Ms. Abie Elisabeth Kamara, Focal Point from Sierra Leone, read out opening remarks of H.E. Francis Mustapha Kai-Kai, Minister of Planning and Economic Development and Chair of g7+, at the Senior Official Meeting on 30 November 2021.
H.E Francis M. Kai-Kai, Chair of g7+
The g7+ Senior Official Meeting
30 November, 2021
Excellency, Eminent Person of g7+, Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, General Secretary of g7+ Secretariat, Dr. Helder Da Costa, dear Focal points and representatives from all of g7+ member states.
On behalf of the Chair, I want to start by thanking the g7+ Secretariat, especially the General Secretary for organizing this senior officials’ meeting, as well as the representatives of member states participating in this meeting today.
As we all know, since 2019, senior officials of the of g7+ have not had the opportunity of meeting physically as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Good morning, good afternoon; good evening depending on which part of the world you are joining from. I bring you greetings from the Chair of g7+ Dr Francis Kai-Kai, who could not be here due to logistical reasons. He sends his support and best wishes for a very fruitful meeting.
Thankfully, the world is starting to breathe a sigh of relief, despite recent talks of another wave. We all know that we are in a better position in the fight against the virus now than we were a year ago. We are hopeful that we will soon put this behind us enter a post-pandemic era, thanks to the rapid development of vaccines to curb the virus. When we met virtually last year, our countries were struggling with the spread of the virus that had paralyzed all aspects of our societies. A year later, even though we are not yet out of the woods, conflict affected countries in particular g7+ are starting to look at ways to dealing the secondary impact of the virus that is expected to last even longer. As highlighted in our collective advocacy, the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on our transition toward stability.
Dear Senior Officials of the g7+, despite the added challenges that Covid pandemic has brought upon us, it is gratifying to note that the g7+ group has increasingly been recognized as an influential platform on matters of peace and Statebuilding. The attainment of the Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly and the overwhelming support by Un member states reiterates the relevance of our work and advocacy. The achievements we have made through the years could not have been possible without the collective efforts of our member countries and the untiring efforts of the g7+ secretariat, which has been indispensable in the work of the g7+ family.
Chair would like to particularly thank the Government and people of Timor-Leste for the generous financial and moral support they continue to prove to the organisation. This support has been an invaluable contribution to our noble cause of promoting peace and stability.
As it is often said, the reward of hard work is more work. With the many successes that g7+ has registered in recent years comes the rising expectations on part of our members and our partners. This would mean that we need to double our efforts to deliver on those expectations. The observer status at the UN, for instance, affords us an avenue for engaging on various matters that need our collective inputs at the global level. The increasing incidents of outbreak of violence and crisis make us feel obliged to explore ways to pursue reconciliation and dialogue, promote institutional effectiveness and more effective and impactful engagement with humanitarian, peacebuilding and development actors.
On behalf of the Chair of the g7+, it is my honour to open today’s meeting with two points to bear in mind as we discuss the points highlighted by the General Secretary, Dr. Helder Da Costa:
First: The privilege to have an observer status at the UN equips us with the opportunity to be more assertive in pursuing our collective agenda. It is an avenue that can enable us achieve tangible impacts on decisive debates on issues paramount to our countries. But we need to turn this opportunity into actions that can have positive contribute to achievement of peace and stability in our countries. We therefore need to operationalize our observer status by having our presence at the UN to, among other things, strengthen coordination among member countries.
Second: As an intergovernmental organization, we need to consolidate our membership even further. The progress we have achieved over the years is attributable to the political support we have had from our member states. We therefore need to maintain and further strengthen the political commitment of og7+ countries around the work we do. It is the hope of Chair that the ambition of organizing a High-Level Event at the 77th UN General Assembly will become a reality. And we all must commit to doing so.
Thank you for your attention.