The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filipino Grandi, has commended Sierra Leone for its efforts to end statelessness, and for taking actions to integrate refugees into the country, and getting refugees to return in dignity and safety to their countries of origin.
Speaking at the 68th Plenary Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioners Programme in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday 3 October the UN Commissioner praised Sierra Leone for successfully concluding its refugee Programme, the result of which is the phasing out of the UNHCR Programme in the country in December 2017. He wished Sierra Leone’s commitments and success were emulated worldwide.
Representing the government of Sierra Leone, the Minister of State, Mohamed Gibril Sesay, urged the assembled nations to live up to commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey in Istanbul in May 2016, and the binding obligations of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
Relating to actions taken by Sierra Leone to meet its international obligations the Minister stated that in 2016, the Government of Sierra Leone ratified the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Those two key conventions aim at addressing the status of stateless persons and reducing the incidence of statelessness in Sierra Leone.
Following the ratification of these conventions, the Sierra Leone government has taken steps to convene a consultative workshop on developing a National Action plan for the prevention and eradication of statelessness. A national steering committee on Statelessness has been established and the National Civil Registration Act was enacted last year.