As we mark the 76th UN Day, let us continue to work hand-in-hand to live up to the promise and hope of the United Nations
Honourable Ministers of the Government of Sierra Leone,
The Dean and Esteemed Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Development Partners, civil society and the private sector,
Colleagues from UN of Agencies, Funds and Programmes,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Five years ago, at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, then Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon reminded us that while national flags are a mark of pride and patriotism in every country, there is only one flag that belongs to us all - the blue flag of the United Nations.
The United Nations flag is a hallmark of the UN Charter agreed 76 years ago— peace, development, human rights, and opportunity for all. Throughout the world, the blue flag brings a fresh lease of life for those in need of food and shelter after been driven from their homes. The blue flag renews confidence to the downtrodden. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations flag symbolises life-saving response—to provide vaccines to everyone across the world.
Here in Sierra Leone, the United Nations Country Team has worked together with partners, particularly the Government of Sierra Leone to not only respond to the pandemic, but to ensure that development work continues to be implemented. Through the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, we have ensured timely and sustainable response to the impact of the pandemic and supported the Government in its development ambitions as outlined by the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
While we are gathered here tonight to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the UN, the enormity of the task at hand calls for us to remind ourselves that with less than nine years left to achieve the SDGs, there is an urgent need to step up action. Realising the SDGs in any country requires a whole-of-society approach built on partnerships. The only way forward is through solidarity.
Therefore, on behalf of the United Nations, I would like to thank the Government of Sierra Leone for providing leadership for the COVID-19 response, while ensuring that we build back better from its impact. To our direct partners, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, thank you for the productive collaboration and continued partnership. I commend the tireless men and women, particularly the front-liners who have staked their lives to ensure that the rest of us are safe, protected, and healthy.
I would also like to thank our development partners, that relentlessly supported Government efforts, ensuring that no one is left behind in our development interventions. Thank you for your continued support—financially and technically, in striving towards the realisation of Sierra Leone’s vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2035.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, UN Heads of Agencies, Funds and Programmes and all UN staff who continue to uphold the core values of the United Nations in all facets of their work.
As we mark the 76th UN Day, let us continue to work hand-in-hand to live up to the promise and hope of the United Nations; that is -
To promote peace and social cohesion;
To protect our environment and mitigate the effects of climate change;
To heal our planet;
To uphold the dignity of one and all, and
To leave no one behind.
Thank you very much.