Wednesday, September 8, 2010

UN Envoy Updates Security Council on Liberia, Highlight Needs for Continued Support

Source: The Liberian Journal

UN Envoy Loj briefs Security Council on Liberia

New York-Monrovia – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Liberia, Ellen Margrethe Løj, in a briefing to the UN Security Council today congratulated Liberians for seven years of unbroken peace--which is a remarkable achievement--but noted that substantial international support and assistance are still needed for sustainable peace and development.
She commended the Government’s efforts in reaching the Completion Point of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, calling it a “milestone” critical to Liberia’s success in implementing its Poverty Reduction Strategy. However, despite the progress made, much work remains in consolidating Liberia’s fragile peace, including in the areas of rule of law, security sector reform and national reconciliation. “While the overall situation in Liberia has remained stable, it continues to be fragile, and additional progress is needed in several areas to truly consolidate the peace,” the SRSG said.

SRSG Løj noted that Liberia still faces destabilizing security challenges that often arise from mob violence, ethnic and communal tensions, and competition for access to natural resources, land disputes, sexual and gender-based violence and armed robbery. The SRSG also underlined high rates of unemployment as a major concern for sustained recovery and future stability.

The SRSG emphasized the need for “substantial donor support” for key security institutions - police, immigration and corrections services – to move forward strategic plans presented at a special partners’ forum a year ago to adequately address potential security challenges. She stated, “Given the fact that Liberia’s major security threats are internal rather than external, it will be important to ensure that these security institutions are strengthened to professionally meet their future operational challenges.”

The UN Envoy used the examples of the security incidents in Harper and Lofa, to highlight the challenge Liberian institutions still face in dealing independently with conflicts that rapidly escalate. “These easily overwhelm local security institutions and require UNMIL intervention to contain” SRSG Løj said.

The 2011 presidential and legislative elections will be a critical test for Liberia on its path to democratic stability. SRSG Løj described the recently adopted compromised legislation, “as a significant achievement.” She called for continued international community’s support for the work of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to ensure that the electoral body is able to fulfill its mandate and meet expectations for free, fair and transparent elections.

SRSG Løj urged the Liberian Senate to confirm the list of presidential nominees to the Independent National Commission on Human Rights as soon as possible. “This is crucial, as the Commission will both be necessary to support reconciliation efforts as well as serve as the publicly accessible human rights institution for all Liberians; national reconciliation is crucial for durable peace in Liberia,” she said.

She concluded by calling on the international community to give Liberia the assistance, time and space necessary to consolidate its peace and expressed confidence that Liberians will be able to continue to count on the support of the Security Council.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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