"Mr. President, Sierra Leone is a nation with a
relatively small territory and population, but our
aspirations for democracy, prosperity and
international peace are as big as any nation, and
our commitments to these ideals have been visibly
demonstrated in the course of our 50 years existence
as an independent nation."
In his 20 minute address, President Koroma said Sierra
Leone was proud of its distinctive contributions to
the United Nations in such areas as decolonization,
training and research, disarmament and
non-proliferation, and peacekeeping, to name a few.
Its commitment to international peace had been seen in
its transformation from a nation that hosted one of
the largest United Nations peacekeeping missions in
the late 1990s, to one that contributed troops and
police officers to the mission in Darfur.
It had also proposed participating in the African
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The president firmly emphasized his call for reform of
the UN Security Council, which he said is urgently
required for the wider UN membership to fully
benefit from the purposes and primary objectives of
maintaining international peace and security.
He called for an expansion of the Security Council by
creating two permanent seats and five non-permanent
"There is an increasing need for the Security Council
to be more representative, inclusive and democratic
as well as the need for an improvement on its
working methods and it relations with the General
Assembly," President Koroma said.
Reaffirming his Government’s 'Agenda for Change',
President Koroma highlighted five key sectors in
which he said Sierra Leone has made progress
including the areas of agriculture, energy,
infrastructure, health and education.
He added that
steady gains were made despite astronomical food and fuel
He also said 2011 has been identified as "the year of
implementation for Sierra Leone", whereby the
Government is working diligently to ensure that
every person benefited from the peace and democracy
earned during his tenure.
Pointing out strong corrective measures put in a place
by the Government to stabilize the budgetary hurdles
and fiscal situation resulting from the global
economic meltdown, he said Sierra Leone was
optimistic about its future growth, and that he
expected exports to increase, given the substantial
investment in infrastructure.
He also cited progress made in the area of peace
consolidation, with bodies such as the National
Electoral Commission and the Anti-Corruption
Commission continuing to make gains.
Furthermore, the Government had established the Human
Rights Commission and its national report had been
presented to the United Nations Human Rights
Council’s Working Group on Universal Periodic
He urged the international community for assistance in
the upcoming 2012 presidential, parliamentary and
local council elections.
"we are cognizant of the fact that it is our primary
responsibility to organize and provide the necessary
logistical requirements of this democratic process.
However, we need all necessary international
assistance in support of our commitment to ensure,
free, fair and peaceful elections," he said.
After his address, President Koroma granted a twenty
minute photo opportunity to Sierra Leoneans whom
attended Friday’s General Debate on the sidelines of
the General Assembly.
President Koroma also made stops in Somerset, New
Jersey, Boston Massachusetts, Georgia, Indiana and
West Virginia. The President is scheduled to return
home to Freetown, Sierra Leone on Thursday,
September 29, 2011.
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