President Sirleaf Arrives in Malabo

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(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Wednesday, June 25, 2014) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has arrived in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea for the African Union’s 23rd Summit of Heads of State and Government. The Summit runs from June 26 to 27, 2014.

According to a dispatch from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Prime Minister Vicente Ehate Tomi, who received the Liberian leader upon arrival at the Malabo International Airport, on behalf of President Teodore Obiang Ngueman Mbasogo expressed the country’s joy to have the Liberian President attend the AU Summit being hosted by their country.

Prime Minister Tomi hoped that President Sirleaf’s presence at the Summit will add more value to his country being the host; referring to President Sirleaf as an internationally acclaimed African leader whose presence at these international meetings has always claimed the attention of the rest of the world in a positive manner. Prime Minister Tomi spoke through an interpreter.

Responding, President Sirleaf thanked the Government and people of Equatorial Guinea for the rousing welcome and their interest in a united Africa by their level of involvement in the AU.

She hoped that the deliberations and decisions reached at this Summit will go a long way in uniting Africa and improving the lives of its people.

Also on hand to receive President Sirleaf was Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan who briefed her on deliberations at the AU’s 25th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council which include Foreign Ministers of Member States.

Following the airport formalities, President Sirleaf immediately proceeded to chair two sideline meetings: the presentation of the draft report on the Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the progress report on Member States of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

In a brief statement at the presentation of the draft report on the CAP, President Sirleaf called on her colleagues to take seriously the report as it represents the voices of the African people.

She reminded her African compatriots of the low level of consultations during the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) thereby leading to minimum impact on the continent and its people and urged the African leaders to see the CAP as their own - how they envisage their continent after the MDGs expires at the end of 2015.

“As we go around the world meeting other leaders, addressing forums on various issues, we must all ensure that the CAP stands as our Africa Vision,” the Liberian President said, adding that Africa was in a unique position as the continent is the only one that has formulated a common position on how they want their continent to be when the current global agenda comes to an end.

In her capacity as Chairperson on the African Union High Level Committee, the Liberian leader will present a draft report to the 23rd Summit of Heads of State and Government for onward submission to the UN General Assembly in September as Africa’s Common Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Chairing the Forum of Eminent Persons on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), during which progress report was presented to member countries, President Sirleaf called on African leaders to see it as duty to their people including creating an enabling environment for them by living up to the objectives of the APRM.

She said though the presence of leaders at the meeting was a demonstration of commitment to a changed Africa, practical actions were needed to impact the lives of the people of Africa. She used the occasion to praise Ghana, Sierra Leone and Benin for the level of achievement made in their respective countries in keeping with the aims and objectives of the APRM.

“In order to make the mechanism work, we must deepen our commitment to transcend national, regional and linguistic barriers in the spirit of unity and pan-Africanism at all levels of the APRM”, President Sirleaf stressed.

The APRM was established in 2003 by the African Union primarily to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through experience sharing and reinforcement of successful and best practices, including identifying deficiencies and assessment of requirements for capacity building.

“For Liberia,” President Sirleaf said, “the review process is still in its early stages and hoped Liberia will follow the footsteps of these countries that have made progress so far.

“Liberia’s own process is still in its early stages and we look forward to following the footsteps of these countries and ensure our robust governance reform process has much more impact on the lives of the Liberian people as we benefit from the repository of knowledge that comes from the Panel of Eminent Persons,” President Sirleaf noted.