In an address to the 75th United Nations General Assembly, President George Manneh Weah says coronavirus (COVID-19) has taught countries, whether rich or poor, developed or undeveloped, that they are all united by their common humanity.
“We must all rise above normal divisions to work for a better, fairer and more united world,” he said Wednesday, 23 September.
“The world has stood together. Rich countries and poor countries have all been affected and are working together to eradicate this scourge,” he adds.
In the address, Mr. Weah tells world leaders that Africa has been hit hard by the pandemic, although the continent has not seen the number of deaths and affected persons as has been the case in many advanced countries.
However he notes that this can only be attributed to the mercy of the Almighty God who has made sure that predictions of massive numbers of deaths on the continent of Africa did not materialize.
In Liberia, he says, the authorities here build on the previous experience six years ago with the Ebola Viral Epidemic, saying he is proud to say that the government and its development partners have mounted a robust National Covid Response that seems to have contained COVID-19 for the time being.
“As a result, only about One Thousand Three Hundred and Twenty-one (1,320) Liberians have been affected by COVID-19 to date, of which approximately One Thousand Two Hundred and Thirteen (1,213) of these have fully recovered, with some 82 Liberians falling to the epidemic,” he continues.
Mr. Weah therefore extends special thanks to Liberia’s bilateral and multilateral partners for the strong support Liberia received to deal with the COVID-19 emergency and help sustain the Liberian economy.
He notes that the government has now developed a Post-Covid Economic Recovery Plan that prioritizes short term actions and investments in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism, as a means of reducing the impact of COVID-19 but also providing the basis for economic recovery.
Without a doubt, he notes that the the United Nations remains today as the most important forum for peace, conflict resolution, the prevention of war, and the settlement of disputes between nations of the world, as well as the premier international organization for serving the needs of all mankind through its various humanitarian agencies.
Nevertheless, he says the world has changed considerably since it came into existence after World War II, and the configuration of powers which obtained when its Charter was first written and upon which its decision-making structures were based, has witnessed many significant transformations over these past Seventy-Five years.
Mr. Weah indicates that there is therefore an urgent need to review, re-focus and re-adjust the priorities of the United Nations so that it can become more relevant and more effective in meeting the challenges that are today presented by new global alliances and realities.
“In this regard, more attention has to be paid to inclusiveness of the most vulnerable in our societies, whose special needs require a new and different mind-set,” he notes.
As part of this process of re-evaluation, he says the United Nations adopted in 2015 a set of 17 Global Goals to be met by 2030.
These Sustainable Development Goals, he says, as they are commonly called, are intended to serve as a roadmap for collective efforts to bring peace and prosperity to all mankind.
“We are already five years into the 15-year Agenda, and with only ten (10) years left, it is already clear that we will have to re-double our efforts and accelerate our actions in many areas if we are to attain any or all of these lofty goals by the end of this decade,” he adds.