Weah commits to protecting world’s planet
By Jonathan Browne
President George Manneh Weah has assured the United Nations that together with the global body, Liberia is committed to protecting the world’s planet, promoting peace, preventing conflicts, ensuring sustainable financing, and boosting partnerships.
He said this commitment is reflected in his government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development which embodies the expression of its shared determination to achieve peace, prosperity, national development; address extreme poverty, inequalities, regional disparities, infrastructure deficits, climate change, and equitable distribution of national wealth.
Addressing the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York Thursday, 22 September along with other world leaders, President Weah described the theme of this year’s Assembly, “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges”, as both appropriate and meaningful, saying “it not only reminds us about the current state of our world, and provides us the space to reflect on the multiple challenges that confront us today.”
He says these include health and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the devastating effects of climate change, environmental concerns, poverty reduction, food insecurity, and gender inequality.
President Weah notes that the challenges confronting the world today will require immediate collective global actions with the United Nations at the center of the search for solutions.
“In so doing”, he adds, we must give special consideration to the needs of developing countries, particularly, the Least Developed Countries; in line with the Doha Program of Action for Least Developed Countries for the Decade; 2022-2031.
He continues that given Liberia’s youthful population of more than sixty (60%) percent, his government initiated a youth rehabilitation and empowerment program – the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Disadvantaged Youth Project between 2019 and 2021, with the subsequent launch of a 13-Million United States Dollars National Fund Drive to rehabilitate and empower at-risk youth in Liberia, adding “We remain of the firm conviction that, when empowered, our youth can be a positive force for good.”
President Weah reminded that as Liberia’s Feminist-in-Chief, key priorities of his government include women empowerment and promotion of gender equality.
“Women do not only comprise almost half of our country’s population, but they also play important roles at all levels of our society, and must be given equally deserved attention, support, and a place at the leadership and governance tables in our society.”
He says the Government of Liberia has developed legal framework, including ratification of regional and international instruments to address gender inequalities which are being carried out as a result of socio-cultural perceptions, practices, and stereotypes that support male dominance and the subordination of women.
“I would like to inform you that my government, together with UN partners, is implementing the EU Spotlight Initiative to end violence and harmful traditional practices against women and girls and promote their sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
Besides, the President informs the United Nations his government is currently implementing a 50-Million United States Dollars ECOWAS-funded project to enhance the capacity of female entrepreneurs.
He thanks local and international partners, both multilateral and bilateral, for their continued support to national efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that as a result of that support, Liberia is well on its way to achieving herd immunity hopefully by the end of the year with about sixty-seven (67%) percent of the population already fully vaccinated.
He said the Government of Liberia continues to take actions through the formulation of new policy frameworks and strategic interventions to address the impacts of climate change and protect the environment, and Liberia commits to achieving a target of sixty-four (64%) percent reduction in carbon emission below business-as-usual by 2030.
“We anticipate that the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt (COP 27), will provide the opportunity to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”