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Ambassador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba Represents the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum Organized by the Government of the Republic of Turkey – June 18-20th 2021





Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba, was among the many Heads of State and Foreign Dignitaries that participated in the ‘‘Antalya Diplomacy Forum’’ which was held from June 18 to 20th in the coastal city of Antalya, Turkey.

In attendance at the three-day high-level forum were eleven Heads of State and Governments, three former Heads of State and Governments, forty-five Foreign Ministers, and over sixty representatives of international organizations. Addressing participants at the climax of the event, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu described the event as one of the biggest and the first of its kind to be organized during the pandemic, while adhering to the safety measures put in place by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

Ambassador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba (R) and Guinea-Bissau's Foreign Minister, Suzi Carla Barbosa (L)

As a platform that advances a global debate on contemporary global and regional issues, the Antalya Diplomacy Forum which was held at the Nest Congress and Exhibition Center is being described as an arena where world leaders including non-state actors can be brought together with the view to uphold international diplomacy, with the theme ‘‘Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches,’’ the 2021 Antalya Diplomacy Forum was hosted by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu under the kind patronage of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey.

In his opening speech, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu informed participants that the city of Antalya was chosen to host the forum because of its unique history, being the world’s first parliament (Home to Patara) where the practice of exploring possible solutions to problems through the act of negotiation and dialogue started.

Ambassador Mohamed Hassan Kaisamba (L) and Sudan's Ambassador to Turkey, Adil Ibrahim Mustafa (R)

Addressing the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan informed participants that the theme ‘‘Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches,’’ was chosen to compliments Turkey’s agenda in adjusting its diplomacy in a world that is rapidly changing. President Erdoğan stated that, apart from the humanitarian and enterprising characteristics of Turkish foreign policy, the country needs to modernize and transform its foreign policy approaches to cope with the changing conditions of modern times. As the world grapples with endless conflicts and other challenges, President Erdoğan encouraged world leaders to employ a visionary diplomatic approach that exacts current changes and provides working solutions to future problems.

During the event, two leaders’ sessions, 15 panels, 25 side events, and two youth forums were held. In the framework of the leaders’ session, participants agreed to transparently work as a united front to tackle modern-day challenges especially those caused by the pandemic. Josep Borrell, European Union Foreign Policy Chief encouraged world leaders to promote the COVAX initiative as it will ensure a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Describing the vaccine distribution as ‘‘nationalist and prejudice,’’ Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta criticized how developed countries have handled the distribution of vaccines to other parts of the world. President Kenyatta further depicted the current global system as not working, thus advocating for the democratization of the current global order to promote an inclusive world structure.

The President of Kosovo also encouraged world leaders to strive for a comprehensive system that will ensure that issues like terrorism, climate change, pandemic, and cyber-attack which countries are grappling with are addressed in a way that will create a future that stimulates innovation and digitalization.

On the issues of post-pandemic economic recovery, Mathias Cormann, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) informed participants about the adverse upshot of the pandemic on world economies as the national income of countries drop due to constraints caused by the pandemic. Hence the role of the OECD according to Mathias Cormann is to secure a post-pandemic world where societies can recover from the perils of the pandemic with a welfare system that benefits everyone.

As a solution-oriented panel discussion, debates were also held around important issues including the Balkans, Turkey-EU Relations, and the future of the European Union, the Trans-Atlantic relation, the humanitarian crises created by the ongoing unrest in the region, global governance, and issues relating to women and human rights.

Sierra Leone’s presence at the three-day high-level diplomatic event symbolizes the paradigm shift in President Bio’s foreign policy approach from Economic Diplomacy to Developmental diplomacy. As a post-conflict country, Sierra Leone has strived a lot in different diplomatic areas and a lot of efforts and gains have been made in enhancing democracy through the peaceful transition of powers from one elected government to another, youth and women’s empowerment, and the country’s Human Capital Development which is the cornerstone of the President Bio’s New Direction for Sierra Leone. Thus, participating in such a historic event, the country joins other nations in raising awareness about the challenges of the pandemic, modern-day disruptions, and the disparity in the distribution of vaccines which has affected the global fight in containing the virus.

The forum was climaxed with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu thanking participants for attending the program and reminding them that ‘‘our goal during the forum was not to repeat spoken words, not to repeat what is known. We wanted to go beyond our ‘speech notes’ in terms of diplomacy.’’


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