- 27 May
VP BOAKAI TAKES THE WORLD STAGE AT THE COMPREHENSIVE MID-TERM REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ISTANBUL PROGRAMME OF ACTION (IPoA) FOR LEAST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AS THE FIRST SPEAKER
Friday, May 27, 2016
Antalya, Republic of Turkey
S P E C I A L S T A T E M E N T Delivered By
Honorable Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr.
Vice President of the Republic of Liberia
at the First Plenary Session of the Comprehensive Mid-Term Review of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for Least Developed Countries Hosted by the United Nations. Antalya, Republic of Turkey
The Honorable Chair of this Session,
Esteemed Heads of Delegation,
Partners and Well-wishers,
Our Friends in the Media,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
Greetings from Liberia!
We assemble here this morning to kick off an in-depth review of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action as was mandated by United Nations Resolutions 69/231 and 70/216.
Permit me to register with you–along with my deep personal thanks–the warm greetings from Her Excellency, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in whose stead and at whose behest I address you today.
The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA) that was adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey charts out the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the decade (2011-2020), with a strong focus on developing their productive capacities.
The commitment we all undertook by our accession to the adoption of IPOA was for us to mainstream its provisions into national development plans of LDCs. With that commitment, Liberia immediately got to work to ensure its realization. In 2012, Liberia adopted its first five-year development plan, the Agenda for Transformation and the National Vision 2030.
The Agenda focuses on key pillars including Peace, Justice, Security and Rule of Law; Economic Transformation; Human Development; Governance and Public Institutions; and Cross-Cutting Issues.
The launch of the Agenda for Transformation (AfT) afforded Liberia the opportunity to dissect both Istanbul Programme and Agenda for Transformation. The analysis found the eight programs of action of IPOA to be fully in tandem with the AfT.
One may want to know in more specific terms what Liberia has done for implementation of the IPOA. From the get-go, even before 2011, Liberia was fast at work experimenting with varying development strategies so as to set the nation on the course of sustainable growth and progress. And so Liberia did not establish new institutional framework to coordinate, monitor and report on implementation of IPOA. An organ was already in place.
The Liberia Development Alliance—the institutional framework for coordination, monitoring and reporting the implementation of the AfT was given the added mandate of IPOA coordination, monitoring and reporting. In that case we only added the National Focal Person to provide useful guidance to the process.
I would like to point out that Liberia submitted its first report on the Istanbul Programme of Action in 2012. Further, early this year, the Mid-Term Report was submitted to the Office of the High Representative and Under Secretary General for the United Nations.
Let me quickly share with you the summary of progress and challenges as outlined in that Report.
The twin effects of the Ebola Virus Disease and the declining global commodity prices on the Liberian economy in the medium term have continued to affect the implementation of Agenda for Transformation vis-à-vis the Istanbul Action Plan priorities. Despite the decline in the economic situation, however, Liberia’s commitment to implementing the Plan remains undaunted.
The building of productive capacities through the promotion of light manufacturing and the small and medium sized enterprises particularly in the agriculture sector has been one of the key focus areas of our Government. We have also remained committed to creating the enabling environment for multinational investments and local manufacturing entities to work together in encouraging competitiveness for mutual economic benefit.
The energy and power sectors are of great national priority as Liberia continues to count among countries with the highest tariff per kilowatt hour of electricity in the world.
Much attention is being focused on this sector. Interventions in the sector include generation of electricity and transmission and distribution of power across the country.
The Mount Coffee Hydro Electric Plant, the three Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) and the Cote d’Ivioire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) are the different interventions in the sector to generate more electricity for the population.
The development of major road transport infrastructure is another national priority goal captured within the AfT. Our objective in this regard is to increase accessibility, reduce transport costs (including maintenance of roads and vehicles), improve safety, and enhance road connectivity between all regions of Liberia, especially for the southeastern parts of the country that have lagged behind in terms of access to road infrastructure.
Needless to say, Agriculture is the mainstay of the Liberian economy serving as the largest source of employment for Liberians. The interventions in the sector are geared towards increasing agricultural productivity, value-added and environmental sustainability, increase integration of small-holder agriculture with domestic and international markets and ensure food security for all.
And so with this, Honorable Chairman and Delegates, we come to reaffirm our commitment to this Plan of Action. As a country that is rising from the ashes of prolonged violent civil conflict, and just emerging from the onslaught of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, we still remain committed to achieving our goals and staying the course of sustainable development.
With the resilience of the Liberian people, the support and commitment of our regional and international partners, we are more than confident that success is assured. We are confident that our purposes here and the actions steps we take hereafter will be deliberate, purposeful and productive.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, fellow delegates. God bless us all.