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Prez Sirleaf wants Intl Confab partakers join global partnership

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

( 24, 2015)-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has appealed to participants at the International Conference on Sustainable Development form part of a global partnership.

President Johnson-Sirleaf wants conference’s participants form part of the global partnership to support a more sustainable, just and inclusive world.

According to a dispatch from New York, the Liberian Leader made the call when she delivered the keynote address at the Conference held Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at the Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall, in New York.

The 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development was organized by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (a global initiative for the United Nations), Global Association (focused in development practice programs) and Columbia University.

The event was a part of the Kapuscinski Development Lecture Series of the University and was moderated by international journalist, writer and moderator, Femi Oke.

The President said: “The world has travelled a long-road to reach an historic moment with the endorsement of the Millennium Declaration, signed by more than 180 countries and translated in 2002 into quantifiable and time-bound goals.”

The Millennium Declaration is intended to end human sufferings from poverty, hunger, and disease to ensure environmental sustainability and to form a new global partnership.

She recalled that in 2012, the United Nations’ Secretary General appointed a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons to consider what might constitute a successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

At the time the Secretary General urged the panel members to also consider the most pressing development challenges of the 21st century.

The Liberian leader said: “I had a great pleasure chairing the Panel, alongside United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Indonesian President, S. Banbang Youdhoyono.”

“Together, with 24 other high-level persons, we put forth a set of 12 potential development goals, summarize in our report, A New Global Partnership and the 24 other high-level persons were drawn from the academia, government, the private sector and civil society,” she said.

President Johnson-Sirleaf further noted that the United Nations concurrently established an inter-governmental process, under the Open Working Group, and subsequently launched a full Inter-Governmental Negotiation that resulted into the 2030 Agenda.

The 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be agreed upon by Heads of State and Government on 25th September, 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly. “This really is an historic moment.” 

“There will be more Heads of State and Government at the United Nations General Assembly than since the UN’s founding. It is a unique opportunity to set the world on a safer, more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous path,” the Liberian Leader emphasized.

Most importantly, she further emphasized: “The new agenda has been shaped by the world’s global citizens, owing to the widespread global consultations with men and women, young and old, rich and poor, from the global north to the global south.”

“Despite the diversity of the global community, they have managed to craft a coherent and ambitious vision for the world.”

Touching on the Ebola situation, she also said: “The belief that all are one shared humanity, a part of an interconnected world, was brought into sharp focus by the Ebola epidemic that ravaged Liberia and two neighboring countries in West Africa.”

“The virus killed more than 4,000 people across Liberia and affected many more. Families have been torn apart by this earth-shattering illness that emerged so quickly and left the global health community dumbfounded.”

“The virus also exposed the weaknesses in our health system, in the number of trained health workers, our disaster preparedness and regional coordination,” President Johnson-Sirleaf outlined.

She then announced that Liberia has successfully beaten back the virus, the country is, for the second time, declared Ebola free and the U.S. has lifted Ebola screening procedures and travelers’ sanctions on the country also for the second time.

“The collective spirit with which Liberia overcame the Ebola virus disease is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Such spirit is about one humanity and one world, working together to tackle the most intractable problems of the 21st century, the Liberian President pointed out.

“Through our collective skills, trainings and ingenuity, we can develop technologies, approaches and interventions to surmount any challenge,” she noted.

The President expressed happiness that a data revolution is underway and new information communication technologies is providing a whole new toolbox of data collection, compilation and analytical approaches.

She further suggested working together in global partnership, capitalizing on the power of new technologies, new data systems and collective actions.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said: “I am confident that the world can embark on a transformative development agenda that secures the future of both people and planet in this generation and for many thereafter.”

The Liberian Chief Executive noted that with the Sustainable Development Agenda, the world will be a generation to end extreme poverty and the young people will sustain the planet for years to come.

Earlier, the European Commission’s Deputy Director General for International Cooperation and Development, Klaus Rudischhauser, introduced President Johnson-Sirleaf at the conference.

The Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Earth Institute of Columbia University and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on MDGs, Jeffery Sachs, also spoke at the occasion.

Other speakers at the occasion were UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed, among others.


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