By State House Communications Unit :
President Ernest Bai Koroma Thursday 12 February officially unveiled the 2014-2018 Foreign Service Transformation Strategy with the theme “Sierra Leone Foreign Service Renaissance in the 21st Century,” at a well attended ceremony held at State House, Freetown.
The second segment of the diplomatic and consular relations forum chaired by President Koroma brought together resident and non-resident diplomats and consular representatives to Sierra Leone.
Making a statement at the forum, President Koroma recalled that the first meeting was held on 17 January 2014 at the same venue, where government registered its commitment to global peacekeeping, and was the second fastest growing economy in the world and registering significant reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates and incidence of malaria.
The president explained that government was busy strengthening its transparency and accountability processes and rapidly moving towards economic growth, job creation, increased school attendance, upholding its international commitments and many other indicators of steady progress when Ebola struck. He cited the Auditor General’s report, the enactment of the Right to Access Information Law, and granting the anti-graft body more powers to expose corruption as signs of government’s commitment to openness.
President Koroma said the greatest effect of the outbreak is the panic it causes, the paralysis it brings about in almost all areas of life. “To defeat Ebola and its effects, we must stop this paralysis,” he said, and continued that the meeting was geared towards efforts to responsibly stop this paralysis.
He also said that Sierra Leone remains an active, committed and dedicated member of the international community, including the Commonwealth, United Nations, Economic Community of West African States, African Union, Mano River Union among others while registering condemnation against terrorism acts everywhere in the world, including those of Boko Haram and Al Shabab.
President Koroma reaffirmed Sierra Leone’s commitment to promoting Human Rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations relevant provisions of the international instruments on human rights, and stressed the country’s continued support for the African Common Position on the reform of the UN Security Council as defined in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.
The president also called on diplomats to support the country’s candidacy in the person of Dr Samura M.W. Kamara for the presidency of the African Development Bank.
In a power point presentation of the Foreign Service Transformation Strategy (2014-2018), Dr Samura Kamara expressed the need to conduct the country’s foreign relations in the years ahead in accordance with international standards. The plan, he said, is a strategic policy and operational framework in the medium term, aimed at launching a systematic and profound transformative recalibration of the country’s diplomatic landscape through an incremental institutional reform agenda, focusing on the structural, functional and organizational capacities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Missions and Consulates overseas within the context of an assessed need to respond effectively and efficiently to a rapidly changing global environment while pursuing also the national interests. “The Foreign Service will be professionalized and enabled to increase the country’s voice and representation, respond to geopolitical trends and create a sustainable delivery pathway that is adaptive and beneficial to the development aspirations of Sierra Leone,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.