UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on Wednesday, told the media in Sierra Leone that Sierra Leone represents one of the world’s most successful cases of post conflict recovery, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Ban said that the international community stayed the course through the challenging process of keeping, consolidating and building peace.
He urged other countries now turn by war to draw hope from Sierra Leone’s inspiring example of the power of international solidarity and national resolve to overcome even the most brutal conflicts.
He said the transition from the UN Integrated Peace-building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), a political mission to a more development focused UN presence, testified to the determination of the Sierra Leonean people to put the war behind them.
He described his meeting with President Koroma as “constructive”, noting that the cooperation between the UN and Sierra Leone would continue.
Responding to a question on the Ukraine crisis, Ban informed the media that he had been engaged with world leaders including Russian President Putin and German leader Angela Mekel on the seriousness of the Ukraine problem.
He noted that the problem in Ukraine had global implications and urged both countries to sit together and engage in what he described as constructive and direct dialogue to resolve the issue.
In welcoming the Secretary General, President Koroma described the visit as historic as all Sierra Leoneans would feel proud of the transition taking place.
He said it had been a successful story for both the country and the UN for their support.
He added that the country had collapsed, including the infrastructure but with the help of the UN the country had been able to cope with the situation.
“The country witnessed the end of the war, introduced good governance, conducted successful elections and can now boast of sending peace keeping troops to Darfur, South Sudan to name a few.
“We do not only move from war to peace but have peacekeepers in foreign countries.
“This is pay-back tim,’’ Koroma stressed.
He, however, spoke of the challenges, including youth unemployment and women’s issues, noting that he welcomed the new engagement with the UN that would be focused on “good governance”.