Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sirleaf Pushes for More Arab Partnerships

Source: All Africa News
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Sunday October 10, joined more than sixty African and Arab leaders and Heads of Government attending the second Afro-Arab summit, at the official opening session of the Summit in Sirte, Libya, said a presidential dispatch from Sirte, Libya.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was the chair of the first Arab-African summit held in Cairo in 1977, called on Arab and African countries to place as a top priority mutual cooperation, within the framework of Arab League (AL) and African Union (AU).

Mubarak noted that Africa and Arab countries need to work together to address the common challenges confronting them. He stressed food crisis, climate change, energy price fluctuations, deterioration of economic environment for developing countries and bloody clashes in some regions as some of the challenges that must be confronted.

The dispatch said the Egyptian President also lauded efforts by the Arab League and the African Union’s effort to make a new Arab-African Partnership Strategy. "We have lost some chances in the past few years, now we have to seize the opportunity to broaden our cooperation," the Mubarak added.

Also addressing the summit, Libyan leader Moaummer Kaddafi said there were natural links between the Africans and Arabs in history, religion, geography, and races. He therefore, called for the establishment of a closer Arab-African community.

“We are forced to be united, no single countries can face the challenges alone,” he said.

Libya, he said, would invest about 90 billion U.S. dollars into the African countries through Libyan banks. He however did not say what would be the qualifying conditions for the loans.

President of Gabon, Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba, on behalf of the African Union President Bingu Wa Mutharika, called upon Arab and Africa countries to strengthen cooperation in all fields.

“The African people fully support the Palestinian people and their just cause,” Bongo said.

The Arab-African summit discussed several draft documents, including the draft strategy for Arab-African partnership, the draft Plan of Joint Arab-African Action (2011-2016) and the draft Sirte Declaration.

The foreign ministers of Arab and African countries in their meeting, last Saturday, drafted the strategy, which was based on the achievements of the first summit hosted by Egypt as a means to revive and promote Arab-African cooperation in the midst of regional and international challenges.

The strategy is a framework to guide the course and content of the joint African-Arab action in political, economic, social, and cultural areas.

It aims to help African and Arab countries, especially the least developed, to accelerate the pace of sustainable development in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Meanwhile, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held discussions with the Prime Minister of Libya Dr. El Baghadadi Ali Mahmudi.

The two leaders reviewed Libyan investment in Liberia, particularly investment in agriculture and infrastructure.

President Johnson Sirleaf and the Libyan Prime Minister agreed that there was a need to speed up the implementation of the projects, particularly the renovation of the Ducor Intercontinental Hotel.

The Liberian leader also held discussions with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

During the discussions, she emphasized the need for more economic partnership between Liberia and the Gulf States, which include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

Saturday’s discussions were a follow-up to talks between the two leaders in Qatar last year.

In other presidential news, the dispatch said the Liberian leader, last Thursday, held discussions with President Kaddafi on ongoing collaborations between the two countries and ways of enhancing and further strengthening economic and political cooperation.

The Africa-Arab Summit, held under the theme, “Afro-Arab Cooperation: Towards a Strategic Partnership,” focused on four key priority areas: politics, peace and security cooperation, economic and financial cooperation, agriculture and food security development and social cooperation.

The summit adopted a new Plan of Action, which replaced the ‘Declaration and Program of Action on Afro-Arab Cooperation,’ adopted by the first Afro-Arab Summit held in Cairo, Egypt from 7-9 of March 1977.

African and Arab leaders met then as blocs, representing the Arab League and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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