The 2018 UNGA: What Did Liberia Gain?


Monrovia, Liberia- Liberia’s participation at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly was enhanced by photographic fanfare of sidelines meetings between President George Manneh Weah and some world dignitaries, however, the results or impacts of those meetings are yet to be heard of. What did those meetings produce? Were they just for acquaintance purposes, or benefits for Liberia?

It is usual practice for world leaders to have many meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations; especially for bilateral purposes, however, those meetings usually end up with agreements and commitments.

President Weah in talks with African American billionaire Robert Johnson

At the 73rd General Assembly of the UN in New York this year, Liberia’s President Dr. George Manneh Weah held series of meetings. Notably, he met with African American billionaire Robert Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and personal lawyer to President Donald Trump as well as former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. President Weah also paid visits to the West Point Military Academy in Orange County, New York, and the Michigan National Guard. President Weah also held talks with Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder and state officials.

Despite all those meetings and talks on the sidelines of the United Nations, the President at an intercessory service held for his safe return to Liberia on Sunday at the Dominion Christian Fellowship, did not inform Liberians about his activities at the United Nations, rather he hit back at the opposition and the Bring Back Our Money Campaigners on issues relating to the missing L$16 billion banknotes.

President Weah and delegation in talks with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and State Officials

Many Liberians out of concern, have been pondering about the President’s failure to officially report on those meetings, especially with some African countries acquiring some serious benefits out of the this year United Nations General Assembly. For example, Ghana and Kenya were beneficiaries of a UNOPS US$10 billion housing project, while Liberia’s neighbor Sierra Leone, benefited from the Akon lighting project, as well as the establishment of a cancer center in Freetown.

Since he arrived, and making a fiery speech on Sunday, President Weah has also not spoken further on any national issue; especially with the country’s dire economic state, and the missing L$16 billion saga, besides reacting to the opposition play on the issue.

Many Liberians have in the meantime taken to Social Media to voice their concerns, and have called on the President to reveal details of his meetings. Some members of the opposition have directly stated that the President did not bring Liberia any benefit, and therefore has nothing to say. On the other hand, supporters of the President and members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change are defending President Weah UNGA trip and have term it as being very successful.

“The President might just be keeping the details of those meetings as a surprise to Liberians. I think he wants all of the details concluded before coming out to say anything”, Mr. Jerry Sackie, a CDCian told The Liberian Billboard.

Whether Liberia made any gain from all the meetings held on the sidelines of the 73rd General Assembly of the UN, is still a mystery. With the purported L$16 billion saga still hanging over the government, it seems like other issues of national concern are being impacted negatively.

The Liberian Billboard will keep you updated on additional developments.