MONROVIA: Liberia’s President, George Manneh Weah, has called on world leaders to exert collective efforts by confronting the challenges that the world faces with a view of resolving them in order to have a safer, secured and prosperous future.
Addressing the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York, United States, on 20th , September, 2023, the Liberian leader who identified such challenges as security, social, economic, political and natural disasters urged leaders of the world to promote global solidarity and rebuild trust in accelerating progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The SDGs, by design, require bilateral and multilateral collaborations to achieve the results we seek,” Weah, a former UN Goodwill Ambassador pointed out.
According to the Liberian President, the theme of this year’s UNGA debate: “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on The 2030 Agenda and Its SDGs Towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability For All,” adequately captures current global demands.
“There is a critical need to ensure that development assistance is aligned with SDG projects. That is why my delegation welcomes, and supports the Secretary-General’s agenda of action to accelerate the implementation of existing agreements; including the Sustainable Development Goals, and to re-embrace global solidarity, and find new ways to work together for the common good of mankind,” Liberian leader told the UN.
He asserted that “As the world deals with unprecedented global political and security challenges, there are growing concerns about the proliferation of non-state armed actors, threats of nuclear escalation and extreme climate conditions. These challenges continue to serve as obstacles to our quest for a safe and peaceful world.”
According to President Weah, reaching the 2030 vision is to ensure that the journey is secured through accountability and mutual understanding.
“ Liberia is committed to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); they are in line with our Flagship National Development Plan – the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, which represents our resolve to achieve peace and prosperity, while addressing the structural impediments to economic growth and national development,” the President emphasized.
According to President Weah, the slowdown in global economic growth continues to be a challenge. “Over the past 12 months, Liberia has made progress in areas, ranging from health to education, gender equality, and infrastructural development. We are proud of our achievements in reducing maternal mortality rates, increasing gender parity in school enrollment, and elevating our overall health and well-being. Liberia appreciates the fact that this august body has once again directed its attention to issues of global health, as demonstrated by the number of high level meetings to keep this critical issue on our collective agenda.”
“We emphasize unity of purpose, as we address challenges aimed at providing basic services to all peoples. Considering that more than 60% of Liberia’s population comprises youths, the future of our nation rests on their shoulders. Understanding this immense responsibility, we are committed to continue paving the way for their growth and development,” he stressed.
Weah: “Being cognizant that structural transformation drives prosperity, we are focused on infrastructural development with roads and energy playing a critical part. Thanks to the support of our many partners, we remain unwavering in our commitment to explore means to further the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as it represents the roadmap towards prosperity.”
Supporting Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposed SDG stimulus plan, the Liberian President calls for the actualization of the US$500 billion dollars per year in order to boost sustainable development for developing countries through tackling the high cost of debt and rising risks of debt distress; scaling-up of affordable long-term financing for development; and expanding contingency financing to countries in need.
He disclosed that Liberia profoundly appreciates the continued engagement and support from the United Nations System in consolidating its peace, and seeking to address emerging challenges.
He said, Liberia will continue to cooperate and collaborate with the United Nations as it continues to rebuild and strengthen its institutions and infrastructure, he added.
“Our world is also under threat from natural calamities, as seen with extreme climate conditions globally. It is therefore our collective responsibility to urgently prioritize addressing the climate crisis as we strive to reach a target of 64 percent reduction in carbon emission. There remains a need to prioritize support to countries, including Liberia that have the capacity to use its biodiversity, in building resilience against the changing climate. The United Nations has always been confronted with challenges, and has withstood the test of time. Hence, this too will come to pass,” President Weah expressed optimism.
While lauding the UN Secretary-General for his New Agenda for Peace, the Liberian leader stressed that Liberia is in solidarity with these bold steps needed to address the triple crises of disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution destroying our planet.
Liberia is hopeful that concrete global actions towards the attainment of the goals of the Common Agenda will be achieved.
According to president Weah, Liberia’s journey is best captured in the spirit of unity, resilience, and ambition. “Together, through collaboration and shared purpose, we can, and must shape a world that upholds the rights and dignity of every individual. In alliance with our United Nations Family, Liberia remains resolute in its commitment: We pledge to protect our planet, promote peace, and prevent conflicts. We vow to ensure sustainable financing, and amplify our partnerships, reflecting our shared determination for a brighter future.”
“We must also accept that this can only be achieved through collaboration between and among Governments, non-government stakeholders and other partners; which will guarantee transparency, accountability, good governance, and the inclusion of all citizens in the decision-making process,” he told the UNGA.