President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
“No One Country Is Free Until All Countries Are Free,” Says President Sileaf
MONROVIA, December 10 (LINA)-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suggested to participants of the joint-cross border Ebola meeting to find ways to transfer capacity and reiterated that no one country is free until all the other countries are free.
According to an Executive Mansion release, issued in Monrovia, the Liberian leader made the assertion when she welcomed participants attending a meeting on cross-border collaboration on the prevention and control of the Ebola virus in West Africa held at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs’ C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium.
The meeting brought together national leaders on the Ebola response from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Nigeria and host Liberia. It was organized by the Liberian Government and the United Nations Mission for the Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER.
She urged them to go beyond just sharing experiences and have common facilities along the borders, noting, “Ebola will not derail the
determination of affected African countries to make progress in developing their respective nations.”
The Liberian leader observed that the three most affected countries have common history, culture, tradition and a common war against the Ebola virus disease. “We are dealing with an unknown enemy that we did not know, and we had a common determination to overcome our challenges when Ebola came,” President Sirleaf assured the participants.
She extended appreciation to her colleagues for allowing their response teams to participate in the Monrovia meeting and for all they have done so far to contain the Ebola disease in the affected countries.
Speaking earlier, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of UNMEER, Anthony Banbury told the meeting that an effect on one country represents an effect on all as far as the Ebola outbreak in the region was concerned.
“We have to work to change the operation to the most effective way that considers a more regional approach in the response. We need smart, practical, and creative ways to fight the disease,” Mr. Banbury stressed, adding, “We must do it a different way than the ways we have responded to AIDS, other diseases and disasters.”
The UN Secretary General’s envoy thanked Liberia for the excellent initiative of hosting a joint-meeting of the affected countries and in the region and urged the countries to ensure that the response matches the risk and threat posed by the Ebola virus disease. “We must tailor our efforts to have the most effective regional response and impact,” he pointed out.
Special presentations by the heads of delegation of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Mali were made setting out the epidemiological situation report, strategy for controlling Ebola virus disease transmission, cross border strategy and intervention for Ebola virus disease control, amongst others.
A special presentation on “getting to zero” with emphasis on lessons from Nigeria’s response was made by the delegation from Nigeria.
The Monrovia Technical Meeting will derive recommendations and commitments which will be endorsed at a summit meeting of regional Heads of State later in December 2014.