Monrovia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commended the EU for its immense and generous contributions to Liberia’s recovery while saluting the Europeans for their collective efforts in the fight against Ebola.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking on Monday, May 9, 2016 during the celebration Europe Day; historically commemorating Schuman’s Declaration, when 66 years today the farsighted politician advocated the unification of Europe in the aftermath of World War II. She said the Schuman’s Declaration is not only perceived as a founding text of European integration, but also an encouragement for the continued promotion of world peace. The declaration, she added is very inspirational in content: “World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it”. President Sirleaf prevailed on the EU Envoy to convey to His Excellency, Donald F. Tusk, President of European Council, the EU staff, as well as citizens of the European Union in Liberia, warm sentiments and sincere best wishes on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia. Liberia, she recounted the celebration of Europe Day on May 11, 2015, which coincided with the WHO Declaration of Liberia as Ebola-free; a status, she added Liberia maintains despite two brief interruptions. “More importantly, perhaps, we have demonstrated a response capability to address any possible future outbreak” the Liberia Chief Executive noted. The EU, she intimated has continued to be a strong partner to Liberia, working with the administration in support of critical priority areas including, infrastructure, security, human rights, agriculture, energy, and education. She praised the additional broad plan that includes Liberia for completing the West African Coastal Corridor by making available funds for the Sanniquellie – Danane stretch connecting Liberia to Ivory Coast, which according to the Liberian leader supports our regional integration plan. President Sirleaf furthered that the European Union in collaboration with UNDP is also currently providing support to the Inter-Parliamentary Consultative Committee. Liberia she said notes the progress made in the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which aims to ensure that Liberia exports only legal timber products to the EU, and looks forward to series of meetings convened by Liberia-EU VPA Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) to accelerate this initiative. According to President Sirleaf in a few days: “We will again assemble under the auspices of the EU-Liberia - Political Dialogue on May 17 to reassess the achievements and prospects of our partnership. As always, we anticipate that this discussion will be held under an atmosphere of geniality and frankness”. She called for the need to celebrate the dynamic partnership between Liberia and the EU, as we recount the immeasurable benefits to the people of Liberia. “We are aware that the need for continued partnership has never been more desired then now, a need to collaborate on matters of illegal migration, terrorism, CBRN Risk Mitigation, Schengen visa issuance in Liberia and the promotion of a green climate, amongst others” – President Sirleaf stressed. Meanwhile, President Sirleaf conveyed Liberia’s heartfelt best wishes on such notable occasion, to H.E. Mr. Donald F. Tusk, President of the European Council, H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and to assure them of Liberia’s renewed commitment and collaboration in our shared endeavours to reinforce and develop EU-Liberia partnership for our common good. Also speaking, European Union’s Ambassador to Liberia, Tina Intelmann reiterated the EU’s commitment aimed at supporting the government and people of Liberia, adding that such commitment remains strong. She named the government’s Agenda for Transformation, direct budgetary support to the Government of Liberia, contribution to the rehabilitation of the Red-light to Gbarnga Road Project, the Mount Coffee Hydro project as well as support to the Educational and Agricultural sectors as targeted areas of EU support. Ambassador Tina Intelmann pledged the EU’s commitment to continuously work with Liberia in meeting the needs of the Liberian people. “Currently, we are also undertaking the responsibility for the distribution of service lines for the Liberia Electricity Corporation from Mount Coffee to Monrovia and other parts of Liberia, for the purpose of providing the people basic social needs and services”, Ambassador Intelmann indicated. “The European Union is very much committed to cutting down carbon admission. We are in the business of setting aside funding for the purpose of helping Liberia to fight Climate Change as well,” she concluded