacefully petition those in power without fear of arbitrary laws — these are not ideas of one country or one culture. They are fundamental to human progress. They are a cornerstone of this institution.

I realize that in many parts of the world there is a different view — a belief that strong leadership must tolerate no dissent. I hear it not only from America’s adversaries, but privately at least I also hear it from some of our friends. I disagree. I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear. (Applause.) History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble, but strong institutions built on the consent of the governed endure long after any one individual is gone.
That’s why our strongest leaders — from George Washington to Nelson Mandela — have elevated the importance of building strong, democratic institutions over a thirst for perpetual power. Leaders who amend constitutions to stay in office only acknowledge that they failed to build a successful country for their people — because none of us last forever. It tells us that power is something they cling to for its own sake, rather than for the betterment of those they purport to serve.

I understand democracy is frustrating. Democracy in the United States is certainly imperfect. At times, it can even be dysfunctional. But democracy — the constant struggle to extend rights to more of our people, to give more people a voice — is what allowed us to become the most powerful nation in the world. (Applause.)

It’s not simply a matter of principle; it’s not an abstraction. Democracy — inclusive democracy — makes countries stronger. When opposition parties can seek power peacefully through the ballot, a country draws upon new ideas. When a free media can inform the public, corruption and abuse are exposed and can be rooted out. When civil society thrives, communities can solve problems that governments cannot necessarily solve alone. When immigrants are welcomed, countries are more productive and more vibrant. When girls can go to school, and get a job, and pursue unlimited opportunity, that’s when a country realizes its full potential. (Applause.)

That is what I believe is America’s greatest strength. Not everybody in America agrees with me. That’s part of democracy. I believe that the fact that you can walk the streets of this city right now and pass churches and synagogues and temples and mosques, where people worship freely; the fact that our nation of immigrants mirrors the diversity of the world — you can find everybody from everywhere here in New York City — (applause) — the fact that, in this country, everybody can contribute, everybody can participate no matter who they are, or what they look like, or who they love — that’s what makes us strong.

And I believe that what is true for America is true for virtually all mature democracies. And that is no accident. We can be proud of our nations without defining ourselves in opposition to some other group. We can be patriotic without demonizing someone else. We can cherish our own identities — our religion, our ethnicity, our traditions — without putting others down. Our systems are premised on the notion that absolute power will corrupt, but that people — ordinary people — are fundamentally good; that they value family and friendship, faith and the dignity of hard work; and that with appropriate checks and balances, governments can reflect this goodness.

I believe that’s the future we must seek together. To believe in the dignity of every individual, to believe we can bridge our differences, and choose cooperation over conflict — that is not weakness, that is strength. (Applause.) It is a practical necessity in this interconnected world.
And our people understand this. Think of the Liberian doctor who went door-to-door to search for Ebola cases, and to tell families what to do if they show symptoms. Think of the Iranian shopkeeper who said, after the nuclear deal, “God willing, now we’ll be able to offer many more goods at better prices.” Think of the Americans who lowered the flag over our embassy in Havana in 1961 — the year I was born — and returned this summer to raise that flag back up. (Applause.) One of these men said of the Cuban people, “We could do things for them, and they could do things for us. We loved them.” For 50 years, we ignored that fact.

Think of the families leaving everything they’ve known behind, risking barren deserts and stormy waters just to find shelter; just to save their children. One Syrian refugee who was greeted in Hamburg with warm greetings and shelter, said, “We feel there are still some people who love other people.”

The people of our United Nations are not as different as they are told. They can be made to fear; they can be taught to hate — but they can also respond to hope. History is littered with the failure of false prophets and fallen empires who believed that might always makes right, and that will continue to be the case. You can count on that. But we are called upon to offer a different type of leadership — leadership strong enough to recognize that nations share common interests and people share a common humanity, and, yes, there are certain ideas and principles that are universal.
That’s what those who shaped the United Nations 70 years ago understood. Let us carry forward that faith into the future — for it is the only way we can assure that future will be brighter for my children, and for yours.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END 11:00 A.M. EDT
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/president-obama-un-speech-transcript-full-text-video-214152#ixzz3n6JMyUVi

Sierra Leone to intensify support towards UN Peacekeeping Operations

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

 

By State House Communication Unit

The United Nations Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping Operations on Monday 28th September brought the largest summit of world leaders together to exchange innovative ideas on issues of peace and security across the world.

 

SUPREMO LEADERS' SUMMIT

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma delivering an animated speech on his country’s contributions to peacekeeping operations in Africa reiterated Sierra Leone’s strong commitment to the aims and objectives of global peace and security. “We stand ready to increase our profile in the peacekeeping landscape to ensure successful peacekeeping operations,” he said. In this regard, the president assured that Sierra Leone as a country will continue to actively engage in all initiatives to strengthen United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.

President Koroma also pledged, in accordance with the United Nations Peacekeeping Concept Note, a contribution of an Infantry battalion to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. He highlighted the tremendous contributions Sierra Leone has made towards UN/AU Peacekeeping Operations in Sudan and Somalia.

“Against this background, let me on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and in accordance with the document titled “UN Peacekeeping: Current Gaps and Other Capability Requirements updated on 15 July 2015” declare our commitment to provide one Infantry Battalion, 500 individual police officers comprising 300 female and 200 male officers, Formed Police Units, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWATS) Units and two Police Guards under Section 3 of the “General Commitments for Uniformed Capabilities”, President Koroma said.

He however noted that the pledge goes with a caveat for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) to meet the equipment and vehicle requirements and to further meet the individual mission Statement of Requirement (SOR). “This commitment will mature in April 2016,” he assured.

He also reaffirmed commitment to engage with member states on all initiatives for a review of civilian capacities aimed at integrating early peace-building elements into peacekeeping concepts, with the view to building a cohesive synergy in the aftermath of conflicts.

Stay tuned for more on this and other updates on the activities of His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma during this US visit.

Sierra Leone Vice-President now Dr. Victor Foh

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

By Alimatu Foh

Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Dr. Victor BockarieFoh on Saturday 26th September 2015 was awarded a Doctorate Degree in Philosophy (Honoris Gratia) by the Cuttington University in Suakako, Gbarnga, Bong County in Liberia.

Dr. Foh

Dr. Foh ( Second from right )

Speaking at the 54th Commencement Convocation ceremony where he served in multiple capacities as Guest, Guest Speaker and a Grandaunt of the class of 2015, the Hon. Vice President Ambassador Dr. Foh conveyed His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s warm and fraternal greetings to her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirlleaf, her government and people of Liberia through his Liberian counterpart, Hon. Joseph NyumaBoakai and also to congratulate her for her continued promotion of friendship that is existing between the two sister countries and for making Liberia Ebola Free.

While addressing the 2015 grandaunts, Vice President Ambassador Dr. Foh gave a historic account of the bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries and described the nature of the relationship as enduring.

He went on to explain how the bi-lateral relationship has served the two countries, how well it has been nurtured over the years and bore fruition.

Vice President Fohnarrated the benefits the two countries and their people have derived from the relationship which, among them, were that most Sierra Leoneans regard Liberia as their second home, the people of the two countries regard and treat each other as brothers and sisters and that where necessary, they help each other to accomplish their aims without the other first asking questions.

This, he maintained, was manifested in Maythis year at the African Development Bank Presidential election in Abidjan, when the Liberia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohamed Amara Koneh campaigned vigorously for hisSierra Leonean counterpart, Samura Kamara.

He added that another practical realization of the benefit of such a good relationship was what was witnessed at the 54th Convocation Stand at the Cuttington University where he was conferred a Honorary Doctorate Degree.

He profusely expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to the University for such anHonour given to him, adding that he accepted he the singular honour on behalf of and in the name of his fellow Sierra Leoneans and Liberians as well.

He maintained that he is confident that the relationship between the two countries as ever as before will continue to blossom and grow from strength to strength.

Vice President Dr. Foh expressed special thanks to the President and Faculty of the University for incorporating two programmes into their curricular (Peace and Conflict Studies and Service Learning Programme) for which he said he was impressed.

These programmes, he said, were not only important but also very useful as they respond to the challenges of development in present day Liberia and Africa as a whole.

The programmes, he reiterated, are among those of a special knowledge-based education that are needed to rebrand and transform Africa.

The Vice President commended Cuttington University for being on the right path of providing knowledge for the New Africa, noting that Cuttington University was at the forefront of inter and intra-University collaboration not only in Liberia but with other institutions in the West African Sub-region, not excluding Njala University wherein students were engaged in exchange programmes.

This, he went on, broadened the students outlook beyond their immediate borders and prepare them better for modern day challenges.

He implored both Universities to resuscitate such mutual learning exercise and take it to a higher height.

Addressing his fellow grandaunts, Hon. VP Dr. Foh admonished them to be moderate in their expectations and should not vainly compare themselves with others.

He encouraged them to be creative, innovative and endeavor to be self-reliance as government doesn’t have the capacity to employ them all even though government is the largest employer.

“You are products of the Cuttington University of Liberia. Rise up, make a difference and earn the respect of your compatriots. Be of service to your country and humanity,” he concluded.

The Vice President of Liberia, Hon. Boakai, in his statement on behalf of Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf congratulated his Sierra Leonean counterpart, Hon. Ambassador Dr. Victor BockarieFoh for receiving such an honor,saying he was impressed with him.

VP Boakai emphasized on the bilateral relationship between the two countries which he said have yielded fruits bybenefiting their citizens.

He concluded by calling on the grandaunts to focus in serving humanity and their country and always serveas ambassadors for their fellow citizens.

The President of the University, Dr. F. Tokpa, in his address, gave a historical perspective of his institution, the challenges and achievement they made so far.

President Ernest Koroma delighted that Mamamah International Airport Project remains on track

Monday, September 28th, 2015

By KABS KANU :

Sierra Leone’s President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was a very delighted man in New York last evening as his  flagship Mamamah International Airport Project is destined to be continued after all.

In a historic bilateral meeting between President Koroma and China’s President Xi Jingping, held on the margins of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters yesterday ,   the Chinese Leader promised his Sierra Leonean counterpart that his country will ensure that the airport project is continued . The Sierra Leonean Government had faced difficulties that would have jettisoned the project.

delighteddelighted

 

In the bilateral meeting , President Koroma made a strong appeal  to the Chinese President for help in keeping the project from collapse. He told President Jinping that Sierra Leoneans had waited for the project for over 50 years since Independence and they would be very disappointed if it was not completed after all the publicity it had received and the excitement it had generated among the people. The  Chinese leader responded with  a firm assurance  that his nation will do everything to help  Sierra Leone  continue the project , which drew  a big  applause from the Sierra Leone delegates.

At his hotel in Manhattan, COCORIOKO asked President Koroma how he would characterize his feelings about the announcement. Obviously in jolly mood and smiling from ear to ear , President Koroma responded that  he was very delighted and that  it was a tremendous relief, because the Mamamah International Airport Project has the potential to unlock the prosperity of the country.

The Sierra Leonean Head of State said that when the airport project is completed , it will attract a huge volume of visitors which will boost tourism and trade. “You cannot measure the success the project will bring”, he emphasized .

The President said that the new airport will bring abundant economic opportunities to the citizens of the country. That was why he told the Chinese President that for Sierra Leone the result of the bilateral meeting was the highest point in this year’s UN General Assembly.

Evaluating where Sierra Leone was at the moment, President Koroma said it was a win-win situation . “The IMF and the MCC ( Millennium Challenge Corporation ) are on board to help us . And now, the Chinese .So it is a big relief” , the President revealed.

President Koroma renewed his commitment to continue to bring sustainable socio-economic and political developments to Sierra Leone.

The airport will add to the magnificent legacy of national developments that President Koroma will leave Sierra Leone when his term expires.

Speaker takes oath as Acting President of Sierra Leone

Monday, September 28th, 2015

 

The Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Sheku B.B Dumbuya has taken the Presidential Oath of Office as contained in the Second Schedule of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, following the departure of President Ernest Bai Koroma on Saturday 26th September, 2015 to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America. The Hon. Vice President, Victor Bockarie Foh had earlier left for the Sister Republic of Liberia, where he has recently been decorated with a Doctoral Degree “honoris gratia” by the Cuttington University in Monrovia.

SBBD OATH

 

This is in accordance with Section 54 subsection 6 of Act No 6 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone which provides that “Whenever the President and Vice-President are both for any reason unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions, and shall take and subscribe the oath of office as set out in the Second Schedule before commencing to perform those functions”.

In the presence of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, the Clerk of Parliament and other dignitaries, the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Brown-Marke administered the President’s Oath in the Speaker’s Office thus:

“I Hon. Sheku B. B Dumbuya do hereby (in the name of God swear) that I will at all times well and truly discharge the duties of the office of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone according to law, that I will preserve, support, uphold, maintain, and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone as by law established, and that I will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. (So help me God.)”.

After the oath had been administered, the acting President of Sierra Leone, Hon. SBB Dumbuya in his twin capacity as Speaker of Parliament remarked that “even a day’s King is a King” followed by applause. Since Saturday 26th September, 2015 to date, the Speaker continues to perform the functions of the President as provided by law, until the President or his Vice returns to the country.

In the event where the Vice President returns home before the President, as dictated by law, he can act in the capacity of the President, but cannot take the President’s Oath as in the case of the Hon. Speaker of Parliament.

Department of Public Relations
Parliament of Sierra Leone
OAU Drive, Tower Hill
Freetown
Tel: 076840285/077669726 /078426851

Chinese Leader Jinping unveils impressive development package to help President Koroma transform Sierra Leone

Monday, September 28th, 2015

By KABS KANU

The bilateral meeting between Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma and the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi jinping on the margins  of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday  ended with joy unspeakable as the Chinese Leader unveiled a very impressive  development package that will see the  emergent world economic giant, China, help President Koroma transform Sierra Leone.

BILATERAL 3

 

The socio-economic package  announced by the Chinese Leader at Conference Room 6 of the UN Headquarters sent the Sierra Leone delegation composed of President Koroma, Foreign Minister Dr. Samura Kamara, Information Minister , Mr. Alpha Kanu, Finance Minister Dr. Kelfala Marrah, Transport and Communications Minister Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma, Trade Minister Ms. Mabinty Daramy , Youth Minister Mr. Alimamy Kamara ,   ambassadors , diplomats and other officials beaming with joy. Also present were  the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Mr. Vandy C. Minah , the Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Andrew G. Bangali and the Deputy Ambassador

BILATERAL 2

 

The package includes the continuation of President Koroma’s flagship program–The Mamamah International Airport -which the delighted Sierra Leonean Leader says will help unlock the prosperity of the country. Convinced about the profound socio-economic benefits of the Mamamah International Airport project, which he described as “a flagship project we have been waiting for since Independence over 50 years ago”,  President Koroma appealed to the Chinese Leader to help  Sierra Leone save the project from collapse from the difficulties that have now arisen over the continuation of the project . President Koroma highlighted the disappointment that this difficulty will generate after it  had been extensively publicized and got the Sierra Leonean people excited about the socio-economic potentials of the proposed new airport.

BILATERAL 1

 

In his measured response which was replete with assurances , the President of China promised President Koroma  what amounted to a new commitment by his country to ensure that the project restarts in earnest as soon as possible. This assurance drew a loud applause from the Sierra Leone delegates. But the Chinese Leader did not stop there. He went on to announce a wide-range of areas in which China will intervene to help the much-awaited recovery from the Ebola scourge and the socio-economic transformation of the country.

The development package President Jinping announced will include assistance in revamping the health care system ;  sustainable industrial development which will continue to focus on natural resources development, human resource training ; more government scholarships and expanded bilateral training; infrastructural development, especially roads and electric power; restart of the Tonkolili Iron-ore project that will help the country’s industrialization ;  encouragement of Chinese companies and institutions to engage in rice production ,  fishing and other agricultural projects to ensure food security; Climate change and support for Sierra Leone’s and by implication , Africa’s  position,  in the United Nations Security Council Reform , where President Koroma is the Chairman of the Committee of 10 African States ( C-10).

In his response,  President Koroma thanked President Jinping for the great gesture he had shown to Sierra Leone ‘s development endeavors. He also thanked China for her strong and speedy response to the Ebola outbreak which helped to galvanize more international effort to help the country eradicate Ebola. President Koroma said the Chinese President mentioned key areas where his nation wants to help Sierra Leone that will strengthen the socio-economic status of the country. President Koroma said the results of this bilateral meeting alone has made the whole UN General Assembly a big success for Sierra Leone.

While also thanking the President of China for his country’s  support to the Military Hospital, President Koroma said that China’s promise to help Sierra Leone industrialize will aid the diversification of the country’s economy. He also thanked the Chinese Leader for what he described as his great understanding in the Mamamah Project , which he described as the project that is capable of transforming the country .

President Jinping commended the strong leadership that President Koroma exhibited to help bring the ebola outbreak virtually to an end in Sierra Leone.

The two Presidents promised  to continue to strengthen the socio-economic cooperation between the two countries.