‘Liberia’s Foreign Policy Must Change’

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Montserrado County District # 4 Representative has call for an immediate change in the way the Country’s foreign policy has been crafted; something he termed as “traditional.”

Rep. Henry B. Fahnbulleh noted that the “traditional way” represented the era where Liberia was required to be present, just to be present, because it had certain degree of “status symbol,” that is identified as Africa oldest independent Republic.

“At that time our country was considered as Africa’s oldest independent republic, South of the Sahara and a chartered member that carried some degree of unselfish benefits for the leaders then,” adding  “I can say without any degree of hesitation that Liberia’s foreign policy then gave more but received less.”

He made the assertions on Saturday, May 30, when he served as keynote speaker at the induction ceremony of officers-elect of the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking on the topic: “The Role of Emerging Diplomats in the Economic Diplomacy Agenda of Liberia,” the ruling Unity Party former secretary general, told the gathering that the role of emerging diplomat is actually within the realm of what they are exposed to, naming capacity building with exposure both foreign and domestic and renewed commitment to the country.

According to him, it is important that emerging diplomats acquired wise negotiation skills to influence other nations to look into their country’s direction.

 “Language skills are asset for emerging diplomats because you would have to navigate your way in this highly competitive international environment,” the District #4 Rep. reminded the officers.

He continued, “All nations are pursuing their foreign policy interests and this creates an adversarial international system and thus role of the emerging diplomats is to acquire critical conflict resolutions and management skills.”

Interestingly, he said, development diplomacy inculcates economic policy issues wherein countries tackle the outside world to maximize their national gains in all field of activity including trade, investment and other forms of economically beneficial exchanges.

Rep.Fahnbulleh stressed that trade and commerce, profound economic skills, as well as, foreign policy skills, which he said, are actually tools to prepare as development diplomats.

Also speaking, Ambassador George W. Wallace, a long-serving Amb. in the nation’s Foreign Service, urged the officials to live exemplary lives and always keep themselves above reproach.

“This institute,” Wallace said, “is a famous school where people are trained as diplomats to serve as Ambassadors around the world.”

“Liberia is represented around the world and those who come to the institute are compared to work in all departments of the Ministry before leaving to serve the country out there,” the careered diplomat told the gathering.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Talifa Roger Suah, president of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) encouraged his comrades by saying, “there is nothing great in one’s life to better prepare him or herself to serve his or her country with distinction, but to receive national honors for the services rendered to the country.”

The FSI president explained that the role of a diplomat is more or like that of building cross-continental bridges that links people to markets, ports, and financial prospects with the aim of ensuring economic growth and sustainable development.

“Diplomats will continue to be more relevant in our contemporary society as globalization being the order of the day,” adding “countries cannot divorce the idea of interdependency, while protecting vital and national interests. We will always be at the forefront of promoting the image of our country.

He, however, called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to design internship program, which, according to him, would better prepared them for the service.

The inductees were Talifa Roger Suah, President of the Institute, Paula L. McBorrough, Vice President and Julius Kanubah, General Secretary. Other includes, Deddeh Tokpa, Financial Secretary, Theresa N. Perwehn, Treasurer and Alfreda B. Sambolah, Chaplain.

The program was also attended by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghanaian Ambassador, Cameroonian Ambassador, and Minister of Education with host of diplomats accredited to Liberia.

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