Special Awards In Pictures

The Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commissioned the new Ambassador accredited to the United States of America.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony Friday November 1, 2017 in the Cabinet Room of the Foreign Ministry, President Sirleaf called on Cllr. Lois S. Brutus to use the opportunity to ensure that the bilateral relationship and friendship between both countries get even stronger.

President Sirleaf added that though she is taking on the assignment at a critical time when the country is preparing for a transition from one democratically elected government to another, she charged the Liberian diplomat with responsibility to uphold, maintain and protect the image of the country in the diaspora.

The Liberian diplomat has served the last twelve years in her capacity as Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. In her acceptance speech, Cllr. Brutus said she stands as a grateful soul in recognition of the love and affection bestowed upon her by my late parents, Mrs. Etta Cecelia Toby Lewis and Mr. Joseph Emmanuel Lewis, siblings and her uncle Monsignor Dr. Robert G. Tikpor and other members of her Family for the care and direction of her life.

“I stand most importantly with my beloved and caring husband, Dr. Pierre Brutus, for the sincerity of purpose in the love and affection we share, his patience, persistence and encouragement enabling me to reach this stage of my life’s journey – transcending obstacles and unpleasant surprises which sometimes breed unbearable challenges,” she added.
She further indicated that this day marks a new beginning in her life’s journey. “As I enter into the pinnacle of my diplomatic career spanning a period of four decades with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I wish to again pledge allegiance to the Republic and to you, Madam President, my gratefulness for your preference of me to serve at this important and relevant diplomatic post at this time. Rest assured that you will not be disappointed as I will endeavour to justify by God’s grace the confidence that you continue to repose in me.”
The Liberian diplomat lauded President Sirleaf for such an undisputable peace and security that Liberians are enjoying during these past 12 years of her stewardship, coupled with her extraordinary courage and determination against the deadly Ebola epidemic will remain indelible in the annals of the country`s history and will constitute her greatest legacy because indeed Liberia’s mortality rate was far less than what was predicted.
Given a historical synopsis of her performance over the years, Cllr. Brutus recounted that she now completed a decade of tenure in the Diplomatic Mission near Pretoria. “We arrived in June 2007 at post with absolutely nothing on the ground. What was masquerading as an Embassy was an empty Hall with 3 chairs, 2 desks and a computer located on the top of the SHELL Gas Station on Dey Street, Pretoria. We commenced our move, walking the streets with 2 other staff members searching for an appropriate location for our representation as we were told that our security could not be guaranteed at the present location. An appropriate Chancery location at 1157 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria was found before the presentation of our credentials within 2 months.”

“Without delay, the Letters of Recall of my predecessor and my Letters of Credence were presented on August 24, 2007 in Parliament in Cape Town to former President Thabo Mbeki accrediting me to South Africa and the 9 other Countries of Southern Africa. During the 25 minutes conversation with the former President, Thabo Mbeki, we set forth the objectives and goals of our Mission and the following constitutes our achievements based on the patience, persistence and perseverance as follows.”

She named the opening of the Resident Mission of the Republic of South Africa near Monrovia in April 2011.
“We signed three Bilateral Agreements which formed the strongest foundation of our relationship between South Africa and Liberia; negotiated for the issuance of Visas from the South African Embassy near Monrovia to alleviate the discomfort and expense of those wanting to travel to South Africa with protracted stay in Accra, Ghana. And we purchased at 100% the 2 storey heritage building which speaks to Liberia’s historical privilege, situated at 743 Park Street, Clydesdale, and Pretoria in June 2016 which now houses the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia near Pretoria.”
“We organized the State Visit of H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first visit of a Liberian President to South Africa in August 2017, and also State Visits to Namibia and Botswana and we hosted a number of Liberians from all works of life, we welcomed them into our homes, we catered to their needs, and we opened our hearts to them. All those visiting South Africa both for their rest and recreation or for conferences and mostly for medical, were all welcomed and accommodated,” she maintained.
She added: “permit me to state for those who have been consumed about the timing of my appointment. I stand here to state that should this new Mission of mine to Washington D.C. lasts for only 4 months or 4 years, I am not a bit disturbed, for I have never contested for this position. I am simply standing here again by faith and say with implicit confidence and courage, that I will definitely perform that which has been destined by God and assigned to me by you to take this country, the oldest on the African continent with all of its first initiatives and dares to yet another dimension in our long standing bilateral relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia with increasing resonance of Liberia’s history promulgating its identity, its possibilities for mutual cooperation as well as its relevance in the African continent and the comity of nation for the benefit of all Liberians at home as well as those in the diaspora,” she implored.

We will highlight, elucidate and activate this much talked about historical relationship for the benefit of both the peoples of the Republic of Liberia and the United States of America putting same into its true historical context for better understanding of who we are. In underscoring the depth of this relationship that subsists between USA and Liberia let me state for information purposes that since the 16th of February 1926, a total of 58 Bilateral Agreements have been signed between the U.S.A. and the Republic of Liberia covering a wide subjects ranging from Arbitration, Extradition, Commerce and navigation to Reconciliation, Defence, Technical Assistance, Economic Development, Peace Corps Program, Sale of Agricultural Commodities amongst others.

She promised that she will peruse the provisions of these agreements, search for the outstanding, evaluate their performance, seek out new avenues for cooperation and investment in the areas of security, immigration and trade and do all within our powers to actualize outstanding.
“We will take note and pursue the conclusions reached during the recent 2017 US Liberia Partnership Dialogue Actionable Commitments. But above all else we will repeat what we have been doing over the past 10 years in the field of diplomacy which is making friends and influencing people for the mutual benefit for both peoples of the Republic of Liberia and the United States of America. “
“I thank you Madam President for this elevation and leave you with the assurance that you will not be disappointed,” she assured the President.

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