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Colombia wants to help address drug use here

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Colombian President Mr. Iván Duque Márquez, has expressed his preparedness to partner with Liberia to address the use of drugs here.

President Márquez, said the partnership will be through a comprehensive approach; including but not limited to supporting programs to assist drug users especially ‘At Risk Youths’ to desist from using drugs.

Speaking at a Peacebuilding Commission meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, President Márquez extended an invitation to President George Manneh Weah to visit Colombia on a State visit.

In a dispatch from the Liberina Mission in New York, President Márquez who expressed that he has been a longtime fan of President Weah during his soccer years, extended the invitation to the Liberian Leader during a meeting with Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. on the sidelines of the Peacebuilding Commission meeting.

Ambassador Kemayah extended on behalf of Mr. Weah and the Government and People of Liberia, greetings and best wishes, and assured President Márquez that he would ensure that President Weah is informed of the warm sentiments and gestures proffered.

Organized by Colombia as Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Commission meeting convened in Cartagena, Colombia from January 14-15, 2020, and brought together stakeholders.

Liberia’s Ambassador Kemayah, Sr. during the meeting stressed the need for increased continuous and predictable financing of United Nations peacebuilding activities in Liberia.

He noted that increase in the level of financial support is needed for the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Support Office, and the Liberia Multi-partner Trust Fund to ensure sustainability of peacebuilding and conflict prevention related program activities.

Addressing the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission meeting on Good Practices in Financing for Peacebuilding and Partnerships in Cartagena, Colombia, Ambassador Kemayah said while conflict prevention may seem challenging, directing appropriate resources to prevention and forging relevant partnerships will certainly prove beneficial and less costly in addressing the challenges of conflict prevention worldwide.

Quoting the United Nations-World Bank report “Pathways for Peace”, Ambassador Kemayah asserted that “targeting resources towards just Four (4) countries at high risk of conflict each year; could prevent 34 Billion United States Dollars in losses; in comparison, spending on responses to violent conflict through peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in 2016 was 8.2 Billion United States Dollars for Peacekeeping and 22.1 Billion United States Dollars for Humanitarian Operations; respectively.”

Reflecting on the United Nations Secretary General’s 2018 Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, Ambassador Kemayah agreed that options to considerably increase and make more reliable and coordinated, the funding for United Nations peacebuilding activities from voluntary, assessed, and innovative sources are very pivotal in transition settings.

The Liberian Envoy noted that transitions and draw-downs of Missions represent some of the most critical periods when investments in sustaining peace made by national authorities and their international partners can either be sustained or lost in a matter of months. “For Liberia, the Peacebuilding Commission provided advice to the United Nations Security Council; on the transition of the mandate of the peace operation, and the development of our National Peacebuilding Plan, led by national stakeholders. The Peacebuilding Commission; was also a platform for United Nations leadership in Liberia; to confer with Member States of the United Nations; on a capacity mapping exercise; aimed at identifying expected financing; and expertise gaps; following the departure of the United Nations Mission In Liberia -UNMIL. ” Ambassador Kemayah recalled.

Ambassador Kemayah expressed thanks that the investments to peacebuilding in Liberia are being sustained rather than lost. He, however, pointed out that the re-direction of appropriate resources during the transition process from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in Liberia would have made a real and better difference during the transition period.