President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued Executive Order No. 88 - an extension of Executive Order # 76; establishing the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center (NEWRMCC)
According to an Executive Mansion, Executive Order notes; Whereas, Liberia is a signatory to the Treaty establishing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), signed on 28 May 1975 in Lagos and revised on 24 July 1993 in Cotonou; Whereas, Article 58 (f) of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty (1993) provides for the establishment of a regional peace and security observance system and peacekeeping forces where appropriate.
The Executive Order states; Whereas, Chapter IV of the 1999 Protocol (Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security) provides the framework for the establishment of a sub-regional peace and security system (Early Warning System); Whereas, the Strategic Framework for the establishment of National Early Warning and Response Mechanisms was adopted by the Heads of State and Government in a communiqué at the 45th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS held in Accra on 14 July, 2014 (Article 51).
EO #88 furthers; Whereas, pursuant to the above mentioned communiqué of the Authority of the Heads of States at their 45th Ordinary Session, the Council of Ministers at its 75th Ordinary Session in Abuja from 13-14 December 2015 promulgated Regulation C/REG. 12/12/15 on the Establishment of National Early Warning Response Mechanisms in Member States; and Whereas, Executive Order #76 was issued on June 16, 2016 establishing the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center but has since expired.
The Executive order went on to say - in the exercise of Executive Power vested in the President by the Constitution, the President may issue executive orders in the public interest, either to meet exigencies or to address particular situations which cannot await lengthy legislative processes;
It concludes; Now Therefore, the Government of Liberia hereby issues this Executive Order extending Executive Order #76 establishing the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center.
Meanwhile, Executive Order No. 88 has established the structure and functions and operations of The National Early Warning and Response Coordinating Mechanism Center as stated below:
ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTION
The National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center (NEWRMCC) established under Executive Order No. 76,is hereby repositioned within the office of the Vice President of Liberia.
NEWRMCC shall be a non-profit organization with a public interest mandate. NEWRMCC shall be responsible for initiating, coordinating, and monitoring response activities within the framework of the implementation of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism.
NEWRMCC shall be headquartered in Monrovia. The building for the offices of the Center shall be provided by the Government of Liberia.
ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION
NEWRMCC shall comprise two bodies namely:
(a) A Board; and
(b) Directorate of the Centre.
The Board shall be NEWRMCC's steering and validation body. In that regard, it shall be responsible for:
(a) Supervising activities of the Directorate of the Center;
(b) Validating reports of the Directorate of the Center;
(c) Approving the budget of the Directorate of the Center;
The Board shall be chaired by the Vice- President. It shall include the following members:
(a) The Minister of Defense;
(b) The Minister of Internal Affairs;
(c) The Minister of Justice;
(d) The Minister of Foreign Affairs;
(e) The Minister of Finance and Development Planning
(f) The relevant sector Minister ( for example, the Minister of Health in case of an Epidemic);
(g) The Member of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise;
(h) A senior opposition member;
(i) The ECOWAS Permanent Representative; and
(j) The Secretary to the National Security Council.
The Board shall meet once a month. It may meet as much as needed. The meetings shall be convened and chaired by the Chairperson of the Board. The Secretariat of the Board shall be provided by the Secretary to the National Security Council.
Members of the Board shall not be remunerated. This notwithstanding, members may be paid allowances and per diem. The amounts for the per diem and allowances shall be determined in accordance with applicable regulation in force.
The Board may invite to its meetings, where necessary, any member of Government or any person whose opinion it deems useful.
The Directorate of the Center shall be NEWRMCC's operational body. In that regard, it shall deal with staff matters and monitor the activities carried out by the Center as part of response to warning received.
The Organization and Operation of the Directorate of the Center, as well as measures necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this Executive Order shall be laid down by order of the Vice President.
The operating budget of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center shall be met as stated in this Chapter.
The Government of the United States of America pursuant to an Agreement signed by the United States Agency for International Development with the President of the ECOWAS Commission on 19th November 2015 shall provide financial support for the Center at its initial stage and throughout the first five years of its operationalization.
The United States Government's support shall cover the following areas:
(a) Office automation equipment, vehicles, infrastructure and information and communication technology tools, including videoconferencing systems;
(b) Acquisition of updated geospatial data, including commercial cords (ESRI mapping device is already available within the Early Warning Directorate at the ECOWAS Headquarters);
(c) Training of staff of the Center;
(d) Support for Civil Society Organizations (in various forms to enable them carry out their response activities in collaboration with the Center);
(e) Recruitment/payment of salaries for:
(i) one (1) Director
(ii) two (2) Analysts,
(iii) one (1) Legal Officer,
(iv) one (1) Communications Officer,
(v) one (1) Administration and Accounting Officer,
(vi) 1(one) IT Specialist,
(vii) 1 (one) Executive Assistant,
(viii) 1 (one) Office Aide,
(ix) 1(one) Driver
Recruitment of staff and payment of salaries at the national level for a period of five years after which it is intended that the Government of Liberia shall assume that responsibility.
The Vice President shall be responsible for the implementation of this Executive Order which shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Liberia.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.