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Liberia complains $17m shortage at UN for 2017

Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mr. Lewis Garseedah Brown, II says government is growing concern about a US$17 million funding gap for the implementation of the activities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and is seeking continued partnership and support to sustain its peace and continued needed reforms.

“So far, out of the US$45 million requested by the NEC, the Liberian government has committed to the payment of US$20 million and the international community has committed about US$8 million. The difference is yet to be committed,” Mr. Brown is quoted in a dispatch dated 28 June from New York as saying.

The Liberian Envoy to the UN was briefing the United Nations Security Council Tuesday, June 27, on the 33rd progress report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

He says Liberia has concluded the inclusive development of a peacebuilding plan consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2333, but needs support for its implementation.
The Peacebuilding Plan among other things identifies key actions to be taken before March 30, 2018 when UNMIL’s mandate ends; as well as actions to sustain the peace when UNMIL leaves.

Amb. Brown however, observes that political will of the Government of Liberia may not necessarily be enough to see the process through and urged the international community to continue its support to ensure that Liberia presents a success story with peacebuilding as it did with peacekeeping.

The top Liberian diplomat at the UN describes the successful conduct of peaceful democratic elections as crucial to the sustenance of peace in Liberia and assures that the Government and people of Liberia are committed to ensuring a smooth transition.

“The mere exercise of the choice to freely and fairly elect the leaders of our country, with a sense of growing regularity and confidence in both the electoral processes and the associated outcomes, meaningfully contribute to deepening a new culture of peace, lends itself to democratic governance and expressions,” he says.

Ambassador Brown acknowledged that the sub-region is increasing the space for democratic governance and the peaceful transition of power. “Given the shared history and sociology of our region which makes it relatively easy to experience the spread of conflict and misery across our borders, so too, is peace and a renewed commitment to democratic governance, admittedly with obvious challenges, overtaking the sub-regional space of ECOWAS”, he says.

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He adds that consequently a successful conduct of peaceful democratic elections in Liberia will continue to pave the way for other important successes in expanding the democratic space across the West African sub-region as well as significantly impacting the consolidation of regional peace and security.

Speaking earlier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Farid Zarif appealed to the UN system and other international partners to increase and consolidate their investment in Liberia to support the country during this crucial transition and beyond.

SRSG Zarif told the Security Council that while Liberia has remained stable with no major threat envisaged during the October elections, the country still faces considerable challenges that weigh heavily on efforts to sustain peace and advance national reconciliation.

On the pending presidential and representative elections, the SRSG disclosed that UNMIL has intensified its engagement with the NEC, political parties, presidential candidates, government and civil society to prevent diffuse tension and advocate for credible and peaceful elections.

He observed that Liberia’s future as a stable democracy will hinge upon the successful conduct of the October elections and a smooth transfer of power. –Press release

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