16 May 2013

Liberia Pledges U.S.$100,000 to Mali Recovery

The Liberian Government announced on Wednesday that it has pledged a contribution of US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to recovery efforts in the West African State of Mali.

The Government made the commitment at a one day International Donor Conference for the Development of Mali under the theme: "Together For A New Mali", on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.

Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan made the pledge on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Government and People of Liberia when he delivered a special statement at the one day gathering in Europe's political capital.

Foreign Minister who represented President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf informed the gathering; "the President would have loved to be here personally, but as a co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on the post-2015 Global Development Framework, she is currently in New York, USA to attend the wrap-up meeting of the Panel as they conclude their report for submission to the UN Secretary General".

Minister Ngafuan told the gathering that Liberia considers the threat to the peace of Mali as a threat to the peace of the entire West African region and looks forward to working with Mali and the international community to transition Mali fully from war to peace, democracy and sustainable development, adding," That is why Liberia is contributing a platoon from its very small army to the peacekeeping efforts in Mali", the Liberian Foreign Minister said.

He reminded the gathering about Liberia's difficult past, and commended the international community for standing by the country during the war years. Minister Ngafuan said although Liberia is still grappling with the negative effects of its 14 years civil war and is seeking support for its Agenda for Economic Transformation, the country feels that the sisterly country of Mali is also deserving of strong and timely support for its Transitional Roadmap and its Plan for Sustainable Recovery.

"The convening of this International Donor Conference for the Development of Mali under the theme "Together For A New Mali", co-chaired by H. E. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and the President of France H. E. François Hollande in close collaboration with Mali's Interim President, H. E. Dioncounda Traore, is truly a commendable initiative", the Liberian Foreign Minister remarked.

Minister Ngafuan said just a little over a year ago when the constitutional order of Mali was torpedoed and a large swathe of its territory occupied by individuals with terrorist credentials, the prospect for peace seemed rather bleak, but thanks to the tenacity and support of the international community, especially ECOWAS, under the leadership of Ivorian President Alasane Outtara, the AU, the EU, the UN; and strong bilateral partners led by France, which contributed the largest number of troops to the stabilization effort, peace and stability have been largely restored to Mali we are now looking forward to the holding of democratic elections sometime this year.

About 4.2 billion United States Dollars (3.3 billion Euros) was raised for recovery efforts in Mali at the conference that was attended by the Presidents of France, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo, Mauritania, the Vice President of Nigeria and a host of Foreign Ministers including the African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, the World Bank Managing Director and a host of other donors.

Liberia's Ambassador to the European Union Ambassador Francis T. Karpeh, and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs, Israel Davies formed part of the Liberian delegation that was led by Foreign Minister Ngafuan.

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