President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Urges Support To More Sustainable, Inclusive World
MONROVIA, September 24 (LINA ) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has implored participants at the International Conference on Sustainable
Development to become part of a global partnership and strive to support a more sustainable, just and inclusive world.
According to a dispatch from New York, President Sirleaf made the call in her keynote address at the International Conference on Sustainable
Development held at the Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University in New York on Wednesday, September 23.
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 part of the Kapuscinski Development Lecture Series of the University and was moderated by international journalist, writer
and moderator, Femi Oke.
President Sirleaf stressed that the world has travelled a long road to each an historic moment with the endorsement of the Millennium
Declaration, which was signed by more than 180 countries and translated in 2002 into quantifiable and time-bound goals to end human
suffering from poverty, hunger, and disease, to ensure environmental sustainability and to form a new global partnership.
She recalled that in 2012, the UN Secretary General appointed a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons to consider what might constitute a
successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and urged the panel members to consider the most pressing development
challenges of the 21st century.
The Liberian leader reflected that she had a great pleasure chairing the Panel alongside United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron and
Indonesian President S. Banbang Youdhoyono. “Together with 24 other high-level persons, from the academia,
government, the private sector and civil society, we put forth a set of 12 potential development goals, encapsulated in our report: “A New Global Partnership”, she said.
President Sirleaf further pointed out that the UN concurrently established an inter-governmental process, under the Open Working
Group, and subsequently launched a full Inter-Governmental Negotiation which resulted into the 2030 Agenda, including 17 Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) that will be agreed upon by Heads of State and Government on 25th September, 2015 at the UN 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
Most importantly, she said, the new agenda has been shaped by the world’s global citizens owing to the widespread global consultations
that were held from men and women, young and old, rich and poor; from the global north to the global south.
She also indicated that despite the diversity of the global community, they have managed to craft a coherent and ambitious vision for the
Touching on the Ebola situation, President Sirleaf indicated that the belief that all are one shared humanity - part of an interconnected
world was brought into sharp focus by the Ebola epidemic that ravaged Liberia as well as two neighboring countries in West Africa.
“The virus killed more than 4,000 people across Liberia and has 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 Sirleaf outlined.
According to the dispatch, she then announced that Liberia has successfully beaten back the virus, with the country being declared
Ebola-free for the second time and that the U.S. has lifted Ebola screening procedures and travelers’ sanctions on Liberia also for the
The Liberian President pointed out that the collective spirit withwhich Liberia overcame the Ebola virus disease is at the heart of the
Sustainable Development Goals. That spirit, she said, is about one humanity, one world, and working together to tackle the most intractable problems of the 21st century. “Through our collective skills, trainings and ingenuity, we can develop technologies, approaches and interventions to surmount any
challenge,” she noted.