Liberia: UN Urges Weah Administration to Promote Reconciliation, Land and Constitutional Reforms

More than half of Liberia's 4.3 million people live on land held under customary tenure, which provides traditional rights to land but is not secured or recognised by legal title, said the United States Agency for International Development.

The UN Security Council has emphasized the need for the Liberian government to make "expanded efforts to address the root causes of conflict, reinvigorate reconciliation processes, promote land reform, and advance constitutional and institutional reforms."

In a statement issued in New York on Thursday, the President of the Security Council said these efforts should especially be made in the justice and security sectors, promote women's and youths' active participation in Peace-building.

The statement also called on Liberian authorities to extend state authority and social services throughout the country, continue to improve respect for human rights, and build trust between Liberian citizens and the government institutions.

The Security Council welcomes the continued implementation of the Liberia Peace-building Plan, entitled' Sustaining Peace and Securing Development' (S/2017/282).

The plan was submitted by the Secretary-General to the Council pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2333 (2016) after development through close consultation among the United Nations, the Government of Liberia, and partners.

The Security Council notes actions undertaken during Phase I of the plan and the beginning of Phase II in support of the Government of Liberia's commitment to develop durable national capacities critical to sustain peace.

It also encourages all stakeholders to enhance efforts to fulfill their commitments and provide their support for successful implementation.

At the same time, the UN Security Council is requesting the Secretary-General to undertake within a year, and within existing resources, a study of the role of UNMIL in the resolution of conflicts and challenges in Liberia through the contributions of good offices, political mediation, and the sanctions regime.

The Council also wants the study to look at other relevant factors as appropriate that allowed for the successful completion of UNMIL's mandate and transition to the United Nations Country Team (UNCT).

The Security Council looks forward to the results of this study, including further lessons learned and recommendations on the best practices of United Nations peacekeeping missions in transition.

It, also expresses its intention to consider options for taking them into account in the context of its ongoing work to enhance the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) completed its mandate in Liberia on 30 March 2018, after being present in this West African state since 2003.

In its statement on Thursday, the Security Council commended the remarkable achievements and notable progress made by the people and Government of Liberia to consolidate lasting peace and stability since 2003 and their continued commitment to respect and develop democratic processes and institutions.

The Council underlined significant improvements in social cohesion, the overall security situation in Liberia, and progress on respect for human rights, all" of which play crucial roles in consolidating peace and stability.

The Liberian government was commended for its preparation and execution of the 2017 legislative and presidential elections and peaceful resolution of disputes, which have helped to build the resilience of Liberia's democratic institutions.

The Security Council also expressed appreciation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and all international, regional and domestic election observation missions for their contributions to the transparency of the electoral process and timely assessments.

It also commended UNMIL's multifaceted assistance provided to the 2017 elections process.

In another development, the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák has identified peace-building and sustaining peace as a key priority.

In backdrop a High-Level Meeting on Peace-building and Sustaining Peace will be held on 24 and 25 April 2018 to assess efforts undertaken and opportunities to strengthen the United Nations' work on peace-building and sustaining peace.

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