Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 September 2018:
After years of speculation – mainly by the opposition APC, as to whether the newly elected president of Sierra Leone – Julius Maada Bio is allowed to enter the United States or not, today, Sunday 23rd September 2018, State House Press Secretary – Yusuf Keketoma Sandi reports that the president has departed Sierra Leone for the US to attend the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
This will be the president’s first attendance at the United Nations General Assembly, since his election as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
According to the State House report, president Bio is expected to deliver “a very powerful statement highlighting his key commitments and priorities of his new Government”, during the General Assembly Debate Session.
As the Coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, President Bio is also expected to tell the General Assembly during his statement: “Unless we are able to contend with the reform of the Security Council, the most critical question of the day, our organisation will still be locked into promoting undemocratic and discriminatory principles.”
During the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly, President Bio will take part in a series of events on the margins, and will honour an invitation from Bill Gates as a special guest and speaker at the second annual Goalkeepers event.
The inaugural event of the Goalkeepers last year invited President Barack Obama as special guest and speaker.
The State House report also states that on the margins of the UN Assembly, President Bio will attend a high-level event organised by the George Soros Open Society Foundation.
President Bio will be travelling to various States across the country to meet and address Sierra Leoneans in Town Hall Meetings, as part of his commitment to open government and public accountability.
“During the elections campaign President Bio promised that if he is elected as President, he would visit United States of America. Again, he promised the people and he has delivered on that promise. On the world’s stage, this visit will also showcase President Bio as one of the young, progressive and vibrant emerging leaders in Africa,” says Yusuf Keketoma Sandi, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman.