Speaking with One Voice

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reassured the Ambassadors of African states assigned to the United Nations that the continent is ready to speak with one voice during negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The President told the Ambassadors, known as African Union (AU) Member States’ Permanent Representatives, that it is now time that the continent begin to speak with one voice, through a consultative process, especially as the world embarks on formulating a successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)-which will soon be going through a negotiation process.

She made the assertion, according to a dispatch from New York, when she held discussions with Permanent Representatives of the AU Member States early this week. 

President Sirleaf currently chairs the High Level Committee (HLC) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Her appointment came after serving as one of the three Co-Chairs of Post 2015 Development Agenda. The Co-Chairs included, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

 President Sirleaf observed that African leaders are very pleased with the consultations leading to the adoption of the African Common Position (ACP), which she attributed to a broad consultative process.

The Ambassadors of South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, in remarks earlier, according to the dispatch, while expressing appreciation to President Sirleaf for her leadership role in negotiating Africa’s Common Position, appealed to the AU through the Chair of the HLC to continue to press forward and ensure that Africa’s concerns are reflected in the global economic agenda.

They also reminded the President that financing was key to the realization of the “ambitious plans” being reflected in Post-2015 Development Agenda and argued that the ACP contains a sound foundation in achieving economic prosperity for Africa.

Responding, President Sirleaf indicated that the most critical component of the discussion has to do with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She pointed out that infrastructural development and trade terms are issues that must be taken into account in order to ensure that Africa gets a better deal for its natural resources.

 She said regional intervention ensured that the 10-year peace was not wasted and revealed that at present, there is no known case of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia.

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