UNOWAS REPRESENTATIVE PAYS COURTESY CALL ON MRU SECRETARY GENERAL
Freetown 24th August 2017 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, today paid a courtesy call on the Secretary General of the Mano River Union Ambassador Medina Wesseh at the Union’s Secretariat at Fudia Terrace, Freetown Sierra Leone. Accompanying the Special Representative was the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Sierra Leone, Mr Sunil Saggar.
Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas assumed the functions of Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (SRSG) as of 12th February 2017. He also serves as the chair of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, (CNMC), established in November 2002 to oversee the peaceful implementation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Land and Maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.
Meeting with the SRSG and Ambassador Medina Wesseh was the Deputy Secretary General, Monsieur Mamady Dioumessy, who is responsible for Budget and Administration at the Mano River Union and substantive representatives of the Republic of Guinea and other members of the MRU Secretariat and the UN Resident Coordinator’s staff team.
There are very obvious synergies between the two institutions especially in the area of peace and security, the frameworks of the security of women in conflict zones and the effectual mainstreaming of gender in conflict prevention and management. There are also common concerns around global terrorism and its impact on the security development nexus. This meeting is expected to further deepen the understanding of both institutions and accords for a deeper engagement on the issues relative to their joint objectives for consolidation of peace and the prevention of conflict in the sub-region of the Mano River Union and its member states.
Dr Ibn Chambas addressed the Press Corps after a closed door meeting with the Secretary General and her team and stated that he was supportive of the appointment of Ambassador Medina Wesseh as the new Secretary General of the Mano River Union, who he described as someone with whom he had done some very good work in the past. He reiterated the close links between his organization and the Mano River Union in the areas of peace and security and the thematic issues around women and gender mainstreaming.
He announced that as of next Monday, UNOWAS and the MRU together with other partners would be holding a workshop in Monrovia Liberia to discuss some practical issues around the coming elections in Liberia.
Dr Chambas disclosed that apart from the high level engagement with Ambassador Wesseh and her team, he was also here to commiserate with the President and people of Sierra Leone and to offer his condolences for the loss of lives during the recent floods and mudslides that hit Sierra Leone on August 14.th He confirmed that he would be working with the UN agencies to explore medium to long term measures that would mitigate or otherwise stop such natural disasters from causing so much havoc and loss of human lives.
He commended the Mano River Union and the Heads of States for their prompt response to Sierra Leone in the aftermath of the disaster, mentioning the visits of President Conde and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the high level delegation sent in by President Outarra.