Honourable Speaker of the House of Parliament, Dr Abass Chernor Bundu last Monday gave a warm fraternal welcome to the UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Babatunde Ahonsi on behalf of the House of Parliament.
Speaking at a courtesy call on him by the RC at Parliament Building, Dr Bundu said that the relationship between the UN in Sierra Leone and the Parliament is cordial, fruitful and that he stands prepared to work with Mr. Ahonsi to strengthen that relationship further. He said he was happy with the relationship and would like to see it continue. According to him, Parliament has been dealing with the various components of the UN Country Team and was encouraged with the reports he has been receiving.
The Hon Speaker informed the RC that Parliament has a standing committee that monitors development,
“to the extent to which we are in sync with the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDS).”
He also mentioned that Sierra Leone has a hung parliament in some sense of the word and managing that has not been that easy but noted that he will continue to do so given the limited resources.
Dr Bundu also expressed concerns over the recent spike of COVID-19 cases particularly in Sierra Leone and neighboring countries. He noted that while the country may not have the resources to even contemplate ordering vaccines, in his opinion,
“If we see a spike that makes no effort at abating, we may revert to containment measures,”
that had been used previously.
Earlier, the RC thanked Dr Bundu for making time to meet with him despite his busy schedule. He informed the Speaker of ongoing UN reforms leading to the delinking of the Resident Coordinator’s role from the UNDP Country Representative in order to better support the achievement of the SDGs through holistic and well-integrated, high quality UN support.
He also said that the role of the parliament is central to,
“achieving our vision of a more sustainable Sierra Leone.”
The RC thanked the Parliament through the Speaker for staying active in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was also interested in hearing from the Speaker about his vision, views and priorities going forward.