Greetings to Amb. Sylvie Lucas (Lux) Chair of the PBC Country Configuration for Guinea and SGSR UNOWA Mohammed Ibn Chambas (Ghana).
2015 represents a crucial year for both Guinea and the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. The juncture of next October Presidential elections in the Country and the further consolidation of its institutions represent a challenging test for the effectiveness of the action of the International Community through the PBC. The ongoing review of the peacebuilding architecture aims at enhancing the PBC role in supporting countries’ institutional growth, thus paving the way for more democratic societies.
We thank SRSG Chambas for his very informative briefing and praise his efforts and achievements in promoting an inclusive political dialogue and laying solid foundations for legislative and parliamentarian elections. Our collective effort is now to support Guinea to organize free, fair and credible Presidential elections, a necessary step to further stabilize the country and to strengthen its institutions. A constructive contribution by all the relevant actors at local, regional, and international level, under the coordination of the PBC, is required.
Since the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic, Italy mobilized 7,7 million Euro funds, entirely disbursed. Our very first project – worth 200.000 Euro – was implemented, through the WHO, in Guinea Conakry in April 2014, when the epidemic broke out. And Guinea was the country where the first Mobile Laboratory of the Spallanzani Institute of Rome was established.
One year later, we can say that we were part of a huge collective effort which brought Ebola under control.
However, the epidemic is not yet over.
More efforts should be made therefore to accelerate the disbursement of the allocated funds, concentrate on the rehabilitation of the health systems (also in remote areas) and boost research and development by the pharmaceutical industry with the aim of individuating a vaccine, soon.
This was the message agreed on the occasion of the High Level Meeting convened by the EU in Brussels on March 3rd, attended also by the three Head of States of the affected countries, including President Condé.
I praise the political leadership of Guinea, as well as Liberia and Sierra Leone. Without their resolve and determination we would not have won this battle.
Ebola also involves the economy and the stability and the social order of the affected countries. It is therefore necessary for the International Community to adopt a comprehensive approach aimed at tackling these challenges with a holistic method. The epidemic had a heavy impact on areas such as export and foreign trade, foreign investment, employment and public finances. The involvement of the International Financial Institutions (in this vein I am glad to recall that a side event will be dedicated to Ebola during the World Bank spring Meetings next April) and of the private sector to help the recovery of the affected countries is therefore of utmost importance. Italy – as well as the EU – will do its part to support this joint endeavor, starting from the UN-led pledging conference scheduled before summer.
In this regard, we welcome the role the PBC is playing in sustaining the attention of the international community on the needs and challenges of the three countries affected by Ebola.