20 June Press Briefing Notes

Monday, 20th June 2011

Members of the Press:

Let me welcome you all to another briefing session.

The President has made and is now concluding a number of foreign trips as the nation prepares to observe the 164th Independence Anniversary in Lofa County, on the theme, “Rallying Our Nation for Peace, Reconciliation and Development.”

To wrap up the travels, before the event, the President will, Tuesday, June 21, visit Freetown, Sierra Leone, for an ECOWAS presidential ad hoc committee meeting to re-examine the modalities for the rotation of statutory positions and make recommendations for the consideration of the Authority at its next Summit. The five countries include: Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Togo.

President Sirleaf will travel to the United States on June 22 for a week-long visit.  While in the United States, the President will visit Washington, D.C. for two days to hold meetings with members of Congress, including newly appointed Committee leadership, to update them on the progress that Liberia has made in consolidating its democracy and fostering development fueled by a foreign investment and the private sector.  In addition, the President will address the challenges ahead as the country moves towards elections this year.  President Johnson Sirleaf will also take the opportunity to applaud the bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress that has sustained Liberia’s recovery and national rebirth.

The President will also deliver speeches at the Center for Global Development and the United States Institute of Peace. These events are intended to review U.S. Government assistance to Liberia and how that can be maintained.

• In keeping with a promise made two years ago, the President will, on Monday, June 27, deliver a keynote address at the Investiture of Bishop David R. Daniels, Jr., who has been elected President of the Worldwide Grand Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will return to Liberia on Wednesday, June 29, before traveling to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to attend the African Union Summit being convened from June 30 – July 1.

• The President continues to receive regular briefings regarding celebrations marking the 164th Independence Anniversary in Voinjama, Lofa County.  Indications are that all is on course for the successful observance of our Independence Anniversary, during which a local businesswomen, Madam Garmai Estella Korboi, of Voinjama, will serve as this year’s National Orator.   The selection of a local businesswoman to deliver the Oration is the first by Government in recent memory.  The decision is intended to raise the profile of Liberians from all walks of life. They, too, represent key stakeholders in the governance of the country and must be provided a platform to express their thoughts on critical national issues.