Liberia’s Upcoming Elections: President Weah’s Pledge to Democracy at the UN

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United Nations, New York Liberia’s President, Dr. George Manneh Weah, took the stage at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to address a range of pressing global issues, including his country’s democratic advancements, infrastructural development, and the upcoming multi-tier elections. In a speech marked by compassion, commitment, and hope, President Weah underscored Liberia’s dedication to the principles of peace, prosperity, and progress.


President Weah began his address by extending his condolences to all nations affected by recent natural disasters, emphasising the need for global solidarity in times of crisis. He then conveyed Liberia’s voice on the international stage, highlighting his nation’s commitment to the work of the United Nations.

The October 10 general and presidential elections would mark the first major post-war elections to be held in the absence of international peacekeepers. It would mark the fourth democratic election since the end of the war.

There are 20 presidential candidates contesting the elections.

According to the Liberian President, he is a “strong believer in democracy,” and he called for the respect of constitutional governance and respect for the will of the people.

Weah assured the UN General Assembly that Liberia has taken steps to ensure peaceful elections, including the signing of the 2023 Farmington Declaration, which was signed by all political parties and actors, committing themselves to a peaceful electoral process.

The Liberian President also emphasised the importance of democracy, constitutional governance, and respecting the will of the people.

He commended the President of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Denis Frances, and expressed confidence in his leadership. President Weah also lauded the previous General Assembly President, Mr. Csaba Korosi, and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for their dedication to the United Nations’ mission.


President Weah emphasised the challenges facing the world today, including security threats, economic difficulties, and the climate crisis. He stressed the importance of collective action to address these challenges, noting that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) required international cooperation.


The theme of the General Assembly’s debate, “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and Its SDGs Towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability for All,” resonated with President Weah. He urged development assistance to align with SDG projects and voiced support for Secretary-General Guterres’ agenda to accelerate SDG implementation and global solidarity.


President Weah highlighted Liberia’s progress in various sectors over the past year, including health, education, gender equality, and infrastructure. He expressed pride in the country’s achievements, particularly in reducing maternal mortality rates and increasing gender parity in education.


Emphasising the importance of unity, President Weah underscored Liberia’s commitment to structural transformation, focusing on infrastructure development, roads, and energy. He expressed support for Secretary-General Guterres’ proposed SDG stimulus plan and called for increased financing to support sustainable development in developing countries.


The Liberian President also acknowledged the United Nations’ role in consolidating peace and addressing emerging challenges in Liberia. He noted that the country was preparing for its first elections since the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping presence, emphasising the importance of free, fair, and transparent elections. Political parties had committed to nonviolent processes, promoting peace through the 2023 Farmington River Declaration.


President Weah reiterated his commitment to democracy and constitutional governance, calling for respect for the will of the people. He congratulated democratically elected leaders worldwide and affirmed Liberia’s dedication to tackling the climate crisis, reducing carbon emissions, and building resilience against climate change.


In closing, President Weah celebrated Liberia’s journey of unity, resilience, and ambition. He called for collaboration, shared purpose, and the protection of individual rights and dignity. President Weah emphasised the importance of transparency, accountability, good governance, and citizen inclusion in decision-making processes.


He urged global unity, diplomatic efforts, religious tolerance, and support for women’s participation, concluding with a message of hope and determination. Liberia, in partnership with the United Nations, remained resolute in its commitment to a brighter future.


In his address to the UN General Assembly, President Weah showcased Liberia’s dedication to democratic progress, sustainable development, and global cooperation, reflecting a nation on a transformative path towards peace and prosperity.


See the full speech below;














September 20, 2023

His Excellency Mr. Denis Frances,

President of the 78th United Nations General Assembly

His Excellency Mr. António Guterres,

Secretary-General of the United Nations

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;


Heads of Delegations;

Distinguished Delegates;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me begin by extending sympathy to all nations experiencing loss of lives due to recent natural disasters. May the souls of all the faithfully departed rest in perfect peace.

I am honored to address this 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia.

I congratulate His Excellency Mr. Denis Frances on his election as President of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, trusting that he will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the works of this august assembly. I wish to assure him of my delegation’s fullest support as he steers the works of this Assembly successfully, in fulfillment of the expectation and confidence reposed in him.

Let me use this occasion to congratulate your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Csaba Korosi for the capable manner in which he administered the affairs of the 77th Session of this General Assembly.

Let me also commend His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary- General of the United Nations, for the astute manner in which he continues to administer the affairs of the United Nations in these difficult and challenging times. His foresight, commitment and dedication have kept the United Nations firmly on course.


We have convened at a time when the world is faced with many challenges; security, social, economic, political and natural disasters. We must exert our collective efforts to confront these challenges, with a view of resolving them in order to have a safer, secured and prosperous future.

We must continue to promote global solidarity and rebuild trust in accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, by design, require bilateral and multilateral collaborations to achieve the results we seek.

The theme of this year’s debate, “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on The 2030 Agenda and Its SDGs Towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability For All,” adequately captures our current global demands.

There is a critical need to ensure that development assistance is aligned with SDG projects. That is why my delegation welcomes, and supports the Secretary-General’s agenda of action to accelerate the implementation of existing agreements; including the Sustainable Development Goals, and to re-embrace global solidarity, and find new ways to work together for the common good of mankind.

As the world deals with unprecedented global political and security challenges there are growing concerns about the proliferation of non-state armed actors, threats of nuclear escalation and extreme climate conditions. These challenges continue to serve as obstacles to our quest for a safe and peaceful world.

Reaching the 2030 vision is to ensure that the journey is secured through accountability and mutual understanding. Liberia is committed to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); they are in line with our Flagship National Development Plan – the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, which represents our resolve to achieve peace and prosperity, while addressing the structural impediments to economic growth and national development.


The slowdown in global economic growth continues to be a challenge. Over the past 12 months, Liberia has made progress in areas, ranging from health to education, gender equality, and infrastructural development. We are proud of our achievements in reducing maternal mortality rates, increasing gender parity in school enrollment, and elevating our overall health and well-being.

Liberia appreciates the fact that this august body has once again directed its attention to issues of global health, as demonstrated by the number of high level meetings to keep this critical issue on our collective agenda.


We emphasize unity of purpose, as we address challenges aimed at providing basic services to all peoples. Considering that more than 60% of Liberia’s population comprises of youths, the future of our nation rests on their shoulders. Understanding this immense responsibility, we are committed to continue paving the way for their growth and development.

Being cognizant that structural transformation drives prosperity, we are focused on infrastructural development with roads and energy playing a critical part. Thanks to the support of our many partners, we remain unwavering in our commitment to explore means to further the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as it represents the roadmap towards prosperity.

I support Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposed SDG stimulus plan, and call for the actualization of the 500 billion dollars per year in order to boost sustainable development for developing countries through tackling the high cost of debt and rising risks of debt distress; scaling-up of affordable long-term financing for development; and expanding contingency financing to countries in need.


Liberia profoundly appreciates the continued engagement and support from the United Nations System in consolidating its peace, and seeking to address emerging challenges. Liberia will continue to cooperate and collaborate with the United Nations as it continues to rebuild and strengthen its institutions and infrastructure.

Five years ago, on the occasion of my first address to this august assembly, we informed you of a peaceful democratic transition that had just taken place in Liberia.

With your support, and that of our friends, we have kept the democratic torch burning. We have maintained peace and security. We have protected human rights and the rights of the media to operate peacefully and freely. The Liberian people have enjoyed the full exercise of their constitutional rights. The country is well on course of consolidating its democratic credentials.

I am pleased to inform you again that in a few weeks, Liberians will go to the polls, in keeping with the Liberian constitution to vote in our scheduled Presidential and Legislative elections. The October polls will mark the fourth peaceful general elections in Liberia since the end of the civil war in 2003.

This 78th session is taking place at a time when my country is preparing for the first elections since the withdrawal of the UN Peacekeeping presence from Liberia. The October 10 elections is an opportunity to sustain the gains made in our reconstruction and development processes.


The Government of Liberia has taken all necessary measures to ensure a free, fair, transparent, peaceful, inclusive and credible elections. The National Elections Commission has been strengthened to ensure that it operates without undue influence. In addition, political parties have committed themselves to a nonviolent electoral process by signing the 2023 Farmington River Declaration, which obligates all actors in the elections to continue to promote peace.

As a strong believer in democracy let me reiterate my call for the respect of constitutional governance and respect for the will of the people. While addressing the issue of elections and democracy, permit me to congratulate all democratically elected leaders around the world


Our world is also under threat from natural calamities, as seen with extreme climate conditions globally. It is therefore our collective responsibility to urgently prioritize addressing the climate crisis as we strive to reach a target of 64 percent reduction in carbon emission. There remains a need to prioritize support to countries, including Liberia that have the capacity to use its biodiversity, in building resilience against the changing climate.

The United Nations has always been confronted with challenges, and has withstood the test of time. Hence, this too will come to pass. I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his New Agenda for Peace. Liberia is in solidarity with these bold steps needed to address the triple crises of disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution destroying our planet. Liberia is hopeful that concrete global actions towards the attainment of the goals of the Common Agenda will be achieved.

Liberia’s journey is best captured in the spirit of unity, resilience, and ambition. Together, through collaboration and shared purpose, we can, and must shape a world that upholds the rights and dignity of every individual.

In alliance with our United Nations Family, Liberia remains resolute in its commitment: We pledge to protect our planet, promote peace, and prevent conflicts. We vow to ensure sustainable financing, and amplify our partnerships, reflecting our shared determination for a brighter future.

We must also accept that this can only be achieved through collaboration between and among Governments, non-government stakeholders and other partners; which will guarantee transparency, accountability, good governance, and the inclusion of all citizens in the decision-making process.


Let us remind ourselves that our collective strength lies in our unity. Together, we can overcome any challenge, rebuild trust, promote peace, religious tolerance, uphold the tenants of democracy, rule of law, support women participation, encourage diplomacy and strengthen global solidarity.

I thank you.

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