The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo has underscored the linkages among peace, security and development. He called on the audience to bear in mind that peace is a necessary condition for development, therefore it is impossible to achieve development without peace. He stated that peace and development can be attained only when poverty is addressed entirely, describing poverty as a cause and consequence of instability and conflict. The Minister made the statement at the Official Welcome Reception of the Sierra Leone Annual Showcase of the Sixteen plus Forum organized by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) at Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown on Monday 8th October, 2018.
Minister Timbo said the Ministry has put in place major relevant policies and embarked on reforms aimed at enhancing the Ministry’s capacity to generate and mobilise more domestic resources to support national development aspiration with the view of achieving the SDGs challenges that lie ahead. “In balancing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, we have included political governance, which is embedded in our national development” he explained. The Minister expressed the Ministry’s commitment to good governance, while ensuring that the country’s post-conflict peacebuilding and democratic gains are sustained and reinforced over time by consolidating the institutions that will guarantee the observance of democracy and inclusivity.
Sierra Leone, the Minister explained, will continue to build on progress in peace, access to justice and political stability, and emphasized on the protection of the basic rights and welfare of the people. These strides are vital to attaining a sustainable and resilient future for all Sierra Leoneans, he maintained. The conduct of four democratic, violent free, fair, transparent and credible elections underscored the country’s commitment to the promotion of the rule of law, good governance and the preservation of peace and stability. “His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio made a commitment that Sierra Leone will positively consider ratifying the Protocol to the Establishment of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights” he stated, adding that in July this year the President of the Africa Court visited Sierra Leone and was impressed about the progress made in security, peace building and consolidating good governance reform.
He concluded by appealing to the organizers and participants to concentrate efforts in building institutions and reducing conflict with the view to enhanced the chances of the children to be better educated.
The Sixteen plus (16+) Forum is a partnership between Member States of Australia, the Czech Republic, Sierra Leone, others; the g7+; and the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). The 16+ Forum provides a platform to learn from best practices while applying SDG 16+ as a lynchpin from which to strengthen interlinkages across the 2030 Agenda and other agenda such as sustaining peace. SDG 16 on Peace, Just and Inclusive Societies is about governance, inclusion and sustaining peace. The Annual Showcase is a collective undertaking to demonstrate SDG 16+ in action, implementation, best practices and the way forward. The Showcase started on the 7 October, 2018 with capacity building workshop, field visits, main conference, and breakout sessions. It will conclude on the 10th October 2018.