The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic has described Liberia’s past and present role in African and world affairs as significant and exceptional.
Mr. Jeremic cited the critical role played by Liberia in the formation of the Organization of African Unity, 50 years ago through its former President William V.S Tubman and the current role being played by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in helping to draft the post-2015 global development agenda as remarkable.
The UN General Assembly President made the assertions during a meeting with Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan on the margins of a Special High Level Debate on the theme: “The Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts in Africa” convened by the UN General Assembly President in commemoration of 50 years of existence of the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).
He said he was very proud of the significant role played by Liberia in championing the formation and success of several regional bodies including the United Nations. Mr.Jeremic praised Liberia for being a post conflict success story and said that the Liberian story gives useful lessons to other countries grappling with or coming out of conflict. He said the UN looks forward to seeing Liberia help other countries coming out of conflict.
Welcoming Foreign Minister Ngafuan to his office at the UN, Mr.Jeremic lauded Liberia’s Chief Diplomat for what he described as Minister Ngafuan’s “very insightful speech” delivered at the UN Thematic debate. “We have learned a lot from what was a very strong and educative statement on resolving conflicts in Africa.” He assured Minister Ngafuan that the UN will catalogue all the comments made during the Thematic Debate and use them as reference documents in helping to prevent and resolve future conflicts in Africa.
The President of the General Assembly, who hails from Serbia, said the purpose of the debate was to ensure that, as the people of Africa celebrate the fiftieth (50th) anniversary of the formation of the OAU/AU, the UN is seen doing something more substantive than just heeding the normal protocol of sending a congratulatory message. He said the Debate will lead to the adoption of a Declaration by UN Member States on Resolving Conflicts in Africa, which will serve as a working tool in consolidating African perspectives and priorities.
Responding, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan commended Mr.Jeremic for recognizing Liberia’s role in African and World affairs. The Liberian Foreign Minister spoke of his country’s unique role as Africa’s oldest republic and used the occasion to recount its role in assisting several other African countries gain their independence.
He disclosed that Liberia has had its own difficulties from which a whole lot has been learned, stating, “When you talk about conflict in Africa, Liberia has seen it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Minister Ngafuan lifted praises to the United Nations for its continued support for Liberia’s initiatives saying had it not been for such strong international solidarity and partnership, the progress Liberia is making would have been difficult to achieve.
In conclusion, Mr. Jeremic requested Minister Ngafuan to convey his personal gratitude and that of the entire UN family to President Sirleaf for the positive contribution she is making to global issues as one of three co-chairs of UN High Level Panel charged with the responsibility of drafting a new set of global development goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.
The Liberian Foreign Minister commended the world body for selecting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as one of the Co-Chairpersons of the UN High Level Panel and remarked the entire country is honored by such recognition. Minister assured that President Sirleaf is working to ensure African and other third world concerns and contributions are proffered and addressed on the global development stage.
Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan was accompanied to the meeting with the President of the United Nations General Assembly Vuk Jeremic by Liberia’s Ambassador to the UN Marjon Kamara, the Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the UN Abu Kamara and Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs Horatio Bobby Willie.