As we welcome and celebrate the coming of the New Year, it is important to take a moment to reflect on the many challenges and opportunities that the people and government of Liberia have faced over the past 12 months. At the outset of 2014, we could not have predicted what historic events the year would bring for the Liberian people, the United States and the global community.
It was a year of change but also a year marked by partnership and cooperation as we worked to combat an unprecedented epidemic. While 2014 was a year defined by challenges, 2015 will be a year to continue the momentum of partnership, recovery, and achievement.
The government of the United States is proud to partner with the people and government of Liberia to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa, ever more so because of the progress we have seen in the past few months. However, the battle is not yet won. With the support of the United Nations, civil society, and international partners, the people of Liberia must stay committed to stemming new Ebola infections and preventing new outbreaks throughout the country.
The full-fledged international response to the Ebola crisis has created new partnerships between government, civil society, and various institutions. We hope these health-related partnerships continue to flourish and strengthen in 2015 and beyond into a post-Ebola Liberia so that men, women, and children have access to regular and safe healthcare. Together we can eliminate Ebola from Liberia and her neighbors; getting this done is everybody’s business.
In addition to supporting the government of Liberia’s plan to rebuild and revitalize the country’s healthcare system and its economy, the U.S. government remains a steadfast partner across many sectors of activity: education, human rights and sustainable economic development.
In my tenure here as the U.S. Ambassador, I am continually impressed by the warmth and hospitality of the Liberian people. I encourage such hospitality and care be extended to those on the margins of society– those who are discriminated against, stigmatized or are the victims of human rights abuses. This New Year is an opportunity for every country, including my own, to redouble its efforts to protect and promote human rights worldwide.
This renewed commitment creates the conditions for shared prosperity and for improved national security. The reintegration into society of Ebola survivors, health care workers treating Ebola patients and members of the burial teams will be a key element in the post-Ebola era in Liberia and the rest of West Africa.
The United States envisions a world where human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons are realized, and where all countries possess a shared understanding of and appreciation for human dignity. While there is distance left to travel to make that world a reality, the United States pledges to be a partner with Liberia in that journey to remove the stigma of Ebola and HIV/AIDS, to ensure justice for trafficking victims, to empower women and girls, and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
My wish for all Liberians in 2015 and beyond is to continue to build upon the progress we have made and the challenges we have faced in the past year. Let us continue to continue to work to prevent new Ebola infections, to strengthen our partnerships, increase our respect for all members of society.
On behalf of the government and people of the United States of America, I would like to take this opportunity to extend tothe people of Liberia and our partners in the Liberian Government warm greetings and best wishes for a blessed and peaceful New Year.