REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
For Immediate Release
38 Emerging Diplomats Graduate From The Foreign Service Institute
Monrovia, Saturday December 14, 2013: The Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on, Wednesday, December 11, 2013 graduated 38 emerging Diplomats who achieved diplomats in contemporary Diplomacy with emphasis in Development Diplomacy.
The ceremony which took place at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was witnessed by high-profile dignitaries led by Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan.
Also in attendance were Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Senator Clarice Jah of Margibi County and Mr.Edwin Clarke who represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the occasion amongst others.
While speaking at the convocation Ceremony, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan who congratulated the Graduates on behalf of the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who left the country to attend the State Funeral of the late South African former President Nelson Mandela, lauded efforts of Director and his staff for completing a successful academy program 2013.
Minister Ngafuan challenged the graduates to use the diplomatic skills and knowledge acquired to serve as diplomats of Liberia everywhere they found themselves. The Liberian Foreign Minister admonished the graduates of the institute, to manage their expectation.
Minister Ngafuan added , “you have graduated with the aspiration to enter the Foreign Service; lots of people who graduated from FSI before you, have expressed their desires to enter the Foreign Service but not everyone graduated from the FSI will enter the service in the next few years, but everyone would eventually enter”. You can continue to remain where you are, adding “Liberia needs men and women who will exhibit good characters”, the Minister advised the graduates.
While congratulating the emerging diplomat for the achievement, Foreign Minister Ngafuan said the certificates achieved by the graduates is a testimony of the excellent achievements and the good work done by their Instructors during the period of their studies.
Foreign Minister Ngafuan commended FSI Director General, Dr. Augustine Konneh and his faculty for working assiduously in connecting the Liberia’s Foreign Service Institute to other Foreign Service Institutes around the world.
He reminded the graduates of their role and responsibility to state and family adding that every journey has a start and every journey has an end but the end is inevitable , thanks that you can reach this far
The Liberian Foreign Minister urged the diplomats to remain focused as they use the training acquired to serve their country, saying “you are a diplomat in Zwedru, you are a diplomat in Kolahun, you are a diplomat in Tokyo and you are diplomat in Sinkor, admonishing them to exhibited good character at all times and in every place.
Delivering the Keynote Address at the Commencement Convocation, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Liberia Ambassador Attillio Pacifici congratulated the graduating class and highlighted the European Union’s support to Africa’s growth.
Ambassador Attillio Pacifici who focused his speech entirely on the European Union said the EU provides humanitarian assistance to alleviate suffering when it becomes acute amounting to half a billion Euros in 25 countries in Africa. He stated that the union also encourages trade between Africa and the European Union.
He further disclosed that EU is planning to make available some substantial amount to Liberia between 2014 and 2020 to support the economic development of the country based on Liberia’s agenda for transformation in the areas of education, energy, good governance and agriculture through direct budgetary support.
And in brief remarks, the Director General of the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, Dr. Augustine Konneh praised the graduates for their achievements and disclosed that the year 2013 was a successful program which witnessed the signing of MOU between the Liberian Foreign Service Institute and other Foreign Service Institutes around the world.
He named the Foreign Service Institutes that signed MOU with Liberia as FSI from the Federative Republic of Brazil, the People’s Republic of China and Republic of India aimed at promoting student exchange program to enable the young diplomats understand current event and conflict management and also gain exposure.
He used the occasion to thank the institute’s partners in progress who he said are helping to make the institute programs successful over the years.
For her part, the Valedictorian of the class Madam Sondan Geepea Wilson thanked Director Konneh and staff of the Institute on behalf of the class for the professional skills and knowledge acquired promising to utilize their diplomatic skills to serve as Liberia’s Ambassadors at any time.
Horatio Bobby Willie
Assistant Minister/Public Affairs