Sierra Leone calls for “strong African voices” at the UN

It will be hard to achieve a better world without reform of the United Nations, and inclusion of "strong African voices" in the global organization.

That was the opinion expressed by Sierra Leone's President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma who addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

World leaders are reviewing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during this year's General Assembly debate.

Dianne Penn reports.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a global blueprint for addressing extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.

They were agreed last September and have a deadline of 2030.

But, as President Koroma stated: "We will not be able to deliver on the SDGs' promisewithout the reform of the United Nations."

"Let me put it straight: our premier global institution lacks the democratic competence to tackle the developmental, security and other challenges facing Africa and many other parts of the world (applause). Without strong African voices at the highest level of our premier global decision-making body, without the energetic voices of the region with the largest number of young people, without the decisive contribution of the continent that is mostly affected by Security Council decisions, no resolution proffered to our challenges by the United Nations will be sustainable, inclusive and lasting (applause)."

President Koroma also thanked the international community for its support during the Ebola outbreak.

Sierra Leone was one of three West African countries hit hard by the disease.

However, he noted that its recovery programme still faces "enormous" resource gaps.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'36?

Source: United Nations Radio.