His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has received Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield in her capacity as Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations as well as the representative in the United Nations Security Council, UNSC.
Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Victoria M. Sulimani, opened the discussions by stating the ministry’s earlier engagement with the Ambassador and indicated that her visit to Freetown was primarily on account of Sierra Leone’s ascension to the UNSC and how the governments could support each other’s positions.
“Thank you very much. We did have a few minutes to consult this morning before coming in and it was great seeing you at the Liberian inauguration two days ago,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield before congratulating President Bio on Sierra Leone’s membership in the UNSC and elected position.
She added that Sierra Leone’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Dr Michael Imran Kanu, had been extraordinary even though the country had only just taken up its role on the Council, the toughest 3 weeks that they had had on the Council.
“But we are really delighted to work with you on the Security Council on a number of mutual issues that we will be working on together over the course of the next two years. We work closely with the A3. I consult with them as a group on a regular basis. I also consult directly, bilaterally, with each of the countries on a regular basis, but I know the A3 work together. So, I try to make sure I stay connected to the three of them and Guyana has joined them as an A 3+1.
“So, we again look forward to working on a number of African issues there. I would love to hear from you, Mr. President, your priorities on the Council, the issues that you want to address and how we can work to support your priorities and share with you some of our priorities and discuss how we might work together on those,” she stated.
The US Ambassador to the UN ended by assuring President Bio that the United States would always respect Sierra Leone’s position on the Council as they tried to work and find areas of cooperation.
In his remarks, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio welcomed the US Ambassador to the UN on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone, adding that it was good to have her come over.
He stated that Sierra Leone was excited to be part of the United Nations Security Council, recalling that the country had benefited quite a lot from UN activities that led to a peaceful settlement of the 11-year civil war. He said they were looking forward to sharing the experience from that particular crisis with the world.
President Bio added that they also wanted to contribute to the work of the Council because they were more concerned about peace and security around the world, especially given what was happening and their spillover effects.
It could be recalled that on June 6th, 2023, Sierra Leone was overwhelmingly elected by the member states of the UN as a non-permanent member of the UUNSC, an election that highlighted the successful pursuit of Sierra Leone’s foreign policy objectives and President Bio’s vision and agenda on international affairs.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also met with First Lady, Dr Fatima Maada Bio and expressed admiration for her global advocacy around issues affecting women and girls. She noted that the First Lady’s efforts resonated with the US Government’s priorities for Africa, which included promoting democracy, empowering women and youth, furthering peace and security in the region and encouraging inclusive, sustainable development.
During her stay in Freetown, the Ambassador is scheduled to engage leaders from the opposition, as well as members of the international community.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Republic of Sierra Leone State House.