-Amb. Kemayah pleads to UN
Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah Sr., Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said he has made a passionate plea to international community to urgently support Liberia to ensure the substance of peace, democracy, and security prevail at all time.
Amb. Kemayah, who spoke at the Annual Session of the UN Peace building Commission in New York, said that the Liberian economy is under immense stress as prices of major export commodities remain at rock bottom.
He said that the internationally celebrated peace that Liberia enjoys, is threatened by increased protests, and the challenges to pay civil servants, therefore, stressing for urgent need to support Liberia.
"If there was ever an urgent need to help Liberia, it is now! The peace we enjoy is being threatened by increased protests. The payment of salaries of civil servants remains a challenge. Henceforth, we once again call on the international community, and friends of Liberia to kindly consider the consolidation of the much-needed assistance to Liberia at this critical time. We want to call on the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank to assist Liberia," Kemayah added.
He informed the UN Peacebuilding Commission that while seeking international assistance, the Liberian government, was also taking practical measures in a genuine attempt to address the inherited political and economic situation that the country is experiencing.
Amb, Kemayah named the holding of a National Economic Dialogue with the aim to encourage all Liberians to advance ideas in devising and supporting new measures, which could successfully address the inherited structural defects and imbalances in the economy; and the reduction of salaries of officials and harmonization of salaries of civil servants as major initiatives.
The salary reduction and harmonization, according to Amb. Kemayah, is in response to a call by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Liberian government to reduce its annual wage bill to US$297 million, and reaffirmed the commitment of President Weah, and the government of Liberia to the country's enrollment into the IMF program.
Amb. Kemayah said President Weah, far ahead of the IMF request, announced a 25 percent cut in his salary; an exemplary leadership that is being emulated.
He said that in the coming months, the administration of President Weah intends to place particular emphasis on agriculture, education and health sectors; and is looking to forge close collaboration with all relevant agencies of the United Nations in accelerating growth and development in Liberia.
He then used the occasion to recall with gratitude the Joint United Nations visit to the Mano River Union region; noting that cooperation in the region has intensified. He said more is required to strengthen engagements on the sustenance of peace, security and democracy, while endeavoring to address or curb illegal cross-border activities, growing piracy, trafficking in persons and drugs, and climate change.
Kemayah described the visit to Liberia, as expressed solidarity and a renewed assurance by the international community and partners that Liberia remains a priority; an action that is very much appreciated by President Weah.