By Lewis S. Teh
The Secretary-General of the Mano River Union (MRU), Secretariat Ambassador Madina A. Wesseh has told delegates of Member States meeting in Monrovia that neighboring Guinea, which is the current chair of the MRU needs predictable and stable governance processes that will return it to stability.
“We at the Secretariat have engaged and in the process of engaging all the major international and other subregional stakeholders to ensure the return to constitutional order within the shortest possible time for the people of Guinea”, Ambassador Wesseh stresses.
She says the people of Guinea and the subregion need predictable and stable governance processes to ensure peace and stability in order to carry on with the socio-economic development process.
Ambassador Wesseh spoke Monday, October 25, 2021, at the official opening of a three-day technical working session of the 13th Extraordinary Technical Commission on Administration and Finance (TCAF) being held at Murex Plaza in Sinkor, Monrovia.
In her introductory remarks, the MRU Secretary-General says as one of the foundations upon which the essence of the Secretariat is assessed, the Technical Commission on Finance and Administration is once again gathered in Monrovia following their recent meeting held in Freetown in June to review and assess the finance and administrative activities of the Secretariat.
She notes that as per the mandate of the structure and the terms of reference of the extraordinary TCAF, members are to examine specific issues of sub-regional interest and emerging issues in the MRU space, adding “We hope this meeting will be guided by this overarching principle.”
She indicates that the objectives of their meeting here were laid out in draft documents, detailing, among others, that the meeting in Monrovia is expected to review the key operation documents and reports of the MRU Secretariat, follow up on the recommendations of the TCAF last session held in Freetown, Sierra Leone and make recommendations for the consideration of the Ministerial Council.
At the same time, Ambassador Wesseh reminds delegates that the MRU is a professional inter-governmental organization, urging the Commission to put professional recruitment for technical competence to the fore if they must realize and actualize the vision the MRU forefathers set out for the subregion.
The Liberian Ambassador to the MRU took up the mantle of leadership in June 2017. “Our tenure is a five-year mandate”, she says, “with an option to renew a second mandate. As we prepare for submission of our work and review as well as seek additional mandate or offer our thanks for the opportunities to serve, I wish to urge you to take these matters very seriously and put professional recruitment for technical competence to the fore.”
She says the work of the Secretariat is clear and the functions of the various departments are clear, noting that the new five-year strategic plan has clearly laid out the program and activities to implement the vision.
“Once these plans are approved, and a resource mobilization plan is put in place to raise the initial resources then it will be incumbent on the Ministerial Council to review and require a proper evaluation of our work to determine a new mandate. The countries will take note from your work that going forward those who come to leadership at the apex of this organization must be people of technical competence and experience. Working at International Organizations is a unique experience and it must not be taken for granted.”
Meanwhile, the head of the Guinean delegation Alpha Kamara extols the MRU Secretariat and its members for convening the extraordinary TCAF session. He says the integration space which is the MRU remains one of the top priorities of the current Head of State of Guinea, Col. Mamady Doumuyah.
“On behalf of this delegation the mandate given us is that Guinea will never cease to exist as a founding country of the MRU, and we remain committed to our contribution for the improvement and livelihood of the population within our territory”, says Mr. Kamara.
He says the meeting is being held in a difficult context as it relates to COVID-19, and amid minimum resources.
According to Mr. Kamara, from the look of things, he’s of the conviction, taking into account the experience of MRU members countries, saying “We will be able to bring more dynamics in order to rectify this integration, it’s difficult today but I will assure you that the new authorities that have given us this mandate will like to inform you that we are in a pursuant change, it will become a very civil government”, he adds.
Meanwhile, the head of the Sierra Leone delegation Mr. Peter Sam Kpakra, in his introductory remarks notes that it is important that the MRU Secretariat addresses current internal wrangling within the organization, which he recalls started from Cote d’ Ivoire, to Freetown and now in Liberia.
He extends profound appreciation to host Liberia, for the smooth coordination of activities, including the necessary documents, resources, and hotels.
“Ladies and gentleman: the Union Secretariat is engulfed with lots of problems which are impeding the movement, working of the Union. If I will say anything as an opening remark is for us as members of this Secretariat to find solutions by solving these problems”, says Mr. Kpakra.
He emphasizes that it is imperative that the Union addresses these problems, noting “Let’s look at ourselves like brothers and sisters”, adding that if the Union can’t speak with one voice, they won’t achieve those things that are meant to be achieved.
The MRU is an international association that was initially established between Liberia and Sierra Leone by the 3 October 1973 Mano River Declaration, named after the Mano River that begins in Guinea and forms a border between Liberia and Sierra Leone. Guinea joined the Union on October 25, 1980.
However, the subregional body was reactivated on May 20, 2004, at a summit of three former leaders of Member States: late Presidents Lansana Conte’ of Guinea, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone, and Chairman Gyude Bryant of Liberia. Cote’d’ Ivoire subsequently joined on May 15, 2008.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/mru-alarms-over-developments-in-guinea/ Editing by Jonathan Browne