Welcome message from the Chair

Dear readers, welcome to the first edition of our 2020 newsletter. This being the first for the year, I would like to renew my best wish- es to all our member states and the international community for the year ahead of us. The last edition of the Newsletter featured the suc- cessful 5th Ministerial Meeting of the g7+ that took place in Lisbon. As the first quarter of 2020 is well underway, I am gratified that we are building on the momentum we generated at the end of 2019.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to g7+ member states and other member states of the United Nations (UN) for the support and co-sponsoring of the g7+ application that led to the attaining of the UN observer Status on 18 December 2019. This status has energised us to intensify our efforts and continue to work together at the UN in advancing the course of sustaining peace, stability and development in our countries. I entreat us all to work together with the Secretariat in operationalising this Status, and further amplifying our collective voice at the international level.

Let me use this opportunity to commend the member of Sao Tome e Principe and my own country Sierra Leone, for ratifying the g7+ charter. I hope other member states would follow soon. On behalf of g7+, let me congratu- late Togo for organising peaceful and successful election.

We hope that the peace agreement signed between the United and the Taliban will help to end the war in Afghanistan. In the same vein, I would like to extend hearty congratulation to the people of South Sudan for peacefully forming a unity govern- ment and wish them a stable and prosperous future. We hope that the presidential election in Burundi, Central African Re- public and Somalia scheduled for this year are held peacefully and successfully. The planned drawdown of the UN Mission in Guinea-Bissau at the end of December 2020 offers an oppor- tunity for the g7+ to support Guinea-Bissau by sharing experi- ences of the successful UN transition process in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste. The g7+ leadership wishes to reaffirm its commitment to support- ing our member states in the course of building and sustain- ing peace and reconciliation to foster national cohesion and development in our countries. We hope this newsletter will set the pace for achieving our collective aspirations for 2020.

Francis Mustapha Kai-Kai, Minister of Planning and Economic Development of Sierra Leone and Chair of the g7+.



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