President Sirleaf Off to London to Co-Chair High-Level Panel Meeting on Post-2015 Global Development Agenda
(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Tuesday, October 30, 2012) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has departed the country for a three-day visit to London, United Kingdom, where she will co-chair meetings of the UN High- Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Framework, and hold several business meetings.
President Sirleaf, along with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, were chosen by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to co-Chair a Panel of Eminent Persons to craft a global framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they reach their target date in 2015.
In London, according to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf will chair two special meetings on Thursday, November 1: on human development; and on jobs, livelihood and targeting. Panelists will examine what has happened with the MDGs over the last 12 years; what can be done in the next three; and set the agenda for post-2015.
The three co-Chairs will hold a joint press conference at Number 10 Downing Street, the residence of Prime Minister Cameron.
In addition, the Liberian leader will host a luncheon where she and other panelists will discuss “The Creation of Political Consensus.” The day-long meeting will climax with a dinner, to be attended by all the African women Ambassadors in London and the entire membership of the High-Level Panel, all of whom will be in London for the meeting.
It can be recalled that President Sirleaf, who is the “voice of Africa” on the High-Level Panel, commenced consultations with African Heads of State during her recent visit to the United Nations in New York. Likewise, in Tokyo recently, the Liberian leader was one of five panelists discussing the post-2015 development framework, with the topic being, “Is There a Role for a Next Generation of Millennium Development Goals?”
Here in Monrovia, President Sirleaf, last Thursday, October 25th, participated in the Africa-Wide Civil Society Organizations Consultation on the Post-2015 Global Development Framework. The three-day forum brought together 50 leaders of civil society from all five regions of Africa.
To assist in her task, President Sirleaf has appointed a Secretariat. These include: the former Prime Minister of Haiti, Dr. Garry Conille, who was designated by the United Nations Development Programme; Dr. Alioune Sall, a well-known intellectual who worked on Liberia’s own “Vision 2030”; Dr. Abdoulaye Dukulé, as Head of the Secretariat; Mr. Sam Jackson and Mr. Clarence Moniba.
Meanwhile, while President Sirleaf is away from the country, the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Christiana Tah, will chair the Cabinet in consultation with Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.
President Sirleaf is expected back in the country on Friday, November 2nd.
Five More Cabinet Ministers Sign Performance Contracts with President Sirleaf, Pledging to Live up to Commitments Made
|Minister of Justice, Christiana Tah
||Minister of Education, Etmonia Tarpeh
|| Director General of the General Services Agency, Pearine Davis-Parkinson
(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Tuesday, October 30, 2012) Five more Cabinet Ministers signed Performance Contracts with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday, October 30th, bringing to 12 the number that have signed the documents jointly prepared by them and the Office of the President as part of efforts to promote Liberia’s development.
Signing at Tuesday’s ceremony were: the Minister of Justice, Christiana Tah; the Minister of Public Works, Samuel Kofi Woods; the Minister of Education, Etmonia Tarpeh; the Minister of Gender and Development, Julia Duncan Cassell; and the Director General of the General Services Agency, Pearine Davis-Parkinson.
According to an Executive Mansion release, speaking President Sirleaf told the Ministers that she was pleased with the manner in which the Cabinet was working as a team for the country’s development. This is “a new era of performance-based and performance-bound commitment to deliver to the people,” the Liberian leader said, adding that Performance Contracts serve as a guiding tool.
The President said she wanted to complete the signing process so that full monitoring of performances could commence. Mindful that resources are needed in order to carry out the activities promised, the President called the process “dynamic,” and assured the Ministers that if they encounter challenges and obstacles, together they will look at the commitments they have signed on to, and make the necessary adjustments. “It is good that we have this to keep us focused,” she declared.
Responding on behalf of her colleagues, Minister Tarpeh thanked the President for the confidence she had placed in them, adding, “We are committed to live up to what we sign,”
On hand to witness the signing were: the Dean of the Cabinet, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan; the Minister of Internal Affairs, Blamo Nelson; the Minister of State without Portfolio, Conmany Wesseh; and the Legal Counsel to the President, Cllr. Seward Cooper.
At the first signing ceremony held on September 18, Performance Contracts were signed by the Ministers of: Foreign Affairs; Health and Social Welfare; Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism; Commerce and Industry; Labor; Youth and Sports; and Internal Affairs.
| Left, Minister of Gender and Development, Julia Duncan Cassell; Center, Director General of the General Services Agency, Pearine Davis-Parkinson and Right, Minister of Public Works, Samuel Kofi Woods
On that occasion, President Sirleaf challenged the Ministers to see development as dynamic and to expect a change or expansion in the targets they’ve set from time to time for the better of the country.“These priorities were set by you, and at the same time you solicited budgetary support to set these priorities,” she pointed out, and added, “It’s therefore my hope that we all will work together to deliver these priorities to our people.”
The Performance Contracts signed between Cabinet Ministers and the President cover a one-year period beginning October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. Each Minister was asked to identify four projects (targeted goals) that can be achieved within a year and can be measured in tangible ways.
President Sirleaf also has a part to play in the execution of the Performance Contracts, including providing a strategic direction and overall supervision for the effective implementation of the targets; providing support to ensure timely delivery of the agreed targets or outputs; providing appropriate coordination and tracking mechanism by the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure other parties that should provide inputs to the Minister’s efforts, do so and on time; and providing additional support from the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) in the Ministry of State, where the circumstances merit, to help them achieve their goals.
The Cabinet Secretariat, headed by the Director-General of the Cabinet, Dr. Momo Rogers, and the PDU have been asked to monitor the Performance Contracts throughout the year, keeping track of progress or challenges every quarter of the reporting period. Dr. Rogers pointed out that it was not the President’s intention to penalize Cabinet Ministers, but rather to give them the means to deliver effectively and efficiently, and that was why each project is tied to the budget.
New Cuban Ambassador to Liberia Presents Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf
(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Tuesday, October 30, 2012) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence from His Excellency Mr. Jorge Fernando Lefebre Nicolás, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba to Liberia.
Receiving the Letters of Credence from Ambassador Nicolás in the Cabinet Room of the President’s Office, President Sirleaf welcomed Cuba’s strong desire for strengthened relations with Liberia, geared towards promoting political exchanges and cooperation on bilateral and international issues.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader extolled the long-standing relations between Cuba and Liberia, both members of the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations, which are aimed at tackling emerging challenges to the international system.
President Sirleaf used the occasion to re-emphasize Government’s commitment to the Liberia-Cuba Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation, agreed in Monrovia on April 10, 2008, in compliance with Article IV of the General Agreement for Scientific, Technical and Economic Cooperation, and signed between both Governments in Havana, on April 28, 2000. She also looked forward to identifying new areas of cooperation.
“We have witnessed remarkable levels of Cuban technical assistance within this cooperation framework, including Cuba’s offer of 13 scholarships for Liberian students to study in Cuba in the fields of health and medicine, sports, geography, mathematics, civil engineering and agronomy,” President Sirleaf said, adding, “Let me assure you, Mr. Ambassador, of my Government’s commitment to the full utilization of these scholarships opportunities.” Four Liberian students currently study medicine and sports at Cuban universities.
The Liberian leader expressed her gratitude to the Government of Cuba, which has offered to train instructors at the William V.S. Tubman University in Maryland County, for which the credentials of three Cuban professors have been submitted to the Ministry of Education. The Cuban Government has further offered to renovate the National Archives, damaged during Liberia’s civil war.
President Sirleaf noted the level of progress her government has initiated in the recovery process since her ascendancy to the Presidency in 2006, and, going forward, she disclosed that Liberia has commenced in earnest the implementation of critical elements of a new “Vision 2030” development roadmap, with strong focus on developing the country’s electric power and energy infrastructure, aimed at improving overall conditions of the economy. “My government remains committed to improving the standard of living of all of our people, and would like to express gratitude to President Raul Castro for Cuba’s assistance to Liberia thus far,” she said.
She assured the Cuban envoy that initial steps are already being taken for a reciprocal accreditation of a Liberian Ambassador to Cuba, which she hoped to consummate in a timely manner.
Earlier, Ambassador Nicolás congratulated President Sirleaf on her 74th birth anniversary. He pledged that during his tenure as Ambassador, he would further strengthen relations between both countries, and expressed optimism for expansions in new areas of cooperation between Liberia and Cuba.
Before his posting to Liberia, the new Cuban Ambassador served as Ambassador, Senior Diplomatic Desk Officer of the Northern Africa and the Middle East Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before that, Ambassador Nicolás served as his country’s Ambassador to the Republic of Poland.