Africa: Liberia Chairs Africa Group At UN

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, Liberia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah took over the chairmanship of the African Group of ambassadors to the United Nations for the month of December 2019, dispatch has said.

As Chairman for the month, Amb. Kemayah will coordinate the affairs of the African Group of ambassadors to the United Nations, and serve as its official spokesperson at all UN functions, including meetings and high-level conferences.

Amb. Kemayah, who received the gavel of authority at a turn-over ceremony, described the chairmanship as a noteworthy responsibility, and pledged his unflinching practical commitment to ensuring that the interest and common objectives of the 54 African countries are appropriately articulated, protected and strengthened at the United Nations-the largest global platform of multilateralism.

He added, "It is indeed an honor to serve as Chair of this reputable Group; particularly being charged with articulating and projecting the voice of the African Union at such a global platform. For the fact that the African Group comprises 54 Members States, constituting approximately 28% of UN members; the largest regional body by a number of Member States, there is so much we can achieve working as a unified and well-integrated block."

Kemayah said that during his chairmanship, immense focus will be placed on Africa's shared views on matters of priorities -- peace and security, the inter-governmental negotiations on the reform of the Security Council, and African Candidatures, as well as strengthening of engagement with the aim to continue forging partnership with other regional blocks at the UN.

He thanked Ambassador Moncef Baati of Tunisia for the steady commitment and the distinct manner in which he steered the affairs of the African Group for the month of November, and assured that he would strive to address pending issues before the African Group.

"I am very much pleased with the briefing received from the out-going chair, and for handing over to me the mantle of authority. His briefing will certainly set the pace on how we proceed henceforth. We will vigorously commence here, using his briefing as the old mat so that we begin weaving the new and ambitious one. I trust that with the support of Member States, we will work collaboratively in addressing our pending issues. We take due note of pending matters as informed by the out-going Chair; including General Assembly Plenary Meetings, meetings with Coordinators of African Experts, pending candidatures (Africas nominees for the Committee for the Selection of Recipients of the Nelson Mandela Prize; and our on-going discussion on partnership with Nordic countries and with CARICOM, among others." Amb. Kemayah said.

He also acknowledged with appreciation, colleagues who reached out to him requesting him to serve as chair for the month of December 2019; especially the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Burundi, Albert Shinjiro, who led the initiative, and assured that their confidence and trust reposed in him will be staunchly upheld.

Kemayah then used the occasion to thank Madam Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN, and her team for their impressive performance in their representation of Africa, and expressed deepest gratitude for the remarkable support received from the African Group to chair the Special Political and Decolonization - Fourth Committee during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, as well as the support to his current role as Vice President of Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He also reiterated his appreciation for the honor to serve as Chair of the African Group, and expressed that he was grateful that his acceptance to chair at this time will not affect Liberia's regular schedule.

"Finally, on behalf of President George Weah, the Government and People of Liberia, I once more express my deepest appreciation to the 54 countries making up the African Group at the UN for the honor bestowed on me to chair them," Amb. Kemayah said.

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