The Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN, Ambassador Alhaji Fanday Turay, has on Thursday, 15 May 2023 participated in the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) briefing for candidates’ countries running on a clean slate. 

Ambassador Turay Shares Sierra Leone’s UN Security Council Priorities in the WFUNA organized 2023 Election Briefing.

in his opening remarks, Ambassador Turay thanked the organizers, the distinguished representatives of member States for joining the briefing, their commitment and support to Sierra Leone’s candidacy which is not taken for granted.

In expressing his delight to have been invited to highlight and expand on Sierra Leone’s priorities and goals it hopes to achieve during its tenure in the Security Council, he importantly informed that Sierra Leone is running with the support of not only the sub-regional organisation, ECOWAS, but also with the support of the whole African continent as an endorsed candidate of the African Union.

“It is historic, that fifty plus years after our 1970-1971 tenure on the Security Council, Sierra Leone is once again presenting its candidature for a seat in the non-permanent category of the UNSC for the period 2024-2025. Those two unforgettable years of Sierra Leone’s tenure in the Council from 1970 to 1971, served as bold footprints that continue to define our nation’s commitment to its international obligations and its unflinching support for a multilateral rules-based order to advance and sustain global peace and security,” he noted.

Ambassador Turay reiterated that Sierra Leone’s candidacy is anchored on the theme: “Partnership, Multilateralism and Representative Approach to Sustained Global Peace and Security”. It is the firm desire that the endeavour will significantly position Sierra Leone not only to share lessons and experiences but also develop tangible networks and alliances that will enhance the maintenance of international peace and security. Sierra Leone’s vision for a sustained global peace and security is inspired by seven priorities, rooted in its firm commitment to international cooperation based on a multilateral rules-based order and a reformed Security Council that provides for equitable representation across all regions of the world.”

Ambassador Turay shared that Sierra Leone’s primary aim is to instill the principle of Partnership and Representation to Maintain Peace and Security. Sierra Leone fully acknowledges the primary role of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security and believes the intervention of Security Council in conflict prevention and in conflict situations should be decisive and timely. This is inextricably intertwined with the second of our priorities which is enhancing peacemaking and peacekeeping.

The efficacy of using the instruments of peacemaking and peacekeeping in maintaining international peace and security through preventive diplomacy is best illustrated in the context of Sierra Leone’s experience in ending its civil war some 20 years ago.

While Sierra Leone’s pre-civil war history is associated with a strong conviction of contributing troops to restore peace to countries in conflict, the huge international effort at mobilizing troops and the necessary diplomatic engagement to bring the civil war in Sierra Leone to a conclusive closure remains an enduring impetus to be responsive to the needs of peace, mediation and troop contribution to United Nations and other regional and subregional peace operations.

Sierra Leone’s quest for a non-Permanent seat in the Security Council is to effectively strengthen its commitment to peacemaking and peacekeeping operations.

As a nation, Sierra Leone has always played its part as a responsible member of the international community, and at various times, Sierra Leone has proudly contributed troops and police to peace support operations so that others might enjoy peace and security. Sierra Leone can today proudly acclaim credentials as a successful model of peacebuilding and post-war state reconstruction. Sierra Leone owes it to the global family of nations to share experience and lessons in peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

The other priorities for Sierra Leone during its tenure in the Security Council include ensuring that the UN is effectively able to maintain peace, safeguard human rights and pursue a culture of accountability; recognizing the merit in the global call for the full and equal ownership, meaningful participation and representation of women and youth at all levels in peace processes and security engagements,  thus prioritizing the broader role of women and youth in the pursuit of global peace and security.

Sierra Leone firmly believes that acts of terrorism, resurging violent extremism and climate change continue to threaten global peace and security. Counterterrorism response must be universal, collaborative, and coordinated.

Furthermore, robust engagement on the nexus between the climate and security is an imperative, duly recognizing climate change as a threat to global peace and security. Additionally, Sierra Leone will also spotlight and continue to build support for the work to eradicate small arms which fuel armed conflicts and crime.

Ambassador Turay went on to say,  “It would be counter-intuitive on our part if reforming the Security Council was not an integral priority in our bid for a non-Permanent seat in the Council. As the Coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten on the reform of the UN Security Council, Sierra Leone fully reiterates its commitment to the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform. In this regard, Sierra Leone will continue to canvass support for the Common African Position as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration and build consensus that is in accord with the UN General Assembly Decision 62/557.”

Sierra Leone as a non-Permanent member of the Security Council will work to enhance the working methods and reporting obligations of the Security Council to foster efficiency, transparency, and accountability. A comprehensive reform of the United Nations System, in particular the Security Council, which will significantly contribute to upholding the principles, objectives and ideals of the UN Charter for a fairer world, based on universalism, equity and regional balance.

In closing, Ambassador Turay once again thanked Member States and Civil Society Organizations for their questions and comments which have enriched the session. He said “A seat in the non-Permanent category of the UN Security Council would give Sierra Leone the unique opportunity to effectively share our success story as a nation of resilience, hope, and a society that successfully transitioned from war to peace working in partnership with the United Nations. A country no longer defined by its past, but a beacon of hope. A country for Human Capital Development and human security.”

He finally thanked President Bio for the confidence reposed in him to coordinate Sierra Leone’s Security Council bid in New York, Foreign Minister for his leadership and support of his team, and also to his Deputy Permanent Representatives and the Mission in New York for their commendable efforts in ensuring that Sierra Leone runs a viable campaign as was presented by the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York on the 15th May, 2023.