Marrakech, MOROCCO – In a powerful message to the international community, President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone has called upon world leaders to choose dialogue over war, emphasizing that dialogue is a potent tool for understanding and resolving differences. He stressed that peaceful communication can pave the way for lasting solutions.
President Bio’s plea for diplomacy and peaceful negotiations came during a discussion on Sierra Leone’s role in the Security Council and its unique position to influence global governance. In addition to serving as the President of Sierra Leone, he is also the Chairperson of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10).
Speaking at an event in Marrakech, Morocco, on November 8, 2023, President Bio joined a distinguished panel of leaders, including H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo, H.E. Azali Assoumani of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Mia Mottley of Barbados, and H.E. Dr. Edouard Ngirente of Rwanda. The discussion centred on Africa’s potential to play a more significant role in global value chains at the African Investment Forum.
President Bio drew upon Sierra Leone’s own history, particularly the eleven-year civil conflict the country endured, to emphasize the importance of dialogue. He highlighted that the country’s most crucial breakthroughs did not occur on the battlefield but at the negotiating table.
““We see destructions, disruptions and struggles between and within nations, but what ended our own war was dialogue through a negotiated settlement and this was after so much destruction. That is one lesson we would share with the world. The lack of communication that is engendered by war will help us to close that gap and think about the world” he said. “The fighting and the killing will only divide us further, we think that there is a lot to share from our lessons.”
President Bio explained. He pledged to use Sierra Leone’s presence on the Security Council to advocate for the Pan-Africanism concept and the African First Policy.
“Africa is not properly represented in the present configuration of the Security Council as the current configuration was done over 70 years ago to cater for the needs of few countries. We have watched the debates, the bickering and wrangling as to why thousands of people are dying, it behoves us all as a world community to see what we can do to change the configuration of the Council” President Bio said. “Many are dying and one nation can intervene to stop the carnage. I think humanity is losing the plot, we all sit helplessly and watch because one or two nations are at loggerheads and we cannot do anything.”
In his role as Chairperson of the C-10, President Bio pledged to champion the reform of the Security Council. He stressed the need for a more inclusive representation, beyond the existing P5 members. “Africa, West Africa, the specific challenges in the Sahel region, and the growing problem of unconstitutional government changes in Africa need to be heard at the Security Council,” he concluded.
President Bio’s call for peaceful dialogue and reform in global governance highlights Sierra Leone’s commitment to promoting peace, stability, and inclusivity on the world stage. ZIJ/9/11/2023