Crispin Grey-Johnson Addresses Senegalo-Gambian Commission

Monday, November 5, 2007

Crispin Grey-Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has called on participants at the Technical Committee of Experts Meeting of the Senegalo-Gambian Joint Ministerial Commission to come up with recommendations the implementation of which would help knit the people of the two countries together and not push them apart, adding that heightening the relations between the two countries is the resolve of the leaders of both countries. The Foreign Affairs Secy made this call yesterday at the opening of the Technical Committee of Experts Meeting of the Senegalo-Gambian Joint Ministerial Commission at the Kairaba Hotel. “At this session, we expect that all substantive issues that are to be placed before the Ministers, would have been thoroughly examined,” he said.

The meeting of the Technical Committee would be followed today by the Ministerial meeting.

According to the Gambian Foreign Affairs Secretary, the two sides last met in 2004 at the meeting of the consultative committee, noting that not much has been done by way of follow-up on the many important courses of action that were agreed upon.

“Further,” he said, “it would appear that with the passage of time, the tendency has been for us to move further and further apart from the numerous agreements and treaties that we signed. The effects have been quite unwholesome, to say the least,” he added.

He indicated that there are the important trans-boundary questions that must be per force worked on collectively “Much work has to be done in the areas of transport, transit and custom. There are also several security matters that need much smoothening.”

He further stated that questions pertaining to Environmental Management, Forestry and Wetland Management, Fisheries Management, among others, has to be examined with a view to transforming them from the disenabling and mutually empowering elements in the relationship, adding that they should be made to be.

“Let me therefore urge you to address all the issues placed before you with frankness, courage and sincerity and with the only aim of having them serve the greater good of our brothers and sisters – the people of the Gambia and Senegal,” he concluded.

Author: By: Abba A.S. Gibba
Source: The Point