The Senate Statutory Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morias will today, September 21, 2020, commence the confirmation hearings of Liberia's Foreign Minister-designate, Ambassador Dee Maxwell Kemayah.
Ambassador Kemayah has been serving as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations since August 2019 and has chaired several committees at the UN.
When confirmed, he will be replacing Gbehzohngar Milton Findley who resigned to pursue his political career in the impending senatorial election.
Since he presented his letters of credence to UN Secretary António Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2018, Amb. Kemayah appears to have been busy with a number of things, including co-sponsoring a number of resolutions and serving on committees.
In June 2019, he was elected as Vice Chair of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for a Two-Year Term (June 2019-June 2021).
In July 2019, he signed the first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Formal Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and the United Nations; formalizing for the First time; the participation of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) via the Liberian Contingent (105 Troop) as an integral part of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); and for the first time formally/officially acknowledging, and declaring the Republic of Liberia as a United Nations Official Peacekeeping/Troop Contributing Country.
In September 2019, during the approval of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children's Fund country programme documents for Liberia. He endorsed all three documents on behalf of the Government of Liberia.
In December 2019, Kemayah served as Chairman of the African Group of Fifty-four (54) Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York for the month of December 2019. The African Group constitutes approximately Twenty-eight percent (28%) of United Nations Member States; the largest regional group by number (Fifty-four -54) of Member States at the United Nations.
According to a release from the Senate's Communication Department, Senator Morais said the Senate takes a serious interest in the hearings and, as such, wants it to claim the attention of all stakeholders, Liberia's international partners, diplomatic Missions near Monrovia, the public, and the media.
The release said the hearing will be conducted publicly and simulcast live radio and online TV stations to afford Liberians at home and abroad to observe the process. Journalists covering the Legislature are urged to be in line with legislative confirmation practices, and those who have questions and concerns should process them through the Chairperson or any member of the committee not later than this morning, September 21, 2020 before the commencement of the hearings.
Meanwhile, considering the health protocols that are still in place in the country as a result of the COVID-19 and due to space and seating capacities within the Chambers of the Liberian Senate, the hearings, though it is anticipated to generate huge public attendance, it will be conducted under a seriously restricted atmosphere to abide by all Health Protocols instituted by the Government of Liberia.