Published on September 20, 2010 by Cocorioko News · No Comments
By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu
Sierra Leone’s international honour, respect and credibility received the mother-of-all boosts last night when she was given the magnificient United Nations Millenium Development Goal ( MDG ) Award in recognition of President Ernest Koroma ‘s remarkable leadership commitment and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Goal Six. During a grand MDG Awards Banquet last night at the posh Waldorf Estoria Hotel in New York, Sierra Leone was honoured alongside governments and individuals that have made substantial contributions towards completing the MDGs.
FOREIGN MINISTER DELIVERING A STATEMENT THANKING THE AWARDS COMMITTEE
The UN MDG Awards Committee determined that Sierra Leone took a giant step to complete The MDG Goal Six which is combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases and she was adjudged by the world body as having succeeded through political will from the Presidency, and collaborative efforts made by the National HIV/ AIDS Secretariat (NAS) in the Office of the President. These achievements have been arrived at by NAS using multi-sectoral approaches to address the epidemic.
FOREIGN MINISTER ZAINAB BANGURA HOLDING THE MDG AWARD
Last night’s jampacked and colorful Awards Dinner was attended by many Heads of State and Heads of Government who are already in New York to attend the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly as well as Permanent Representatives, ambassadors and Ministers assigned to the UN and Foreign Ministers and government officials from a cross-section of the international world. Also in attendance were officials of the UN and stakeholders , members of the business community in the U.S. and civic authorities.
THE FOREIGN MEDIA WERE ALL OVER FOREIGN MINISTER ZAINAB BANGURA TO SEEK HER EMOTIONS ABOUT THE AWARD
H.E. Kiyo Akasaka , the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, who read a statement on behalf of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, said that the annual MDG Awards Banquet was staged to recognize those countries and individuals who are helping to bring the MDGs to reality .Assessing overall progress towards the completion of the MDGs before 2015, Mr. Akasaka said that the picture is mixed and that many countries would not be able to complete the targets , their efforts undermined by the global economic downturn and Climate Change. He said that concerted efforts have to be made by the world if the MDGs must be completed by the set year, 2015. He congratulated all those who won awards for helping to make a better world.
FROM LEFT : AMBASSADOR STEVENS, DPR KEH KAMARA AND MINISTER KABS KANU AT THE AWARDS CEREMONY
In his contribution, the Under-Secretary and Special Adviser on Africa and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States , H.E. Cheick Sidi Diarra , described the MDGs as a global Marshall Plan .He declared that the award winners had shown what could be achieved if “We all” commit ourselves to developing goals bigger than our own. He disclosed that some progress had been made and that the level of human hunger and poverty have been reduced in the world. Much progress, he went on, had also been achieved in Universal Education and Women’s participation in governance. He also indicated that there are now 12, 000 less deaths daily of children and mothers across the globe. He called for more action than rhetorics in efforts to complete the MDGs.
FROM LEFT : AMBASSADOR STEVENS, COUNSELOR VICTORIA SULIMANI AND DPR KEH KAMARA
Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Zainab Bangura , received the MDG Award on behalf of President Ernest Koroma . In her acceptance statement, she thanked the MDG Awards Committee for organizing this historic event. She told the grand ceremony, among other things : ”We are elated by this distinct honour and recognition and wish to assure this august gathering of our continued commitment to the goal of halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015…..We owe this great achievement to the high political commitment demonstrated by the government and to resource mobilization through partnership with all stakeholders including PLHIV and the civil society. ”
IN THE HOLDING ROOM BEFORE THE PROGRAM STARTED : FROM LEFT : FOREIGN MINISTER ZAINAB BANGURA, MRS. KHADI BASSIR , VICTORIA SULIMANI AND AMBASSADOR KAMARA (STANDING)
Sierra Leone was represented at the Awards Dinner by the Foreign Minister and the following government officials : Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the U.S, Mr. Bockarie Stevens; The Deputy Permanent Representative For Legal Affairs, Mr. Osman Keh Kamara; the Minister Plenipotentiary Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ; the Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Khadi Bassir and Counselor Victoria Sulimani.
GUESTS AT THE BANQUET
Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN
245 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212 ) 688 – 1656 Ext. 18