The Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador) to Sierra Leone with residence in Monrovia, Liberia, His Excellency Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk, accompanied by the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Sierra Leone, has taken formal leave of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at the Ministry’s Tower Hill Office, Freetown.
His Excellency Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk on behalf of the Holy Sea (Pope), extended sincere condolences and solidarity to the Government and people of Sierra Leone following the Ebola scourge, the recent floods and mudslide disaster in the country. The Apostolic Nuncio expressed gratitude for the bilateral cooperation between Sierra Leone and the Vatican. ‘My principal function was to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relations between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Holy Sea; and to foster close relations with the conference of Bishops by offering assistance in various ways’, His Excellency Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk added.
The Apostolic Nuncio outlined some of the tremendous contributions of the Catholic Church in Sierra Leone, particularly in the areas of education, health and other social services, which are clear testimonies of the invaluable service of the Catholic Church in the country. He prayed for lasting peace and a peaceful conduct of the forthcoming general elections in the country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the numerous contributions of the Catholic Community toward national cohesion and social development, including the consoling messages during trying moments in the country. ‘The spirit of the local community being together is our hope’, he added. Dr. Samura Kamara extended felicitations to His Holiness, Pope Francis, and assured the Catholic Nuncio of his Ministry’s support to the Catholic Church in Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that HE Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk was appointed on the 21st September 2013 as the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Sierra Leone (with residence in Monrovia); and successfully presented his letters of credence to His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the 13th February 2014.
Present at the ceremony were: the Archbishop of Freetown, Rev. Dr. Edward Tamba Charles; the Auxiliary Bishop of Kenema, Rev. Henry Aruna; the Apostolic Administrator of Makeni, Bishop Natale Paganelli, the Secretary of the Nunciature, Fr. Giovanni Bicchierri; Secretary to the Archbishop, Rev. Fr. Joseph D. Miller; the Acting Director General, Dr. Michael S. Kargbo and Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.
His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has officially launched the maiden edition of the Leone Diplomat Magazine as well as the first ever Directory of Sierra Leone’s Foreign Missions and Consulates at a ceremony held at State House in Freetown during a Forum for Diplomatic and Consular Relations.
The aim of the Leone Diplomat Magazine, President Koroma stated, is to further strengthen collaboration and interactions with the global society.
In his address on the theme, ‘The President’s Foreign Policy Statement 2017’, President Koroma stated that his government remained committed to the country’s broad foreign policy ideals of promoting national interest, sub-regional, regional and inter-African cooperation and unity; and for the consolidation of international peace and security. ‘We support the settlement of international disputes by negotiation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication’, President Koroma added.
President Koroma condemned acts of terrorism, radicalism, extremism, racism, ethnic, and religious persecution, and encouraged sustained international engagement for a just and peaceful resolution of issues within, between and among countries.
He appealed to members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps to muster their energies to actions that support inclusiveness, and also, the eradication of poverty in developing countries and in the world at large as envisioned by the Sustainable Development Goals.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara explained that this annual leg of the collective interaction between His Excellency the President and Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consuls accredited to Sierra Leone provides an important and productive occasion to discuss the practical challenges and opportunities involved in their diplomatic and consular relations. ‘It is also a forum meant to facilitate the President’s closer interaction with the Diplomatic and Consular Corps’, he added.
Under President Koroma’s leadership and guidance, the Minister disclosed, Sierra Leone is transforming and refining the country’s international relations noting that the country is now pursuing a more focused, rigorous, result-oriented and pro-active approach to diplomatic and consular relations aimed at facilitating mutually beneficial political and economic partnerships.
The Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E Lotfullah Balikiari, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on behalf of his colleagues, maintained that the annual Presidential Forum for members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps serves as an encouragement, renewal of energies, and increase motivation that leaves its inspirational influence on members of the Diplomatic Community to double their continued committed efforts.
He thanked President Koroma for what he described as his silent and creative innovation that continues to manifest his wisdom, focus and good intent, which has attracted with pleasure all members of the Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that this is the second annual Presidential Segment of the Forum on Diplomatic and Consular Relations since its inception in 2014.
The call to order and welcome statement was delivered by the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Khadijatu Bassir. Also present at the ceremony were Ministers of Government, Senior Government officials, and Senior Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
13th July 2017.