Wednesday, March 5, 2014: The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon Tuesday evening made a brief stop in Liberia en- route to Freetown, Sierra Leone on his way to attend the official closing ceremonies of the UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNAMSIL) in that neighboring country, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press statement.
During his one-hour transit at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), the UN Boss was officially welcomed by the Liberian Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, accompanied by outgoing Chief of Protocol Ambassador Elijah Seah and incoming Chief of Protocol Rufus D. Neufville. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Rule of Law, Mr.Tamrat Samuel, was also on hand to receive his boss.
Hon. Haratio Bobby Willie, Assistant Minister / Public Affairs whose office released the statement said Foreign Minister Ngafuan, on behalf of the Liberian Government, expressed gratitude to the UN through Mr. Ban for the positive role it has played and continues to play in Liberia’s transition from war to peace and economic recovery. He commended the Secretary General for UNMIL’s presence and noted that Liberians everywhere are appreciative of the enormous contribution UNMIL has made to the peace and stability of the country.
For his part, the UN Boss expressed his appreciation for the warm reception accorded him and lauded the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led government for the level of progress Liberia has made in its recovery program.
The visiting UN Boss also spoke with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by phone from the Roberts International Airport during which time the two leaders discussed global, continental and Liberia specific issues.
Mr.Ban expressed optimism that UN-Liberia relations will continue to improve, while assuring Liberia of the UN’s continuous support.