Ex-Gambian representative to UN recounts team’s success
By Sulayman Waan
Lang Yabou, former Ambassador for the Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the United Nations, who is now newly redeployed to Foreign Ministry as Permanent Secretary has recounted his-team success at UN.
The veteran diplomat served as Gambian ambassador to UN for three years and eleven months but now redeployed to the Foreign Affairs Ministry as a permanent secretary.
In his farewell speech at New York, Mr. Yabou said: “I am ending my tour of duty with a great sense of fulfillment and belief that as a team, we have done a lot together for the country. “Amazingly enough, COVID 19 did not stop Team New York from working.”
“We closed the Mission and worked remotely from home for only 6 months. Then we opened and since September 2020 we remained fully open to-date.”
Yabou said Team New York sacrifices had paid dividend, adding that the services rendered to the community will forever remain in his memory.
“You have been resourceful and dedicated during the COVID-19 pandemic in mobilizing resources for both the Government and NGOs like Red Cross and CRS and the guidance and support provided to the community has been exemplary and appreciated by them.”
“Beyond, our mandated representation function at the UN, we initiated fruitful bilateral engagements for the country and we have been there for the Gambian community especially during most difficult moments like COVID-19, the Bronx fire disaster, etc,” he said.
He said a lot of delegations that visited New York during the last few years would continue to remember the team for its dedication, commitment and extra efforts that it always put in to make them successful and comfortable during their stay.
“Today when it comes to peacekeeping, we have placed The Gambia on the map. The achievement registered in managing this on behalf of the country speaks for itself.”
“In addition to countable achievements, our collaborative efforts with other stakeholders have paid off enabling The Gambia Armed Forces to progress with activities for the plan deployment of a Quick Reaction Force. Once, fully materialized, this would be a great achievement for the country,” he said.
He continued: “On peace building, our engagement with the Peace Building Commission (PBC) has become a success model worthy of replication elsewhere. We succeeded in maintaining the much-needed momentum of our partners to the cause of The Gambia.”
The diplomat said currently notable tangible results of PBC engagements in The Gambia includes the setting up of the NHRC, supporting the TRRC, CRC, other reforms and building and sustaining peace through implementing over 20 projects with UN Agencies and stakeholders in The Gambia, amounting to over $20million.
“The background work provided by the team in sustaining the momentum and interest of partners in our transition and its processes is commendable and the fruits of our multilateral and bilateral engagements with partners and special friends would continue to be of great benefits for The Gambia,” he said.
On promotion and protection of rule of law, democracy, human rights and international humanitarian law, Mr. Yabou said the New York Team has scaled up The Gambia’s voice at an unprecedented level among nations.
Members of the team served as excellent Coordinators and Facilitators of various Committees and processes that continue to cherish and appreciate their contributions and leadership, he said.