Babatunde Ahonsi, the newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator to Sierra Leone, presented his UN letter of appointment to Dr Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone.
Ahonsi was recently appointed by Mr Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, as a Resident Coordinator. While expressing his gratitude for the new position, Ahonsi averred,
‘It is with utmost humility and great honour that I present my credentials as the United Nations Resident Coordinator appointed by His Excellency, the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, to serve in Sierra Leone. I am privileged that your excellency speedily approved my designation and wish to express my sincere appreciation and profound gratitude.’
Ahonsi acknowleged the good relations between Sierra Leone and the global body and expressed his determination to change the fortunes of the West African Country in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and other developmental expectations for the growing state.
‘I am cognizant of the fruitful relations that exist between the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN system. Thus, I am eager to deepen UN partnerships with the Government, and our other partners in development towards accelerating the country’s quest for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and a middle-income country status,’ he said.
Having worked for many years in Public Health and Development Non-Governmental Spaces for many years, Ahonsi acknowledged the challenges that the government of Sierra Leone had had to grapple with given the experience of Ebola and also the new wave of COVID19 Pandemic. He praised the resilence of the government and people of the country who have risen above the developmental impacts of the adverse scrouges and have kept forging on her path to development.
‘Your Excellency, this is a time for a change. We can defeat COVID-19 by being responsible citizens and heeding the call of our health experts. Sierra Leone needs all of us to overcome this outbreak.
‘While we are still battling this virus, the UN system in Sierra Leone remains committed to supporting your Government not only with the health response but also with recovery,’ he explained.
In response, President Bio welcomed the new UN Resident and congratulated him on his appointment. He lauded the UN for its drive in fostering development using the vehicle of the Sustainable Development Goals and noted that Sierra Leone and the UN have a great relationship.
‘Sierra Leone and the United Nations system enjoy a very strong, multilateral and beneficial relationship. I think we are contributing to the UN success around the world. You are going to build on that very good relationship that my country has with the UN,’ he said.
For President Bio, he believes that engaging the grieviances of people and groups in Sierra Leone will go a long way in achieving the much needed ‘Peace and National Cohesion’ that will drive the sustainable ecosystem for sustainable economic growth.
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‘The country had identified Peace and National Cohesion as a means that would provide the ecosystem for sustainable economic development. We are putting our own architecture together that pays specific attention, at all times, to instigators of violence and unrest. We believe that those fundamental grievances that are left unaddressed can lead to challenge and political upheaval. We want to make sure that they are addressed within a framework,’ he noted
President Bio acceded to Ahonsi’s description of the COVID19 Pandemic. He said that COVID19 had troubled the fragile balance of lives, as well as the economies of the world.
Photo Credit: State House