UN Representative not declared Persona Non Grata
The Government of Sierra Leone views with dismay certain insinuations from some sections of the local media that the Executive Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Sierra Leone, Mr. Michael von der Schulenburg (in photo), has been declared persona non grata.
Government wishes to make it categorically clear that such allusions are not true, and that any decision to recall or transfer Mr. Schulenburg is purely a United Nations affair.
In declaring a diplomat persona non grata, there is a diplomatic process involved, which includes the writing of either a note verbale or/and a letter to the sending authority, in this case the UN. Neither of such actions has been taken by the Government of Sierra Leone. And it must also be stated that Government has not received any formal notification of Mr. Schulenburg’s recall or transfer.
Let it however be noted that the Government of Sierra Leone has been having a very cordial and fruitful relationship with Mr. Schulenburg, perhaps most notably in his contribution to the transformation of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, the setting up of resource centres through the Ministry of Information & Communications, and in the inter-party peace-building deliberations that led to the signing of a joint communiqué by political parties.
However, if or when Mr. Schulenburg should leave Sierra Leone either in the near or distant future, His Excellency the President would be gracious to have discussions with him before departure, while the whole government and people of Sierra Leone would wish him the best in his new assignment. This is in full realization of the fact that UN diplomats could sometimes be recalled at very short notice, an example being the virtual abrupt recall of Oluyemi Adeniji who served as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Sierra Leone during our immediate post-conflict era.
Whatever the eventuality, the Government of Sierra Leone would like to re-emphasize its commitment to the ideals of the United Nations, and its willingness to continue to work and cooperate with the world body, most certainly through its local entity the United Nations Integrated Peace-building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL).
Ministry of Information & Communications
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