Beysolow Opts For Developmental Diplomacy -Says “I’ll Rebrand Liberia, Safeguard Identity

MONROVIA: As the ongoing confirmation of officials nominated to various positions by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai gathers momentum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs designate, Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti has outlined her vision of the country’s foreign policy objective which she said will evolve around exploring external cooperation that will benefit the development needs of the country and its people just as she vows to use her office to rebrand Liberia to accord the country its place in the comity of nations.

Speaking during her confirmation hearing yesterday before the Liberian Senate where she thrilled the senators and on-looking guests, Madam Beysolow Nyanti said under her leadership as Minister of Foreign Affairs, she will not only work towards maintaining the already cordial relationship existing between Liberia and other countries but she strive to improve and upgrade the said relationship and seek new areas of the cooperation that will be rewarding between the countries and others, especially the country where she will ensure that “such cooperation gets the country somewhere for the good of its citizens”

Madam Nyanti who is the third Liberian after former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ambassador Winston Tubman to have reached the level of an Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations said conducting development and humanitarian diplomacy is “not about going to work in the morning to sign papers” and pointed out that she is coming to the table with the tenacity and requisite experience to work for transformation of the country through Foreign Service initiatives.

She indicated that her experience with the international community matters much in rebranding Liberia’s diplomacy and foreign affairs, stating that the Senate should not confirm her because she wants to be a manager or minister of government, but that her confirmation should be on the merit of her experience and capacity to perform.

According to her, “transformation is not what we have seen in Liberia; transformation is what happened out there and how to bring it home – transforming our thinking, transforming our health system, transforming our educational system.”

She said times have changed as everything required for a positive mind set is online, stating that innovation and technology are key to transforming the country.

The Foreign Minister designate, who at several intervals received acknowledgement from the senators because of her brilliant and explosive presentation during the course of the interactive sessions with them, emphasized that things have changed and Liberia must change with the changing global realities, and pointed out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be the agent for this change if confirmed, adding, “this is because the Minister will partner with other ministerial counterparts and other colleagues to bring funding into Liberia of tomorrow.

Towards internalizing her success story from her work with the UN system, she said she intends to embark on a rigorous and result oriented initiative plan with a clear mission and vision to rebrand Liberia and safeguard the country’s identity, adding that she will work hard to ensure ‘a streamlined, informed and transformed Foreign Service, and to strengthen Liberia’s foreign relations with its strategic partners if confirmed to the job.

She also implored the Liberian senate not to confirm her on the basis of the portfolio but on merit. “I don’t want you to confirm me to be a manager, to be a minister; I want you to look at my capacity to be a transformational leader, one who will take the Foreign Ministry to its right position. I served other countries, helping to transform, why not my home country,” she added.

She used the occasion to present her blueprint for her office which included but not limited to the plan, mission and vision about Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the senators which also encompasses strategic foreign relations, rebranding Liberia, safeguarding identity amongst others, promised to ensure that the many challenges confronting the Foreign Ministry are addressed together with the National Legislature, working with Liberia’s Foreign Service practitioners posted and those at home to have a streamlined, informed, transformed.

Amidst the controversies surrounding her academic background and talked about her tough upbringing though a humble person to reference on a little on her academic background, saying she graduated from the college of West Africa(CWA) and then enrolled at the then Cuttington University College, now College University but could not complete studies and have to travel to the United States where she resided some time without permanent status.

She said her first step continuing her education ended with some difficulties arising from pregnancy which she described as “very difficult beginning”. She said she was however able to enroll at the Georgia Medical Institute and became a medical assistant after obtaining her permanent status. She hailed her resilience and the triumph she had over adversities.

“But I sit before you today to tell you that I am a story of trials and adversities.  I am a story of what is possible for every Liberian girl; I am a story of what is possible for every Liberian Child.”

“When I finally got my TPS status in the United States, I was able to attend and complete Georgia Medical Institute to become a registered medical assistant, and I was blessed to have served a doctor who trained me to almost becoming a medical doctor.

Madam Beysolow, who said she will soon receive her doctoral degree and then take on the title of Rev. Dr. Beysolow Nyanti said the profile of triple portfolio of Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Resident Coordinator UN Development System as well as a separate title of a Humanitarian Coordinator is one everyone operating at the director level at the UN dream of.

“Everybody wanted to be an assistant secretary general at the UN. And I say it is a dream because it is truly a very hard dream to achieve.  And in every dream I ever have in my life, I never believe that I could be a Country Representative for a UN agency. I definitely never dream that I could represent the UN Secretary General as a resident coordinator,” she said.

Madam Beysolow Nyanti said the level she reached in the UN was ‘an impossible made possible’ because of the broken pathway and a very difficult beginning she had in reaching to the top.

“My story is not about roses, it’s not one of cherries. It’s after graduation from the [College of West Africa] CWA that I went to Cuttington, and I attended Cuttington and I went to the US.”

She explained that she went to the United States as a very young person without status, going from place to place, entering school and then dropping out of school because of pregnancy which she expressed as ,”very difficult beginning.”

Therefrom she said she gathered medical equipment and supplies and sent them home to Liberia because she wanted to come home.  In Liberia upon her return, she said she met Dr. Peter Coleman who offered her to become special assistant in his office at the Ministry of Health, from where she eventually landed at the National Aids Program due to her past training to work with patients.

At the National AIDs Program, Sara Beysolow Nyanti wrote a proposal to Global Funds, which form the basis of funding to Liberia.

But she clarified to the Senators that the Global Funds which was providing some she name 8 million dollars to Liberia was channeling the money through the United Nations, and that the UN located her to manage the funds, which constituted her entry into the UN.

In that crisis period, Sara the foreign minister designate told the hearing that she worked with her team and we made the name for Liberia, adding that she went to Germany to present a report of what they did with the money enrolled to work with the United Nations system.

As she navigated the system pushing her way up she said she realize that she had to go to school to obtain a higher degree if she should be promoted in the UN System, stating that it was at this time UNESCO listed schools for those of them that wanted to go to school and went to do and completed her Masters level program at the Andrew Jackson University after which she was she was qualified to apply for a fixed time job at the UN

Although she said she started at a junior level, she indicated that her commitment and result-driven orientation made her grow from there.

“To rise in the UN is not about additional degrees, she said, adding that growing in the UN is about delivering results in performance,” Sara Beysolow Nyanti who said out of a group of 126 that went through different circles of assessment, and were narrowed down to 24, sent to England for independent assessment, she succeeded and was posted to a foreign country thereby starting her higher level career in the United Nations circle.

Earlier in her presentation, she expressed gratitude to the Senate for the opportunity afforded her to appear before them.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to sit before you today. It is with a profound sense of honor and humility that I sit here.” She said

She further thanked President Boakai for her nomination. “I am deeply grateful for the trust and confidence placed in me by His Excellency, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, President of the Republic of Liberia, for this significant nomination that I don’t take for granted as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Designate” she added.

  1. Jacob Doe says

    Ensure that Liberia remains an amigo of all friendly peoples, countries, states, nations, etc., but never ever a vassal of any!

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