Liberia: Koung Calls for Tangible Actions, Not Rhetoric in Global Cooperation

— Urges South-South stakeholders to act beyond rhetoric; craves enhanced global economic cooperation

Vice President Jeremiah Kpan Koung has emphasized the importance of tangible actions over rhetoric in global cooperation, particularly in South-South partnerships.

In a statement delivered at a two-day Parliamentary Conference on South-south Cooperation in Rabat, Morocco on February 16, 2024, VP Koung told delegates that as the world navigates the economic landscape of the 21st century, it is imperious that South-South cooperation transcends a mere rhetoric and transforms into tangible actions.

“Our focus must shift towards facilitating the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge to promote trade and foster economic cooperation,” Koung said. “In this regard, I urge all Parliamentarians present to spearhead the formulation of a Unified Trade Agreement, aimed at enhancing economic incorporation among our nations. Concrete actions are essential to translate our vision of South-South cooperation into reality and improve the livelihoods of our people.”

According to a dispatch from Rabat, Morocco, Koung urged Parliamentarians to promote economic collaboration through unified trade agreements and highlighted Liberia's commitment to fostering strong political and economic ties with developing nations.

“Liberia, guided by a foreign policy rooted in collaboration and cooperation, has consistently championed the cause of South-South dialogue,” the VP told the Parliamentarians. “We firmly believe that our national interests are best served through collaborations, and we remain committed to forging strong political and economic ties with fellow developing nations.”

Koung highlighted the potential of South-South Cooperation in enhancing political consolidation, peace, and security through initiatives like promoting cross-border trade and reducing trade barriers. He harbors the belief that South-South Cooperation holds immense potential as a catalyst for global peace, security, and economic development.

According to him, this can be done by promoting cross-border investment and trade, reducing transaction costs, eliminating trade barriers, and deepening integration within regions.

He acknowledged the transformative power of such partnerships, citing Liberia as an example. Koung called for inclusive development through new partnerships and coordinated policy actions, emphasizing the importance of trade liberalization and strategic policy alignment for economic prosperity. He commended regional trade agreements and the leadership of Morocco in advancing South-South cooperation while reaffirming Liberia's commitment to driving the collective agenda forward.

The Liberian Vice President noted that Liberia stands as a testament to the transformative power of South-South mechanisms.

Through the support of regional governments during the darkest times, Liberia emerged as a beacon of democracy in Africa, VP Koung said.

“As we confront the challenges of today, we must embrace emerging and non-traditional partners in our quest for economic and social transformation. I call upon global partners and nations from Africa, the Arab world, and Latin America to seize new opportunities and commit to partnerships that promote inclusive development. While trade liberalization remains crucial, we must complement it with coordinated policy actions. This conference presents an opportunity to align our policies and chart a course towards collective economic prosperity,” he added.

Meanwhile, VP Koung has commended the efforts towards regional trade agreements, including the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the Greater Free Trade Area Agreement (GAFTA), and the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA).

He also extended gratitude to the Government and people of Morocco for their leadership in advancing South-South cooperation.

VP Koung further said, “Liberia reaffirms its commitment to this noble cause and calls for concrete policy actions to drive the collective agenda forward. 

South-South cooperation is based on the collective self-reliance of developing countries. It seeks to enable developing countries to play a more active role in international policy and decision-making processes in support of their efforts to achieve sustainable development.