By KABS KANU :
During his first ever visit to New Jersey last week to grace the Town Hall meeting featuring the Presidential Spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay, Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah took his precious time to enlighten Sierra Leoneans and Friends of Sierra Leone about some of the diplomatic feats the country was achieving at the UN.
AMBASSADOR SUMAH ADDRESSING THE TOWN MEETING
As earlier reported by COCORIOKO, the town hall meeting was attended by an impressive turn out of citizens and people interested in the country who jammed the Caribbean Palace Hall in Somerset, Franklin Township , New Jersey to listen to information about the country and to ask questions about matters of national concern.
SOME OF THE AUDIENCE AT THE MEETING
To show the importance attached to the town hall meeting in which Mr. Bayraytay did a great job by dilating on topical issues like the voters and civil registration, the forthcoming elections, President Ernest Bai Koroma’s post-Ebola Recovery Priorities, the economy, President Koroma’s determination to hand over next year to the next elected President, the government’s achievements in the areas of infrastructure, education, agriculture , peace and security, democracy etc. etc, Ambassador Sumah attended the meeting with a crack team of diplomats from the Mission, who included the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs , Ambassador Felix Koroma; Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ; Acting Head of Chancery Mr. Sheku Mesali , Counselor Victor Sheriff and the Finance Attache Vafombah Barwoh .
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE AUDIENCE
THE AUDIENCE LISTENING CAREFULLY
In his contribution to the town hall meeting , Ambassador Sumah first of all commended Mr. Bayraytay for his excellent delivery and thanked President Koroma for sending his official spokesman to the diaspora to help clarify a wide range of national issues.
AT THE HIGH TABLE: FROM RIGHT –AMBASSADOR FELIX KOROMA, AMBASSADOR SUMAH ,AND MESSRS BAYRAYTAY AND KABS KANU
The Ambassador lauded President Koroma’s implicit faith in the youth of the country by appointing them to important positions .The future of Sierra Leone, he went on, lies with the youths and he described even himself as a youth despite his grey hairs as he joked.
AMBASSADOR SUMAH DELIVERING HIS STATEMENT
He also praised President Koroma for giving diasporans an opportunity to serve the country. As a matter of fact, the Ambassador continued, he is also a diasporan and has a deep-rooted connection to the British diaspora from where he was recruited by President Koroma. He admonished diasporans to work together as one and that his success as ambassador at the UN will accentuate the quality of Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora.
THE TEAM FROM THE SIERRA LEONE MISSION TO THE UN POSE WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN : FROM RIGHT –MESSRS KABS KANU, BARWOH, BAYRAYTAY, FELIX KOROMA, SHERIFF, MESALI AND JAWARA.
Ambassador Sumah told the audience about some of the work Sierra Leone was helping to pioneer at the UN .He told them about the UN Security Council Reform negotiations in which Sierra Leone was heading Africa’s quest for two seats in the Permanent Category , five in the Non-Permanent and use of the Veto, as Chair of C-10, the African Union Committee of 10 African States thrust with the responsibility to canvass support for and propagate the African Common Position.
AMBASSADOR SUMAH ( FOURTH FROM RIGHT AND PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN BAYRAYTAY THIRD ) POSE WITH SOME MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE FROM NEW JERSEY AND PHILADELPHIA
As he had been strongly advocating at the UN and other important fora, Ambassador Sumah stressed that the historic injustice to Africa in not being represented in the Permanent Category of the UN Security Council has to be addressed . He said that the historic injustice is not just occasioned by the fact that Africa was excommunicated in 1948 when the UN was established but that it started long before that during the scramble for Africa when in 1884 Africa was carved out to competing colonial masters without her consent during the Berlin Conference.
The Ambassador noted that when the League of Nations was established in 1919 after the First World War, Africa was a member. He asked : “If Africa was the main character of the UN Security Council, should she be excommunicated ? ” Ambassador Sumah answered his own question by saying : “No way”.
Ambassador Sumah also spoke about Sierra Leone’s impressive role in the UN Peacebuilding Commission ( PBC ) and the magnificent distinction the PBC gave Sierra Leone for her impressive post-war progress in describing her as a UN success story of post-conflict peacebuilding.
Ambassador Sumah also told the gathering that Sierra Leone is currently the lead sponsor of a resolution from South Korea on the cessation of war and peace. An organization from South Korea asked Sierra Leone to be the lead sponsor. Ambassador Felix Koroma has already visited South Korea in connection with the resolution, followed by another team comprising Ambassador Amadu Koroma, Counselor Saifu George and the Military Attache, Lt. Col. Muana Massaquoi.
At the end of the town hall meeting , Ambassador Sumah requested photos with the diasporan community in New Jersey and went all around the hall shaking hands with attendees .