The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator to Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo says the UN strongly believes that implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations is one of the essential channels of achieving long lasting peace and fostering full reconciliation here.
Mr. El Hillo spoke recently in Gbarnga, Bong Count at the National Colloquium on the Implementation of the TRC Recommendations in Liberia.
The colloquium is imperative as it strives to convene all stakeholders to agree on the way forward with the TRC recommendations.
According to Mr. El Hillo, Liberia so far has enjoyed 15 years of uninterrupted stability crowned by the successful completion in March 2018, of an extended peacekeeping period.
“We at the United Nations believe that for the gains that have been realized to be sustainable, grievances from the past must be addressed,” he said.
At the colloquium, Mr. El Hillo expressed the UN’s commitment to continue supporting the government and the people of Liberia in their quest for lasting stability, peace and reconciliation.
The series of conversations that will take place in the colloquium, he asserted, will hopefully contribute to the discourse.
“I therefore urge all participants to be frank, constructive and solution oriented, bearing in mind that the overarching need for peace, stability, progress and economic development of Liberia can only be sustained if Liberians speak out and dialogue on how to heal the wounds of the past,” he urged the participants.
Mr. Yacoub El Hillo also told the gathering that to attain sustainable peace, there is a need for Liberians to continue to respect the right and dignity of one another, promote access to justice, ensure inclusive and equitable growth, increase basic quality services for all, and establish capable institutions able to resolve conflicts and enforce laws fairly.
The UN Envoy cautions that “In any country where the rule of law is not effectively administered,” injustice, violence against women and girls, corruption, and general criminality are often endemic.
He accentuates that that rule of law in this instance presupposes remedies and redress for violations, and dedicated efforts to seek closure to the past and forge a peaceful future.
On accountability, he says all Liberians have the right and the opportunity to discuss and agree on the restorative mechanism they want to put in place to bring closure to this important question.
“This mechanism needs not come from outside and need not be set up outside. It can be right here, led and owned by Liberians,” he admonishes the participants further.
He suggests that for any country to attain enviable heights among the comity of nations, there must be sustainable peace.
He points out that the United Nations has a vision to support Liberia to become a reconciled, transformed and prosperous nation anchored on accountable institutions and equitable, inclusive sustainable development.
“This vision is achievable if all Liberians rise to the occasion of placing national interests over and above any other interest,” he says.
He then expresses the UN’s commitment to the government and people of Liberia towards promoting peace, stability, reconciliation and development here.By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley