State House, Banjul, 9th April 2019 - The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in The Gambia, who is the representative of the Secretary General of the UN, along with the diplomatic envoys of the United States and Burkina Faso on Monday presented their Letters of Credence to His Excellency, President Adama Barrow at a colourful ceremony at the State House in Banjul.
The diplomats took turns to inspect the Guard of Honour mounted by the State Guards Battalion, before proceeding to hold closed-door meetings with the Head of State.
Her Excellency, Seraphine Wakana told the waiting State House press corps that she was pleased to have her credentials accepted by President Barrow. She emphasised that the UN is committed to supporting Gambia's transition programmes and its development aspirations as enshrined in the NDP 2018-2021.
President Barrow, in return, emphasised the importance of institutional reforms and transitional justice efforts in The Gambia, especially at the security sector level. He said the reforms should be beneficial to the democratic principles and human rights initiatives being embarked upon. The president assured that he will continue to work with the UN to fulfill the socio-economic expectations of the Gambian people.
Receiving the Ambassador of the United States to The Gambia, His Excellency Richard Carlton Paschall III; President Barrow hailed the US for supporting to The Gambia through the schemes of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC). He maintained that his government will seek to build on the gains already registered in several areas of such cooperation.
His Excellency, Ambassador Paschall III praised The Gambia for the progress made in promoting transparency, accountability, and inclusion in the democratic process, while describing the decision of The Gambian people at the 2016 elections as "historic, courageous choice".
"The transition from despotism to democracy is just beginning, and I pledge that the United States will continue to support the people of The Gambia as they seek to achieve the bold aspirations embodied in the government's National Development Plan (NDP)," he said.
The US diplomat promised to provide support to build the capacity of the government, of civil society, and of private businesses that will enable this country to become a leader in democratic reform and economic growth. The US will focus on strengthening democratic institutions, the transitional justice program, bolstering education, reforming security services "to ensure they better serve the great people of The Gambia", he said, adding that the US will encourage Gambian-led economic growth.
His Excellency, Mr. Jacob Ouedrago, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to The Gambia said the two countries are two sisterly countries that share the same economic and social space. The Gambia and Burkina Faso have shared joint beliefs on the problems their people face, and the two governments will be working hard in ensuring that life gets easier for the people.
"We have potentials in various areas that we are going to exploit together. We will work together to further strengthen the cooperation on both sides," he said.