After Nearly Thirty -30 Years, Liberia Elected as Member of UN Economic and Social Council

Ambassador Kemayah Delivering a statement on the election of the Republic of Liberia as a member of the United Nations Economic OF THE UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC and Social Council

(New York, July 2, 2020) The Republic of 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 overwhelming 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, His Excellency 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.

The case, representation, candidature, and election of Liberia as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council was championed by His Excellency Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. and done under his direct and astute leadership as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations pursuant to the vision, guidance,  directive and mandate of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia.

In a statement welcoming Liberia’s election to the United Nations Economic and Social Council,  Ambassador Kemayah described the election as a monumental milestone achievement for the Administration of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia; stressing that it was exceedingly competitive, and an intense effort and experience, which Ambassador Kemayah said he “humbly appreciates”.

Ambassador Kemayah emphasized that he was pleased and honored that the Administration of His Excellency President Weah ended the nearly thirty-year membership drought of the Republic of Liberia on the United Nations Economic and Social Council and dedicated the election to the “fullest honor” of His Excellency President Weah and the Government and People of Liberia; while disclosing that the Country received a near-unanimous vote of the total votes cast by the United Nations Member States.

Said Ambassador Kemayah: “Out of the One Hundred Ninety-three (193) Member States of the United Nations; One Hundred Ninety-two (192) participated in the elections; and out of the One Hundred Ninety-two (192); One Hundred Ninety (190) Countries – almost One Hundred Percent (100%) of the United Nations General Assembly voted for the Republic of Liberia as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 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).  It was exceedingly competitive; especially the process leading to the endorsement of Liberia’s Candidature by the African Group of Fifty-four (54) Member States at the United Nations. It was an intense effort and experience to realize this for Liberia, which I humbly appreciate.  In the premise; with utmost humbleness and pleasure; I hereby dedicate this Colossal Milestone election of the Republic of Liberia as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for Three (3) years to the fullest honor of the Vision Bearer and President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George MannehWeah, and the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia”.

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 time; 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.

On the process that led to the endorsement and subsequent election of Liberia to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Kemayah explained that it required intense lobbying and negotiation skills, as well as a good professional relationship with colleagues.

Said Ambassador Kemayah: “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) Member States at the United Nations. There is high competition of interest considering the fact that there are One Hundred Ninety-three (193) Member States of the United Nations; as such you have to demonstrate the best of lobbying,  negotiation, ability; skills; diplomacy and sound professional relationship with your colleagues. Consideration of reciprocal bilateral arrangements is also pivotal in the premise. There are countless instances where Countries participated in elections at the United Nations for positions; some won, while some did not. Again, from a modest perspective, this is only intended to give an appreciation of the equal opportunity and democratic electoral process at the United Nations.”

A dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations quotes Ambassador Kemayah as stating 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 on ground that I declared Liberia’s Candidature for Membership on the United Nations Economic and Social Council -ECOSOC based on the vision and directive of His Excellency President Weah and the Government of Liberia. As I stated earlier; it was an intense effort and experience, which I humbly appreciate. To God, The Almighty, be the glory and my profoundest 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.  For me; this is about the Country; this is about the Government and People of Liberia; this is why, I am particularly delighted that Liberia’s overwhelming election as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council -ECOSOC is also Country Specific, and absolutely not based on individual representation; the position as a Member of the Council; is strictly for the Country; and absolutely; not restricted to any particular individual  representation of the Republic of Liberia at any point in time of the Three (3) years of Liberia’s Membership on the United Nations Economic and Social Council -ECOSOC.”

On behalf of His Excellency 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 acknowledge and appreciate from our hearts the continuous confidence being reposed in the Republic of Liberia by the United Nations General Assembly and the African Group of Fifty-four (54) Member States at the United Nations and the United Nations in general by the back – to – back elections of Liberia to different high-level positions of trust at the United Nations; especially, since the nearly Two (2) years of my service up to present as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations in New York.

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 (3) years as a Member of the United Nations Committee for Programme and Coordination following Liberia’s election at the Thirty-sixth -36th Plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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.

It is noteworthy to stress that we humbly recalled a few of these electoral related milestone achievements of the Republic of Liberia at the United Nations under the astute Leadership of His Excellency President Weah; and in my service as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations from a modest standpoint; only as a sign of immense gratitude to the United Nations General Assembly and the African Group of Fifty-four (54) Member States at the United Nations; and the United Nations in general for the record level of confidence being reposed in the Government of His Excellency President Weah and the People of the Republic of Liberia.

The Government of His Excellency President George Manneh Weah reaffirms to the United Nations General Assembly that as is the case with the presence and representation of our Country on other bodies, committees and organs of the United Nations; the Republic of Liberia will indeed, continue to ably justify the confidence reposed in it by its  overwhelming, resounding and nearly unanimous election as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council -ECOSOC”. Ambassador Kemayah expanded.

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 a three (3)-years – 2021-2023.

Ambassador Kemayah expressed that the Administration of His Excellency President Weah considers the terms of reference of the Republic of Liberia as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council as crucial; not only to Liberia, but to the International Community and the World in general. “For Liberia; as is the case with all other Countries on the United Nations Economic and Social Council; this is a remarkable achievement; especially so, fully knowing that the United Nations Economic and Social Council – ECOSOC is one (1) of the Six (6) main organs of the United Nations; established by the United Nations Charter, and  is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals. As all other responsibilities at the levels of local, national, sub-regional, regional and international; respectively; the Administration of His Excellency President Weah considers the terms of reference of the Republic of Liberia as a Member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council as crucial not only to Liberia, but to the International Community and the World in general; especially so as the United Nations Economic and Social Council also  serves as the central mechanism for the activities of the United Nations System and its specialized agencies; such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Development Association (IDA), World Bank Group (WBG), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); just to mention a few; and supervises the subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social, and environmental fields; globally”.

Concluding, Ambassador Kemayah, on behalf of His Excellency President Weah, and the Government and People of Liberia renewed appreciation to the  African Group of Fifty-four (54) Member States at the United Nations. “on behalf of His Excellency President Weah, and the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia; we renew our heartfelt appreciation to the African Group of fifty-four (54) Member States at the United Nations; who in December 2019; endorsed the Republic of Liberia as One (1) of the Candidates for the just-ended June 17, 2020 elections for Members on the United Nations Economic and Social Council; when I then served as Chair for the African Group of Fifty-four (54) Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations for the month of December 2019. In conclusion, on behalf of His Excellency President Weah, and the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia; we reiterate our relentless commitment and support to the full realization of the Mandate and Functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council -ECOSOC”.

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About Cholo Brooks 13374 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.