Statement Delivered by Minister at the Launch of the 1st “All Protocols Observed” Handbook
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Launching of the Book “All Protocols Observed: A Handbook on Protocol Practices and Procedures’’
November 24th 2020
Ministers of Government present
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am deeply honoured to be here this evening to launch the book: ‘’All Protocols Observed: A Handbook on Protocol Practices and Procedures’’ written by one of Sierra Leone’s finest diplomats, Ambassador Soulay B. Daramy.
As the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone I am particularly pleased that a product of our esteemed institution, has achieved this great success not only for himself and immediate family members, but for the entire nation.
My greatest joy however, stems from the fact that Government officials and the general public now have a reliable contextual reference point whenever questions on the observation of Protocol arises. As Ambassador Daramy expertly stated in his book, to overserve protocol is to follow the rules. But without knowledge of the rules that apply at every stage and at every given occasion, observing all standard protocols is always challenged.
Each and every one of us may have erred in one way or the other regarding the application of Protocol Rules in its strictest sense. Whilst a few of the errors maybe due to blatant violation by some members of the public, most Protocol Rules have been found to be violated due to sheer lack of knowledge of the practices and procedures that should be observed and followed at each given time.
However, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we cannot continue to disregard the undesirable consequences of substituting standard protocols with unconventional practices and therefore, we should endeavour to correct and rectify those aspects of our engagement which may not conform with the standards laid out for which etiquettes and general comportment are also central.
It is therefore my ardent desire that this expertly written guide will fill those knowledge gaps and provide the much needed insight into the rules of protocols; where etiquettes are second nature, those rules which will trigger widespread public respect for protocol practices and procedures, and inspire everyone to adhere to those international standards and best practices for hosting events, welcoming guests of the state and conferring honour and reverence in a manner that will make all of us proud of our great nation.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
This book could not have been launched at a better time than now when Sierra Leone is heightening relations with the outside world and firming up its leadership in global governance. As we have seen in the past year, the country has received a number of high-profile guests and is expecting many more in the near future.
When international cooperation with other countries in trade, commerce, security, and other socioeconomic sectors is intensified as we have done as a government, it naturally attracts high-profile people to visit and experience what the country has to offer.
I am fully confident that in reference to governance, investment opportunities, tourism potentials, and even the warmth and hospitality of Sierra Leoneans, our guests would not be disappointed at all. But one area in which I have always demanded considerable improvement has been in the area of Protocol and Protocol Services. Even though this book is not by any means a panacea to the plethora of current challenges, I believe it is one huge step towards addressing some of the difficulties we encounter on a daily basis with following protocol rules.
On a personal note, I find Chapter 8 of Ambassador Daramy’s book the most compelling portion of the entire piece. On Page 97 and 98, Ambassador Daramy made an impressive attempt to elucidate the current social trend in political and technical governance across Africa and around the world, that has seen increased participation of women in public life at the highest level. The book recognized and highlighted some of the women who have occupied high-ranking and high-profile positions at national and international levels.
Ambassador Daramy, the stories of those women mentioned in your book are the same stories our government is working hard to live out for millions of our young girls in Sierra Leone. As His Excellency the President, Dr Julius Maada Bio continues to give the platform for deserving women to serve in senior positions, I hope this book will further inspire many more girls and young women to work towards meriting similar positions of honour in the future.
I now use this opportunity to call on all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to get copies of this book for members of their staff, as it will help them to gain the much-needed insight into the intricacies of Protocol Practices and Procedures.
Since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the citadel of all protocol practices, I have directed the Director-General and Ambassador-at-Large to ensure that each and every member of our staff gets a copy of the book and READS it.
May I use this opportunity to thank Ambassador Soulay Daramy and all those Ambassadors and former senior staff members of the MFAIC who have willingly devoted hours to consistently train our staff on protocols and other relevant areas over the past 18 months. The guidance provided and knowledge shared has been and always will be appreciated. We look forward to formalising this relationship with the Foreign Service Academy.
Mr Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen
On my own behalf and on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, let me conclude by thanking Ambassador Soulay Daramy for this wonderful contribution to the Human Capital Development aspirations of His Excellency the President of the Republic and Fountain of Honour, Brigadier Retired Dr Julius Maada Bio. This is indeed the work of a patriot. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think Ambassador Daramy deserves a round of thunderous applaud.
Without further ado, I have the singular honour to formally launch Sierra Leone’s Encyclopedia for Protocol Practices and Procedures ‘’All Protocols Observed’’ by Ambassador Soulay Daramy.
I thank you all for coming.