President Sirleaf at the Clinton event.
Pres. Sirleaf Joins Clinton Global Initiative On Prevention
MONROVIA, September 28 (LINA) - On the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, joined several global leaders at a special event organized by the Clinton Global Initiative focusing on many issues confronting the world.
At the event held at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations discussed a wide range of issues, including refugees, disease outbreaks, slavery, trafficking of women and children, terrorism and education, among many others.
According to a dispatch from New York, President Sirleaf and the Chief Executive Officer and Board Chairman of Merck & Company, a vaccine producing company, Mr. Kenneth C. Frazier, shared a panel moderated by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
They discussed the topic: “Taking the Long View: Investing in Prevention,” with emphasis on the outbreak of infectious diseases around the globe and effort to prevent them.
Introducing the panel discussion, former President Clinton told the audience that the United States has a special responsibility to Liberia because the country was created by freed slaves from America and has had a longstanding traditional relationship and friendship.
He praised President Sirleaf for putting the country back on track after the devastating Ebola crisis; thanking her also for the declaration of Liberia as an Ebola-free nation.
The Liberian President thanked former President Clinton and others who took the risk to visit Liberia during the Ebola crisis.
“You took a very serious risk by coming to Liberia when the disease was still raging and I want to sincerely thank you for that,” she told former President Clinton.
She reflected on the bitter experiences Liberia faced as a result of the Ebola outbreak, including the downturn of the economy, closure of schools, low farming activities, death of citizens, among others, due to the strange and unknown nature of the disease.
President Sirleaf, however, pointed out that with the defeat of the virus and the declaration of Liberia as Ebola-free by the World Health Organization, the country is trying to rebuild and recover.
“Thanks to all who helped us to overcome the Ebola virus disease,” she said, adding, “We can now put the pieces back together because already, investors are returning, contractors are back, children are back in school, etc.”
She said government is committed to fixing the healthcare system, reforming the educational sector, fixing the infrastructure and investing in agriculture. “These are four basic pillars of our recovery program,” President Sirleaf indicated.
The Liberian leader urged the world to support initiatives that strengthen healthcare systems and will address infection and ensure the prevention of diseases by ensuring there are no outbreaks in the first place.