27 March 2013

Liberia: UN - Lasting Peace in Liberia Requires Fairness...

The United Nations through the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Karin Landgren, has asserted that for Liberia to achieve lasting peace there must be fairness and the inclusion of all Liberians in the progress of the country. In her recent briefing to the UN Security Council, SRSG Landgren stated: "Lasting peace will require fairness and inclusion for all Liberians in their country's progress."

She averred that fairness and the inclusion of all Liberians in the country's progress "is more important than ever, as UNMIL draws down, to move swiftly to address the historic - and current - cleavages that are so widely acknowledged."

She indicated that while Liberia has made great strides, there are still various areas that need to be addressed, adding that UNMIL is currently supporting the country on a number of critical initiatives, including the conduct of a participatory process to among others reform the Liberian Constitution, reform the country's electoral process to ensure the independence of the National Elections Commission, carrying out public consultations on land rights policies, and launching the country's first Justice and Security Hub to ensure better access to justice services for Liberians.

She praised Liberia for its advances since the end of the nation's civil war two decades ago, stating the importance of the role of Liberians' participation in the country's security transition process.

"Liberia has shown the world its commitment to lasting peace - and the world has shown its commitment to peace in Liberia," said Ms. Landgren.

She pointed out: "The resilience Liberians have demonstrated and their commitment to moving the country forward is inspiring, and bodes well for the hard work that still lies ahead."

The SRSG intoned that while there have been efforts to improve accountability in Liberia, issues of corruption and tensions between the branches of the Government of Liberia (GoL) remain at the forefront of political life.

She intimated that issues of corruption and tensions between the branches of the GoL particularly affect the area of natural resource management, where concessions, abuse and allegations of corruption are a potential catalyst for conflict. She noted that investing in the development of country's justice and security sectors is therefore essential, adding that the UN and all of Liberia's partners will continue to stand by and support the democratic aspirations of Liberians.

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