President Sirleaf Assures African Diplomats about the Continent’s Readiness to Speak with One Voice

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reassured the African Union (AU) Member States Permanent Representatives to the United Nations about the continent’s readiness to speak with one voice during the negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda.

According to a Dispatch from New York, U.S.A., the Liberian leader, who currently chairs the High Level Committee (HLC) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, made the remarks when she held discussions with Permanent Representatives of the AU Member States in New York on Monday, March 9, 2015.

President Sirleaf observed that African leaders are very pleased with the consultations leading to the adoption of the African Common Position (ACP), which she attributed to a broad consultative process.

The Liberian leader said the aim of such consultations are intended to bring everyone on board, and above all, to ensure that views gathered are harmonized to form part of the global agenda. She, however, emphasized that Africa will endeavor to work along with partners to achieve global development objectives.

In remarks earlier, the Ambassadors of South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, while expressing appreciation to President Sirleaf for her leadership role in negotiating Africa’s Common Position, appealed to the AU through the Chair of the HLC to continue to press forward and ensure that Africa’s concerns are reflected in the global economic agenda.

They also reminded the Liberian President that financing was key to the realization of the “ambitious plans” being reflected in Post-2015 Development Agenda and argued that the ACP contains a sound foundation in achieving economic prosperity for Africa.

Responding, President Sirleaf indicated that the most critical component of the discussion has to do with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She pointed out that infrastructural development and trade terms are issues that must be taken into account in order to ensure that Africa gets a better deal for her natural resources.

At the same time, the Liberian leader expressed heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Government and the people of Liberia to the African Permanent Representatives for the level of support and solidarity provided Liberia during the Ebola crisis.

She said regional intervention ensured that the 10-years of peace was not wasted in vain and revealed that at present, there is no known case of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia.

In other presidential news, the Liberian leader has met with a cross-section of the Liberian delegation attending the Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women at the country’s Permanent Mission in New York.

Presenting the delegation to President Sirleaf, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Julia Duncan Cassell, said that Liberia is fully represented at the Conference with several individuals from the various sectors of society.

For her part, President Sirleaf advised the delegation to make maximum use of their presence and participate actively in all the proceedings with the view of broadening their understanding of the issues confronting their society. She urged them to serve as Ambassadors for their country.