The Chair of the Liberia Configuration of the UN Peace building Commission (PBC), Ambassador Staffan Tillander of Sweden, has stressed the importance of maintaining peace in Liberia as a regional imperative. Ambassador Tillander said the maintenance of peace in Liberia should be a priority because of the country's regional links, citing the history of Liberia's involvement with the war in Sierra Leone and Cote D'Ivoire.
The UN envoy believes peace in Liberia can positively impact governance in neighboring countries, especially with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Chairperson of the Mano River Union. According to a press issued by Vivian Gartayn, Minister Counselor/Press and Public Affairs Embassy of Liberia, Amb. Tillander, who was visiting Abuja to consult with officials of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), emphasized trade between the Liberia and its neighbors as one way of strengthening peace in the sub-region.
"We visited Harper in Maryland County and observed that the borders are artificial and trade is a natural occurrence" he explained. Amb. Tillander spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Liberia's Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Permanent Representative to the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, to brief him about the work of the Liberia Configuration of the PBC.
He observed that the involvement of ECOWAS in maintaining peace in the sub-region made it a great source for information. Ambassador Tillander said the PBC was seeking to cooperate with ECOWAS in information sharing and resource mobilization. Responding, Amb. Conteh thanked the UN envoy for his visit and briefed him on his work as Liberia's Permanent Representative to the ECOWAS Commission.
Amb. Conteh explained that ECOWAS has been in the vanguard of peace building efforts in Liberia and believed that its cooperation with the PBC would yield better results. The Liberian envoy also urged the PBC to focus on reconciliation in Liberia as a major factor of peace building and the realization of the Government of Liberia's other priorities of security sector reform and the rule of law.