Gambian President Adama Barrow at his maiden speech at the United Nations’ 72nd General Assembly in New York, has restored Gambia’s international battered image to its rightful position at the world body. Addressing the General Assembly on Tuesday September 19th, 2017 the President thank the United Nations, the ECOWAS and other International partners for the critical role they all played during Gambia’s transition crisis after the December 2016 controversial elections. He expressed great appreciation for the warm welcome him and his delegations has received at the UN.
President Barrow also expressed regret in Gambia’s isolation from the rest of the world during the last two decades due to what he referred to as “bad policy decisions”. He pledged to the International body that Gambia though small is back and will fully restore its relationship and International obligations to the rest of world especially its development partners. He touched on critical global issues such as terrorism, the Middle East Crisis in particular the crisis between Israel and Palestine. He called on the United Nations to pursue the two state solution in addressing the crisis expressing optimism that if pursued the two state solution will lead to lasting peace between the two states.
President Barrow also hailed the United Nations for its global role in addressing global issues through diplomatic means and peaceful settlement of conflicts. He emphasized on Gambia’s commitment to One China Policy calling the People’s Republic of China as the sole representative of the people of China. The China/Taiwan policy has been an issue that Gambia’s former President played to get benefits from Taiwan – many referred to as “check book diplomacy”.
Mr. Barrow also touched on some of the challenges the Gambia and Africa are facing in general. He said Africa will continue to advocate for United Nations’ reforms that will accord the African continent a prominent role in the United Nations. He pledged to continue to build a stronger relationship with Gambia’s regional neighbors to ensure that regional issues are addressed diplomatically. He underscored some of the major challenges the sub-region is confronted with including religious extremism, terrorism, drug and human trafficking among other challenges. President Barrow called on the world’s attention to the issue of youth migration who are fleeing in thousands through the back way to try to reach Europe. He said many perished on the dangerous journey and those who are lucky to reach Europe are placed in concentration camps and treated as economic refugees. He pleaded with the rest of the world and the international donor partners to continue to support economic policies that will mitigate youth migration. Barrow said “there has never been shortage of resources to address global crisis but rather what has been lacking is the political will to address the issues”
In conclusion, Gambia’s new president reassured the world that the ‘Smile Coast’ of Africa is back in business and the country will pursue a robust Democratic and political reforms that will guarantee all Gambians the human rights and dignity they deserve. He said his government has put together “an economic blue print” to address the economic challenges he has inherited from the former regime. He added that plans are well in advance to organize a donor conference to ask international donor partners to help in those economic challenges. The President with that coherence speech delivered with humility, optimism and in a highly diplomatic tone, made his country proud by restoring the country’s rightful image before the international body. In contrast with Gambia’s last showings at the UN, Gambians across social media and around the world welcome the new president’s speech with a sigh of relief and optimism.
Story filed by Demba Baldeh Associate Editor: For comments or rejoinder contact the editor @ Gainakoradio@gmail.com