25 February 2013

Liberia: UNDP Donates Vehicle to Liberia's Small Arms Commission

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has donated one vehicle valued at US$53,000 to the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons to enhance its capacity to be more effective in executing its mandate.

The turning over ceremony took place on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at the Commission's Foreign Ministry Office on Capitol Hill.

Receiving the key on behalf of the Commission, the Minister of State Without Portfolio and Chairman of the National Commission on Small Arms, Ambassador Conmany B. Wesseh expressed gratitude to the UNDP for the gesture. Amb. Wesseh described the UN agency as a good partner which continues to support efforts of the Commission through its meaningful contribution towards the implementation of the Commission's mandate.

Minister Wesseh also lauded the Liberian Government for the passage of the Act on the National Commission on Small Arms which provided budgetary support to the Commission's work. While thanking the UNDP for the support, Mr. Wesseh assured the Agency that the vehicle will be used for its intended purpose.

The Commission's Chairman furthered that small arms control must be seen as a part of national and regional efforts towards peace consolidation in Liberia, noting that efforts need to be exerted to cover all aspects of the rebuilding process of Liberia in the framework of the country's Vision 2030 agenda.

Also making remarks at the turning over ceremony, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan on behalf the President and Government of Liberia thanked the UNDP for its kind gesture, noting that small arms and light weapons have had negative impact on the Liberian society which he added needs to be brought under control.

Minister Ngafuan assured the UNDP and the Commission of Government's commitment to build the capacity of the Police. He noted that a vibrant justice system is key to controlling small arms. The Foreign Minister asserted that efforts by the Judiciary and the Legislature in this regard need to be consolidated.

He also noted that Liberia is committed to the 2006 Convention of ECOWAS on Small Arms and Light Weapons Control. He said government is exerting efforts to increase the size and strength of the LNP to its fullest capacity to meet the security needs of Liberia.

Making remarks, while handling over the vehicle on behalf of UNDP, an official of the agency Mr. Napolean Abdulai said the donation is a part of the Agency's good way to assist efforts by the Commission to tackle issues leading to the control of small arms in Liberia. He hailed the Liberian Government for budgetary support toward its efforts in dealing with the proliferation of small arms in the country.

While commanding the Liberia National Police (LNP) for maintaining peace and security in Liberia, Mr. Abdulai urged the government to do more in proving budgetary support to build the capacity of the LNP in an effort to deal with crimes and other challenges that may pose threats to national security in the country.

Mr. Abdulai called on the government to beef up the strength of the LNP, by training more police officers to be deployed outside Monrovia in order to tackle the huge security challenges the police face in providing peace and security across the nation. According to him, controlling the proliferation of small arms and light weapons is extremely significant for building peace and stability in Liberia.

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