MRU Holds 13th TCAF Meeting -As Liberia Reaffirms Commitment to Regional Peace, Democracy

By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.

The Mano River Union (MRU) has begun its 13th Technical Commission on Administration and Finance meeting in Monrovia with delegates drawn from the four MRU countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and host Liberia to discuss the way forward for the sub-regional organization.

In her opening remarks, the Secretary General of the Mano River Union, Ambassador Madina A. Wesseh said the Technical Commission on Finance and Administration has gathered following a meeting in June of this year which was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone to review and assess the finance and administrative activities of the Secretariat.

Ambassador Wesseh indicated that as per the mandate of the Secretariat and the terms of reference of the extraordinary technical commission on Administration and Finance, the body is to examine specific issues of sub regional interest and emerging issues in the Mano River Union space.

According to her, the MRU Secretariat has engaged and is in the process of further engaging all major international and regional stakeholders to ensure the people of Guinea return to constitutional rule in the shortest possible time. She added that the people of Guinea and the sub region need predictable and stable governance processes to ensure peace and stability in order to carry on their socio-economic development process.

“In our last meeting you reached a clear understanding as to the pedigree of personnel required at the leadership, we have completed one full term of our stewardship which we assumed in June 2017” Amb. Wesseh averred.

Ambassador Wesseh further noted that MRU is a professional inter-governmental organization, adding that the work of the Secretariat is clear and functions of the various departments are also clear.

For his part, Deputy Advisor for Program and Policy in the office of the Minister of Finance of Liberia, Nicholas Johnson, speaking on behalf of the Liberian delegation reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment to regional peace and democracy.

Mr. Johnson said Liberia stands with Guinea in whatever way that will foster and strengthen democracy like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Mano River Union with the hope that God will guide the people of Guinea and carry them through a smooth transition.

He noted that it is the hope of the Liberian delegation that the Union will focus on larger concerns on peace and stability of member’s countries.

He indicated that looking back to the previous Technical Commission on Administration and Finance meeting held in June in Freetown, Sierra Leone, there were numerous administrative challenges bordering on lack of cooperation and respect to the office of the Secretary General by the Deputy Secretary General for Administration and Finance.

Johnson added that considering those experiences, it is important that the 13th TCAF gathering will see an improvement in the coordination and cooperation among key administrators of the MRU secretariat.

Meanwhile, the head of Sierra Leonean delegation, Peter Sam Kpakra said there are numerous different problems in the Union which need to be addressed for the forward match of Mano River Union.

Mr. Kpakra said there is no progress in the Union and with that, the Secretariat cannot move forward. “Let look at ourselves as brothers and sisters, that’s the only way we can work together for the common good of our member states”, he said.

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