Sierra Leone’s President Bio makes bid for seat on United Nations Security Council

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 May 2022:

President Dr Julius Maada Bio has launched Sierra Leone’s bid for a seat in the non-permanent category of the United Nations Security Council, UNSC, for the period 2024-2025. In his statement, President Bio recalled that in just eight years after Sierra Leone became a member of the United Nations, it had the singular honour for the first time to be elected to serve on the organisation’s most powerful deliberative body, the Security Council.

“These two unforgettable years of Sierra Leone’s tenure in the Council from 1970 to 1971, served as bold footprints that continue to define our nation’s commitment to its international obligations and its unflinching support for a multilateral rules-based world order to advance and sustain global peace and security.

“Fifty plus years after our 1970-1971 tenure on the Security Council, we are once again presenting Sierra Leone’s candidature for a seat in the non-permanent category of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2024-2025,” he said at the presentation of information, education and communication and promotional items for the country’s proposal.

President Bio also reiterated that as a nation, Sierra Leone has always played its part as a responsible member of the international community, adding that at various times, the country has proudly contributed troops and police to UN peace support operations.

“Sierra Leone can today proudly boast of its credentials as a successful model of peacebuilding and post-war state reconstruction. We owe it to the global family of nations to share our experience and lessons in peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

“Also, given the centrality of Sierra Leone’s role as Coordinator of the C-10 on Security Council reform, we will continue to canvass, mobilise and promote support for the Common African Position. We will unequivocally affirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations System, which will significantly contribute to upholding the principles, objectives and ideals of the UN Charter for a fairer world, based on universalism, equity and regional balance,” he said.

Director General of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prince Cole, said that the bid for Sierra Leone to seat in the non-permanent category of the UNSC for the period 2024-2025 will be put forward in the General Assembly of the United Nations in June 2023.

He further noted that Sierra Leone will once again be on the verge of ascending the global stage, especially as the sole African candidate for the position. “I am pleased to inform all that Sierra Leone is running with a faith, blessing and support of not only our sub-regional organisation, ECOWAS, but also with the support of the continent as an endorsed candidate of the African Union,” he concluded.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis, said the bid is historic because Sierra Leone is returning to the UNSC, the world’s most important body for the maintenance of global peace after more than 50 years.

Prof. Francis said the position in the UNSC would give Sierra Leone the perfect opportunity to tell the country’s success story as a country of resilience, hope, and a country that successfully transitioned from war to peace, a country no longer defined by its past, but a country of recent beacon of hope and for Human Capital Development.

“Sierra Leone has maintained an evidence record of support for multilateral rules-based world order, that is why Sierra Leone is increasingly elected or appointed to global leadership organisations such as President of the United Nations Women Executive Board; President of the Arms Trade Treaty, to name but a few.

“We are running under the theme: Partnership, Multilateralism and Representative Approach to Sustained Global Peace and Security. It is our firm desire that this endeavour will contribute significantly to re-brand Sierra Leone,” he concluded.

This is the full statement delivered by President Bio:

“Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Madam Fatima Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Hon. Speaker of Parliament; My Lord the Chief Justice; Ministers of Government; Hon. Members of Parliament; Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning.

“In just eight years after Sierra Leone became a member of the United Nations, it had the singular honour to be elected to serve on the organisation’s most powerful deliberative body, the Security Council. These two unforgettable years of Sierra Leone’s tenure in the Council from 1970 to 1971, served as bold footprints that continue to define our Nation’s commitment to its international obligations and its unflinching support for a multilateral rules-based world order to advance and sustain global peace and security.

“As a nation, we have continued to play our part as a responsible member of the international community. At various times, Sierra Leone has proudly contributed troops and police to peace support operations so that others may enjoy the peace we enjoy today.

“Fifty plus years after our 1970-1971 tenure on the Security Council, we are once again presenting Sierra Leone’s candidature for a seat in the non-permanent category of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2024-2025.

“Sierra Leone can today proudly boast of its credentials as a successful model of peacebuilding and post-war state reconstruction. We owe it to the global family of nations to share our experience and lessons in peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

“Now more than ever, we believe in an inclusive and consultative approach to peace that thrives on the consensus of UN Member States in pursuit of common values and collective solidarity, irrespective of size, population and economic and military power. Our time in the Security Council will therefore support priorities that strengthen and address partnership and representation in the maintenance of peace and security.

“We believe that human rights protection and promotion builds confidence in democratic governance, bridges societal divides, strengthens a sense of common values and shared humanity, and promotes peaceful resolution of conflicts grounded in respect of human rights and dignity of all. Testament of this is our national approach in the past four years which has seen the abolition of the death penalty, the joining of the International Religious Freedom Alliance and the repeal of the seditious libel laws.

“We will also use our seat to advocate for the ownership and active involvement of women and youth in peace processes and peacekeeping operations as peace mediators. We will focus on threats to peace including terrorism and new threats, (climate change and human security). As a small nation that has once suffered from the dangerous effects of small arms proliferation, we will also spotlight small arms control.

“Also, given the centrality of Sierra Leone’s role as Coordinator of the C-10 on Security Council reform, we will continue to canvass, mobilise and promote support for the Common African Position. We will unequivocally affirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations System, which will significantly contribute to upholding the principles, objectives and ideals of the UN Charter for a fairer world, based on universalism, equity and regional balance. We want to share with the world our unique selling points, our religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and our resilience as a country.

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, today, as we launch Sierra Leone’s bid for a seat in the non-Permanent category of the United Nations, for one of the 3 seats allocated for Africa, I am pleased to inform you that in the spirit of African solidarity, Sierra Leone’s candidature has been endorsed by the African Union. For this, I wish to thank the African Union, the ECOWAS and our regional partners for the support and confidence reposed in Sierra Leone to carry this mantle for the continent.

“Within the context of its international obligations, Sierra Leone has been taking on more responsibilities in the global arena as a small nation. Sierra Leone seats on the Special Committee on Decolonisation (C-24). For almost two decades now, Sierra Leone has served as Coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten on the Reform of the Security Council, (C-10) with the mandate to promote, defend and canvass the Common African Position.

“Most recently Sierra Leone was honoured to be endorsed as the new Chair of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) at the 35th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the AU in February this year. The list goes on, with humility, I must say that these important roles and responsibilities Sierra Leone has been taking on the global stage are a mark of trust and confidence in our small but well-respected liberal and progressive nation.

“We acknowledge that this endeavour is a monumental task, and we cannot count on credentials alone. The responsibility of canvassing support for Sierra Leone’s candidature does not lie with the Presidency and the Foreign Ministry alone. The responsibility is a collective one as a nation. It will engage the Presidency, the Vice Presidency, Government Ministers, Parliament, Civil Society, and the Fourth Estate. It is a national assignment.

“Finally, let me solicit the valuable support of our friends and partners of the Diplomatic Corps, who are members of the UN, during the elections to be held at the UN General Assembly in New York in June 2023. Sierra Leone counts on your vote so that together we can work towards our common vision for a stable and prosperous world.

“Distinguished Guests, it now gives me great pleasure to launch nationally Sierra Leone’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations for the period 2024–2025 under the theme: “Partnership, Multilateralism and Representative Approach to Sustained Global Peace and Security”. I thank you.”

 

2 Comments

  1. These days it is impossible to ascertain the criteria used by international bodies to determine the suitability of an individual or government to assume a certain role or be admitted to a certain institution, be it a body within the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), etc.

    If the fundamental role of the UN , the successor to the League of Nations, is to maintain peace all over the world, then it would be an injustice to its charter to consider Sierra Leone for a seat at the Security Council presently – except if it has not been following events in the country. Blood letting, arbitrary arrests and detention, denial of the daily bread of people by illegal dismissal from employment, selective free speech, divide and rule, are good examples of what could trigger conflict in a nation. The Maada Bio Government epitomises these examples, besides not allowing any by-election to be conducted without violence.

    Is the UN being hoodwinked by Bio or is it a case of the permanent members of the Security Council (all with veto power) not caring about who makes it to the Council without veto power on a temporary basis. Being a member of the the Security Council without veto power is useless and hopeless. The powers that be have always jealously guarded their veto power which they use to bully the rest of the world since the end of World War Two. Is the UN really the place to learn how to keep the peace around the world, let alone to learn about democracy? With the General Assembly always bowing to the wishes of the big five (United States, Britain, Russia, France and China), should it not be renamed as the organisation for the provision of relief, so that wherever there is disaster for whatever reason it will be there to help the victims ?

    Sierra Leone was able to make it to the Security Council under Siaka Stevens at the beginning of the 1970s only because he had not embarked on his killing spree by then of those who stood up to him like Mohamed Sorie Forna and countless others. But we can safely deduce from current evidence that Sheki might well have made it in the middle of killing his opponents.

  2. How can a president who cannot guarantee the peace and security of his fellow citizens be trusted with a seat at the Security Council? This is absurd and banal. The UN should throw out his bid. The man lacks integrity. Look at the way he is using powers from above to arrest and lock up those with whom he disgrees. How can he be trusted with UN security council business, if we cannot trust him with our lives in Salone. Sierra Leone is a police state, not a liberal democracy!

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