Liberia was on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, overwhelmingly elected as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to serve a three-year term; beginning January 1, 2021, and ending on December 31, 2023.
Liberia’s election to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) followed its endorsement by the African Group of fifty-four Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in December 2019, when Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., served as Chair of the African Group for the month of December 2019; and comes thirty (30) years after Liberia last served on the council.
In a statement welcoming Liberia’s election to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Kemayah described the election as a monumental achievement, which he “humbly appreciates.”
“Out of the 193 Member States of the United Nations, 192 participated in the elections; and out of that number 190 countries voted for the Republic of Liberia as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),” Ambassador Kemayah said.
“We are humbly and incredibly pleased and honored that the Administration of His Excellency President Weah ended the nearly thirty years of membership drought of the Republic of Liberia on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),” Ambassador Kemayah said.
As a founding member of the United Nations, Ambassador Kemayah stressed that it was important that Liberia continues to make meaningful contributions to the work of the United Nations, the world’s largest inter-governmental organization. “We must continue to rise to the test of times as the United Nations is the World’s Largest Platform and Theater for discussions and decisions on global political, social, economic, environmental, and sustainable development issues; and the sustainability of global peace and security,” Ambassador Kemayah stressed.
“It is important to state that contrary to the thinking of some people outside of the United Nations, positions occupied by any United Nations Member State, including the Republic of Liberia, either through election or appointment, is absolutely not a free walk in the park; it is absolutely not on a silver platter; it is absolutely not sitting and waiting on the basis that it is my time; it is a country’s time; it is our time. It only becomes your time when you work hard and go for it; when you can win the confidence of your colleagues; beginning with your regional group; in our case, the African Group of Fifty-four (54), the Member States at the United Nations,” Ambassador Kemayah said.
A dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations quotes Ambassador Kemayah as saying that the process leading to Liberia’s elections was also very competitive. “When I announced Liberia’s Candidature in New York, I was advised to withdraw and wait for next time given the interest of many, and the very tight competition and intense support and effort required; but I passionately refused,” Ambassador Kemayah said, adding: “It was an intense effort and experience, which I humbly appreciate. My most profound gratitude to His Excellency President Weah; my appreciation also to Hon. Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia; and my entire Team at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations.”
On behalf of President Weah, Ambassador Kemayah extended appreciation to the United Nations for the confidence it continues to repose in Liberia, evidenced by the selection of the country to serve in different capacities; especially since he took over as Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
“We can humbly recall that prior to the June 17, 2020, election of the Republic of Liberia as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council – ECOSOC – for Three (3) years; the Republic of Liberia also began a Tenure of three years as a Member of the United Nations Committee for Programme and Coordination following Liberia’s election at the 36th Plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York,” Ambassador Kemayah said.
Liberia also currently serves as Vice-President of the United Nations Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for a term of two (2) years following Liberia’s election in June 2019. Liberia successfully served its one-year term as Chair of the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization – Fourth Committee for the Seventy-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly following its election on October 4, 2018; just to name a few.
Established in 1945, the United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six (6) main organs of the United Nations and advances the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social, and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals. The United Nations Economic and Social Council is also tasked with the responsibility to follow-up on major United Nations conferences and summits, linking a diverse family of United Nations entities dedicated to sustainable development, through the provision of overall guidance and coordination.
Each year, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) structures its work around an annual theme of global importance to sustainable development. This ensures focused attention, among ECOSOC’s array of partners, and throughout the United Nations development system.
The Republic of Liberia was elected, along with the United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Nigeria, among others, on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2021-2023.