September 27, 2019
Speaking as the Coordinator for the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government, President Julius Maada Bio used the platform of the United Nations General Assembly to urge the urgent reformation of the United Nations Security Council.
“Mr. President, the need for Security Council reform is urgent and imperative. Our historic pledge to the early reform of the Security Council as an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations must be upheld and implemented without further delay. The legitimacy and effectiveness of the Security Council’s decisions, as well as the relevance of the United Nations, will continue to be questioned if urgent action is not taken to make the Council more broadly representative. Africa remains to be the only region without representation in the permanent category of the Security Council, and is also underrepresented in the Non-permanent category. In this context, Africa’s demand for two Permanent seats with all the rights and prerogatives of current members, including the right of veto, and two additional Non-permanent seats is a matter of common justice and the right to have an equal say in decision-making on issues pertaining to international peace and security,” he urged.
He continued that: “This long-standing injustice and imbalance perpetuated in the present configuration of the Security Council should be of grave concern to us all, which ought to be addressed. As the Coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, we are convinced that this reform should address the long-standing injustice and imbalance in the present configuration of the Council. We believe that the prevailing geopolitical realities are compelling for a comprehensive reform of the Security Council to make way for equitable geographic representation. Africa’s patience is being tested. We therefore urge this Assembly to collectively support our urgent call for Africa’s representation in the Security Council, as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.”
Narrowing his statement to Sierra Lone, President stated that stated that the theme of the Assembly, “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion,” builds on commitments they made over the years.
“The issues are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We therefore commend you for the timely choice of a theme that resonates with the aspirations of the people whom we all represent.”
He said Sierra Leone supports the principle of collective engagement in both the prevention and settlement of conflicts and disputes, as well as the Secretary-General’s reform agenda in sustaining peace in all its facets, including the efforts to reform peacekeeping.
“As a Troop and Police Contributing Country, Sierra Leone’s active participation in peacekeeping operations demonstrates our firm commitment to the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security. Let me reiterate this firm commitment to continue to contribute our fair share to maintaining world peace.”
“Mr. President, We pursue peace as a public common good and we have played an important role in securing peace as a stand-alone Goal in the 2030 Agenda. There is a strong case to make for the voices of billions of people living in conflict affected countries to be heard in the highest global decision-making organ, in particular, the g7+ countries. Sierra Leone has pursued country-led peace and resilience through national dialogue and reconciliation. We recently concluded a broad-based national consultative conference, Bintumani III, where a nationally representative body resolved to establish a permanent and independent national commission for peace and cohesion. We do so, mindful that peaceful coexistence and inclusive governance are pre-requisites to our development,” he said.
He noted that development and poverty eradication must be well-planned, inclusive, and sustainable and that it must transition the nation out of fragility.
“To this end, Sierra Leone has partnered with United Nations agencies and development partners to understand the dynamics and severity of poverty, and map out possible approaches to eradicating poverty, SDG 1. This has culminated in the production of a national multi-dimensional Poverty Index, a report on multidimensional child poverty, and Sierra Leone’s Population Policy in order to effectively measure and monitor.”