In a well-attended virtual meeting of the African Member States of the United Nations (the African Group), Sierra Leone’s outgoing Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Dr. Alie Kabba was resoundingly extolled by his counterparts.
In recognizing the stellar leadership of Ambassador Kabba, his earnest and firm commitment towards the promotion of the African interest, members of the African Group in New York delivered goodwill messages, noting his relentless service and steadfastness in projecting an inclusive African agenda at the United Nations during his term as Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone.
Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives from various African Member States presented their kind compliments to Ambassador Kabba, describing him, inter alia, as a true representative of Africa and as a champion on issues relevant to the achievement of African aspirations, particularly on the issue of Security Council reform.
The Chair of the African Group for the month of August 2021, His Excellency Taye Atskeselassie Amde, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, stated that Ambassador Kabba’s role at the UN “was not only for his country but that of the African continent as a whole. Sierra Leone gave us the finest diplomat”.
Her Excellency Sophia Tesfamariam Yohannes, Permanent Representative of Eritrea, said Ambassador Kabba is a brother, friend and confidant. “I have enjoyed our moment and our discussions since I came to New York. I want to wish him the very best wherever he goes and congratulate him for all he did for us at the C-10,” she said.
His Excellency Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea, said it is a sad moment to bid farewell to Ambassador Kabba. He noted that, as a member of C10, Ambassador Kabba has been very instrumental in coordinating the activities and providing astute leadership. “We want to extend our sincere appreciation for the leadership he has played as coordinator of C-10. We are very proud. Sierra Leone has been very outstanding and wonderful in coordinating the C10,” he noted.
Dr. Kabba had consistently reiterated the Common African Position which calls for two Permanent seats for Africa in the Security Council with all the rights and prerogatives of current members, including the right of veto, and two additional non-Permanent seats, predicated on ensuring equitable representation on the Security Council and to have an equal say in decision-making on issues of international peace and security, in particular, matters that affect the African continent.
It may be recalled that in this 75th session of the General Assembly, during the intergovernmental negotiations (IGN) on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council, the General Assembly for the first time recorded as a convergence “the wide recognition and broad support by Member States for the legitimate aspiration of Africa to play its rightful role on the global stage, including through an increased presence in the Security Council, as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus adopted by the African Union,” and the accurate reflection of the view that “Redressing the historical injustice against Africa is viewed as a priority”.
Ambassador Kabba was also lauded for his leadership role on gender equality. The African Ambassadors applauded him for his commendable leadership as President of the UN-Women Executive Board in advancing gender equality and the rights of women and girls as critical elements to attaining the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs currently serving as Chargé d’ Affaires ad interim at the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the UN, H.E. Dr. Michael Imran Kanu, in his brief remarks thanked the Chair of the African Group for convening the meeting and adding the farewell agenda item, creating an opportunity for the African Group to bid farewell to Ambassador Kabba. He said the Government and people of Sierra Leone remain grateful to Ambassador Kabba for his tireless efforts and deep commitment to the African agenda, typified by his exemplary leadership, dedication and passion in the work of the Mission of Sierra Leone, including his accomplishments in executing the mandate of the C-10. He further applauded Ambassador Kabba for his commendable leadership as President of UN-Women Executive Board.
Ambassador Kanu used the opportunity to convey, on behalf of the Mission of Sierra Leone, profound gratitude to the African Group for the well wishes and for paying a well-deserved tribute to Ambassador Kabba, noting in particular the support and cooperation accorded him which immensely contributed to the effective delivery of his mandate in New York.
In response, Ambassador Kabba thanked the African Group and reiterated his firm commitment to uphold and promote the fundamental aspirations of Africa.
By Mohamed Massaquoi
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations