Minister of State Cannon T.D. speech at International Conference on Gambia
Speech22 May 2018
Ireland welcomes the organisation of this conference, and would like to commend the High Representative, Commissioner Mimica and President Barrow for the initiative. It is a pleasure to be able to speak today on how best we might show our support to the Republic of The Gambia.
We are all aware of the dramatic events last year, and we are grateful that the transfer of power ultimately proved peaceful. Of course, we admire the important role played by Africa leaders and members of ECOWAS in ensuring this outcome.
Today we focus on the future of The Gambia, and on the close relationship between the Gambia and the European Union. I want to express my deep appreciation to President Barrow and his government for the commitment shown to prioritising human rights, democracy and the rule of law across government, and to ensuring that Gambian society functions to the benefit and prosperity of all citizens.
We do not doubt the seriousness of the challenges ahead, or the very difficult situation faced by the people of The Gambia. We welcome the presentation today of the National Development Plan, and we are proud, as a member state of the European Union, to fully endorse the support the Union is providing to The Gambia.
I know, President Barrow, that you recently met with my own President in New York, where you spoke about the respective histories of our two countries, and how we might find ways to work together, and share our experience. As a demonstration of Ireland’s bilateral support to the government and people of the Gambia, we wish to pledge €250,000 towards the achievement of the objectives of the National Development Plan. We look forward to continued close cooperation with The Gambia.