The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang has called on the United Nations Family to look into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report for the implementation of its Recommendation. She said the baseline for sustainable peace in Sierra Leone is the implementation of that Report, which she believes if implemented will contribute to structural development in the country. Mrs. Bah-Chang told the UN family that Sierra Leone will progress better with the establishment of institutional structures that deal with right issues, she therefore encouraged the UN Family especially the United Nations Development Programmes to support women empowerment particularly women opting to contest elections.
The Acting Foreign Affairs Minister thanked and appreciated the United Nations for the development support to the Government of Sierra Leone. She expressed hope for the strengthening of ties between the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN, adding that the New Direction Agenda of President Julius Maada Bio’s administration looks forward for support to the Free, Compulsory and Quality Education. “Even though this Government flagship programme is geared towards capacity building, I want to entreat you to support Government in other development” she emphasized. The Acting Foreign Minister was speaking during the opening of a symposium with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone Sunil Silgal organized by the Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Hall, Tower Hill in Freetown on Wednesday 14th November, 2018.
Mr. Sunil Silgal, Resident Coordinator informed the gathering that UN supports development projects and policy formulation that improve the lives of average Sierra Leoneans. He narrated the contributions of UN in Sierra Leone ranging from the deployment of UN Peace Keepers, the United Nations Mission on Ebola and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) as key among the rest. He explained that the closure of UNIPSIL (United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone) office in 2014 led to the drafting of the UNDAF programme which defines the UN’s contribution, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator to Sierra Leone, to the Poverty reduction Strategy Paper called Agenda for Prosperity. The programme span from January 2015 to December 2018.
The Resident Coordinator stated that the UN acknowledges and endorses major pillars that seek a sustainable future for Sierra Leone with the longer term goal of being a middle income country by 2035. Mr. Silgal said that it is the responsibility of the Government, the international community and private business to play essential roles to make the goal becomes a reality.
Chairman of the ceremony Honorable Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella who doubles as the Chairman Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told the audience that the symposium was organized because he understands and recognized the relevance of the UN Family in Sierra Leone as development partners. He informed the UN Team about the supervisory role the Committee plays over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation by leading the ratification of Agreements, citing the four Agreements that were ratified on Friday 9th November, 2018. He encouraged Committee members to visit the various UN Agencies in Sierra Leone and get first-hand information on development projects in their Constituencies.