EJS On Climate Crisis -Delivers Opening Remarks at High-Level UN Forum In Nairobi

MONROVIA – Liberia’s former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf must have parted ways with national politics and domestic developments five years ago, but neither her advanced age nor her private citizenship has stopped her from being the revered international civil servant she is. She continues to raise the Liberian flag high in the comity of nations, making intercontinental shuttles here and there in response to calls to share her wisdom and guide one global idea or another for the sake of humanity. Once again, as Chair of the High Level Advisory Board or HLAB of the United Nations, the first African female head of state is in the East African nation of Kenya hosting a panel discussion on multiple challenges facing the world, including vexing climate change. She delivered the opening remarks, as The Analyst reports.

Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been rallying the international community to move with much exigency in meeting the dire challenges posed by climate change and other world disorders.

In her opening remarks at the forum organized by the High Level Advisory Board of the United Nations, Madam Sirleaf told participants that the focus on the assembly was on climate and environmental crises or “the triple planetary crisis, peace and security, gender equity, the global financial architecture and digital empowerment and digital governance”.

“One of our guiding principles is the reduction of inequalities,” the World Health Organization Ambassador said further. “Our task is to come up with bold and implementable recommendations in those areas. We are eager, therefore, to listen to the discussants and other interveners in the next two hours.”

She said she was assured that “we will  leave Kenya with renewed enthusiasm and energy for our work and hope that the report we will submit will offer some possible fast track and equitable paths towards a better future for all, particularly youth and future generations”.

Earlier in her opening remarks, Madam Sirleaf welcomed participants, “in particular the presence of Ambassador Mohamed Thiaw, Special Representative of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chair of the African Union.

“Our warm thanks to all the discussants for taking the time out of their busy schedules to be here with us today.”

She added: “My Co-chair, PM Stefan, and I are both delighted to be here in Nairobi and in the heart of the United Nations in Africa. We are grateful to the Government of Kenya for extending a warm welcome and courtesies to us and to the UN system, particularly the tireless staff of the Director General’ s Office. We appreciate the many hours spent on assisting us with the organization of this meeting.”

She expressed the belief that it was very fitting “we are having our third and possibly next to last in person meeting here in Kenya, as it is a microcosm of efforts to work towards a more networked, inclusive and effective multilateralism. The UN has in Nairobi its only UN headquarters in Africa and the global South, with UNEP and UN Habitat here”.

According to Madam Sirleaf, the Government of Kenya  has also demonstrated their own commitment to multilateralism in many ways, particularly in the search for lasting peace in the Horn of Africa, on the African continent and globally. His Excellency William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya,  in his first address to the General Assembly, recommitted to that critical role, as well as sounding the alarm on the climate and environment crises – the dire situation of the planet and its people. He spoke of the severe impact of these crises in Northern Kenya in particular and re-echoed the call of the UN Secretary-General to take immediate and high priority actions.

It can be recalled that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left Liberia Saturday morning for a UN High level meeting in Nairobi, Kenya where she is now for a few days then back to the US for a wedding, funeral and my birthday.

Just following her departure on Saturday, October 15, 2022, on Sunday, October 16, 2022, rumors spread on social media that she left the country for emergency medical. The former President told the Analyst in a telephone conversation that “Just don’t know why people do not understand that while I am committed to my work at home, I am an international person and will always be in and out of country”.

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