President Weah Virtually Briefs UNGA on Liberia’s Progress Against COVID, Poverty
Monrovia, Liberia – The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, says Liberia’s strides against the deadly COVID-19 and poverty are strong and progressive despite mounting challenges facing his Government.
The President said the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP) which specifically targets longstanding socioeconomic deficits of the country has also developed a Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan intended to reduce the debilitating impact of the pandemic.
“Under the Economic Recovery Plan, the Liberian economy is already beginning to show signs of resurgence, and in spite of the negative impact of the coronavirus, projections for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is now positive and is expected to reach four percent (4%) in the coming year,” the Liberian Chief Executive said Thursday, September 23, 2021, in a statement to the ongoing 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Dr. Weah asserted that through the implementation of difficult macroeconomic reforms, his Government has been able to obtain a substantial increase in domestic revenue generation for the first time in more than a decade, “and we are committed to broader economic and investment climate reforms”.
“In the agriculture sector, for example, my Government is endeavoring to vigorously launch agricultural promotion projects, which will increase agricultural production through new entrepreneurship opportunities, innovations, and safe farming techniques.”
Conscious of the importance and impact of infrastructure on social and economic development, as enshrined in the PAPD, the Liberian Leader told the United Nations General Assembly that his Government has identified investment in roads; energy, and ports as key priority areas.
“I am pleased and honored to address this Seventy-sixth (76th) Session of the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia,” he added. “I want to use this occasion to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Shahid on his election as President of the Seventy-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and avail to him Liberia’s fullest support in the fulfillment of his duties and responsibilities.”
Tacking COVID, Other Challenges
President Weah acknowledged a horde of negative socio-economic impacts and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic which, according to him, “remind us of the measure of work that is required at the global and national level to combat this pestilence.”
Taking a cue from the theme for this 76th Session, which is “Building resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations,” Dr. Weah opined that the theme is a clarion call to all peoples of all nations, that as they try to re-build their COVID-impeded economies.”
He was quick to draw attention to what must be done by nations in a sustainable manner that will take due account of the environment, have regard for fundamental human rights which are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
He paid a heartfelt tribute to the courageous and dedicated public health workers around the world for their continued selfless service in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Liberian Leader recalled that six years ago, the United Nations General Assembly took a giant step forward to promote the economic and social advancement of all peoples and to better their standards of living when it adopted the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“This was meant to be a global plan of action; for people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership; with the goal of eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions,” President Weah asserted, adding that “since our transition to the Decade of Action for the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, the world has been engulfed by a global pandemic which has posed enormous strains on our capacity to implement the 2030 Agenda, and has even raised the possibility of reversing development gains.”
President Weah used the occasion to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Volkan Bozkir for his distinguished stewardship in steering the affairs of the 75th Session of the General Assembly.
He also lauded His Excellency, Mr. António Guterres, on his election for a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations, which begins on January 1, 2022.
“Permit me, on behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia, to extend deep appreciation to all our bilateral, multilateral, development, regional, sub-regional, national and local partners; for their support in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the assistance they continue to provide in our quest towards recovery,” the Liberian Leader said further.