Inspiring New Talent, Telling Our Story

first_imgThe winners of the 2014 Liberia Movie Union Inter High School Drama Competition has finally concluded, leaving three high schools victorious out of the 12 schools that partook in the competition.Kadiatu Kaba Kamara, vice president of the Liberia Movie Union stated during the finals her reason for initiating such a sensational event.“We initiated the entire program last year, it was a success and we thought that students were happy about the program.  The union thinks it’s something to keep the children from the streets. Its something fun and well educative,” she said.Furthermore, Mrs. Kamara also explained the content of the program to LIB LIFE and how the winners would be selected.“Today we are celebrating the finals of a program we initiated last year for the inter high school drama competition. Schools compete through drama while portrayingthe ills of our society and also dramatize our culture and stuff like that. We started with 12 schools and only five are left in the race today. There will be a competition between the five schools that will be performing drama. After the competition, the judges will decide on three of the best schools. And the schools will be given compensation or a token for participating.”Five schools including B.W Harris, Revelations S.D.A., Christ The King, Len Miller High School and Isaac A. Davis each had a opportunity to show what they had by portraying some very serious issues including child abuse, illiteracy, domestic abuse and child abandonment.One young man, Elam King, who won best actor and director during last years competition felt very confident that he would walk home with the title once again.“My school, Len Miller High, is in the competition. My former school, Susan Berry High School, won last year but is no longer participating in this competition. I won best actor and director of the year, and my school won as well. Today, I aim to take it for the second time; it’s part of me already,” stated the talented young director.Kamara feels that activities like these can help the film industry scout new talent in acting, directing, as well as design.“We are talking with producers and Liberian TV stations to show some of these dramas to show that our students who are citizens have this potential and talent in them. We need to see these dramas instead of looking at foreign movies. Let it be the content on our own television stations where we see our own people portraying what we are,” she insists.The competition is said to be sponsored solely by the Movie union and well-wishers who hope to see more of its kind. Kamara also hopes that a future will come out of such a program.“We are hoping that this will go on to fill more than just an auditorium. It will go to national television level and, if possible, we can even do it in the sub-region. But for now, we’re hoping that it will go to the national level, throughout the counties.”Meanwhile, three schools were announced as winners after an intense, interesting and fair performance.  Christ The King came in the third place, Len Miller High School as second place and Revelations S.D.A. took the title.  Elam, who expected to win but came third place instead, told LIB Life with the confidence of a winner: “In everything I do, I always try to out-do myself.  I expected to win because of my story line, my articulation, stage performance and body language. I came in third place instead. I really feel good when it comes to movies and in am love with making movies. But there’s no sponsor or support. I feel good because if I lose it gives me more inspiration to do better.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nursing School undergoes sensitisation workshop

first_imgFollowing the hosting of two previous Peace Corps/PEPFAR stigma and discrimination (S&D) sensitisation workshops with nursing students, the Peace Corps HIV Taskforce aimed to bring sustainability of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired from these trainings by working with the nursing school leadership.Peace Corps and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is looking to work with the nursing programme to integrate the learning and objectives from these trainings into the nursing curriculum, helping to ensure nurses in Guyana enter the work force equipped to provide the highest standard of care to all persons.To this end, from June 8 to June 10, principals, department heads, tutors, and senior students from the Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, and St Joseph Mercy Nursing Schools attended a three-day interactive workshop, where they participated in activities that brought to light how both conscious and unconscious discrimination can affect patients’ access to care and health outcomes.Evidence shows that negative health service experiences directly result in negative health outcomes. Unfortunately, it is the already marginalised populations that are primarily subject to S&D in service settings. The workshop focused on strategies for health system and curriculum strengthening, by providing health care professionals a better understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, whom are among the gender and sexual minority (GSM) patients they serve.The training also enlightened participants to issues that people living with HIV (PLHIV) face in health service settings, providing deeper understanding of the full impact in treating PLHIV & GSM patients with care.Perhaps the most impactful part of the workshop was the panel discussion, in which participants were able to gain insight from panelists who identify as members of the key populations. This discussion not only provided greater context to the topics covered, but also served to humanise the issue, providing faces to LGBT Guyanese and persons living with HIV.At the conclusion of the training, participants expressed a sincere desire to eliminate stigma and discrimination of GSM and PLHIV persons in the nursing system.  Action plans were developed which including everything from student lead stigma and discrimination sessions to incorporation of greater GSM & PLHIV education in the general curriculum.Peace Corps and PEPFAR applaud this commitment, and will provide support in the completion of this initiative.  Peace Corps Director of Programme and Training, Melanie Ingles, indicated Peace Corps commitment to collaboration with nursing school leadership to integrate the training into general curriculum, while PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Stephanie Joseph de Goes, encouraged the participants to lead the way forward in eliminating stigma and discrimination to provide the highest standard of care in Guyana, where all patients especially sexual minorities are respected and treated with dignity and care for the most positive health outcomes.last_img read more

Don’t Meddle In Politics

first_imgThe exclusion from certification by Justice-in-Chambers Philip A.Z. Banks of three senatorial candidates declared winners by the National Elections Commission (NEC), has come under sharp criticism by Speaker J. Alex Tyler, warning the Supreme Court to not meddle in political affairs.Speaker Tyler on Saturday during the formal program marking the certification of winners in last month’s Special Senatorial Election, argued that there are three separate and coordinate branches of government and the Supreme Court should deal with constitutional issues.Though the Speaker’s brief remarks did not detail what he meant, some political commentators believed that he was referring to Articles 2 and 3 of the Liberian Constitution.Article 2 says that the Supreme Court, pursuant to its power of judicial review, is empowered to declare any inconsistent laws unconstitutional if any laws, treaties, statutes, decrees, customs and regulations found to be inconsistent with it shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no legal effect.And Article 3, states, that Liberia’s form of government is Republican with three separate coordinate branches: the Legislative, the Executive and Judiciary, and consistent with the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances,… no one branch shall exercise any of the powers assigned to either of the other two branches except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.The stay order from the Supreme Court denied  the certification of Cllr. Varney G. Sherman (Grand Cape Mount);  Atty. Morris G. Saytumah (Bomi) and Dr. Jim W. Tornonlah (Margibi), meaning that if they are not certificated they would not be inducted as Senators on Monday, January 12, 2015, as prescribed in the Constitution.Some pundits believe that the “stay order” is political owing to his sour relations with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and his interest in the President Pro Tempore position.They also argue that Cllr. Sherman is reportedly the only freshman Senator who is capable of becoming the President Pro Tempore owing to his wealth of legal and political experience and his financial strength. Atty. Saytumah of Bomi and Dr. Tornonlah of Margibi Counties were also prohibited from certification by the Supreme Court on account of alleged voters or elections fraud. Those who were certificated include Senators Jewel Howard-Taylor (Bong), Jonathan L. Kaipay (Grand Bassa), Marshall A. Dennis (Grand Gedeh), Albert T. chie (Grand Kru), Stephen J.H. Zargo (Lofa0 and J. Gbloh-bo Brow of (Maryland Counties).Others are Senators George M. Weah (Montserrado), Prince Y. Johnson (Nimba), Francis S. Paye (Rivercess), Commany B. Wesseh (River Gee) and Milton J. Teahjay (Sinoe).According to the Director of Communication at NEC, Mr. Joey Kennedy, the stay order was the first-time in the history of Liberia for an aggrieved candidate to not follow the protest procedure by complaining first to the County magistrate and then to the Board of Directors of NEC before going to the Supreme Court but instead filing a protest straight to the Supreme Court.Meanwhile, the President of the Liberia Bar Association, Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould, has expressed disbelief and disappointment in Speaker Tyler, who is an Attorney-at-Law, for judging the wisdom of the Supreme Court.Cllr. Gould added that the Speaker should be held in contempt for his public assertion against the Supreme Court.It can also be recalled that the Justice-in-Chambers of the Supreme Court, Philip A.Z. Banks III, issued a stay order on the December 16 Special Senatorial Election pending hearing into petitions filed before the Supreme Court of Liberia.The Justice-in-Chambers ordered the Chairman of the NEC to halt all campaign activities leading to the Special Senatorial Election.The petitions were filed on November 24, 2014 by a concerned group of eminent citizens due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Justice Banks took the decision based on two separate petitions for a Writ of Prohibition filed against the NEC and the Government of Liberia by Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus and Atty. Edwin Martin.After arguments, the stay order was lifted and the election was held on Saturday, December 20, 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Charity Ambassador Solicits Support for Post Ebola Initiative

first_imgCharity Ambassador T. Nelson Williams, II is currently meeting with various organizations in the United States to solicit support for post Ebola initiatives in Liberia. Williams, who is representing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. engaged Alpha International in Baltimore, Maryland, World Changers Ministries,   Business Executive Network (BEN) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). He also made a courtesy visit to Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of The Coca Cola Company.When contacted, Ambassador Williams informed us that the meetings were fruitful and that some groups had already made commitments.Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority have embarked upon a Post Ebola Transitional Service Initiative (Children Focused) to mobilize six to twelve months worth of committed resources and support for two programmatic initiatives intended to impact up to 200 children.The Alpha organizations will also provide support to family caregivers.  This temporary support will be given to family members or other care givers who take on the added responsibility of caring for a child orphaned by Ebola.Williams concluded by informing his fraternity members that there is no greater love than a brother giving of himself and his resources to help the less fortunate.  He said, “We must always remember the aims of our dear fraternity, Manly Deeds, Scholarship and Love for All Mankind”.It may be recalled that on December 4, 2014, T. Nelson Williams, II was honored as Charity Ambassador  when the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity eta epsilon Lambda Chapter 200 joined more than 200,000 Alpha members around the world to celebrate 108 years of existence of the noble organization with a Dinner at the Monrovia City Hall., Alpha Phi Alpha. The highly reputable group Charity, Liberia bestowed the honor of Charity Ambassador on Mr. Williams at the colorful ceremony. Alpha Phi Alpha is the first Black Inter-Collegiate Greek-lettered Fraternity founded December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Itacha, New York. The seven founding members are known as founding fathers.   The tenacious seven that founded the organization include: Charles Henry Chapman, Robert Harold Ogle, Eugene Kincles Jones, Vertner Woodson Tanely, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Henry Arthus Callis and George Biddle Kelley.Ambassador T. Nelson Williams, II is the chapter president and under his leadership, the organization continues to make head ways and has since become a model to many organizations in and out of the country, a press release said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Ebola Exposes Liberia’s Vulnerable Health System”

first_imgA Liberian Physician and Epidemiologist, who contracted and survived the Ebola virus attack, has admitted that the disease came to expose to the world Liberia’s weak and vulnerable health system.Dr. Philip Z. Ireland, a panelist during a one-day Liberia Civil Society Organizations Ebola Response Task Force Policy Dialogue in Monrovia yesterday, stressed that the healthcare delivery system of Liberia is one of the most vulnerable and most deplorable in the world.Dr. Ireland, who contracted the disease from a patient he was treating, said Liberians are thinkers who can make positive changes in the health system and other sectors, but they are poorly treated.He said the Liberian Government prefers to purchase vehicles costing about US$20,000 or more each, but fails to improve the health and education sectors that will benefit its citizens.Sharing what he experienced during his illness, he described the ELWA nurses at the Ebola Treatment Unit as among the best nurses in Liberia who, for the sake of humanity, attend to patients in line with medical and nursing ethics.He told the civil society organizations that nurses are seriously humiliated by their managers who go at lengths to discourage development partners from giving them more attractive salaries.Because of the humiliation doctors and other professionals face in their line of work, many are defecting from their professions, seeking political positions, especially in the Senate and the House of Representatives, since political positions offer better salaries and other emoluments, declared Dr. Ireland.The Liberian physician observed that such behavior on the part of Liberians in authority clearly shows that the society welcomes people who commit evil and treats good people with disdain.Alluding to recent comments by one of Liberia’s top medical doctors, Vuyu K. Golakai, Dr. Ireland reiterated that the health system is centuries backward and will require infusing more resources into it and other sectors as well before any improvement can be realized.Most people that died from Ebola met their demise because medical institutions took too long to attend to them in the absence of the emergency response team, Dr. Ireland charged.He commended ordinary Liberians for taking the necessary precautions and adhering to health messages to prevent the disease.He further emphasized the major roles the media and   international partners played in the fight against Ebola and expressed optimism that the disease was on its way out of the country.The Liberia Civil Society Organizations Ebola Response Task Force is a group that monitors key stakeholders in the fight against Ebola.It monitors media coverage on Ebola, how funds given by government and partners are expended.In his presentation on stakeholders’ performances in the Ebola fight in the month of November, the Director of the Liberia Media Center, Att. Lamii Kpargoi, said they observed in counties monitored that most health facilities did not have personal protective equipment (PPEs) while about 60% of the health workers were not on salaries but given minimal incentives.Atty. Kpargoi also acknowledged that in the 44 health facilities visited, there were limited beds for pregnant women and anti-malaria drugs were lacking.He added that the government of Liberia allotted US$931,150 from the county development funds to be used in several counties including Gparpolu, Grand Gedeh and Montserrado, but those counties where the funds were used have not given any account.Atty. Kpargoi also disclosed that US$283 million was reportedly disbursed by the international community towards the fight against Ebola, but civil society groups were still seeking to know how these funds were used.Among media houses monitored for coverage of the Ebola Virus, the Liberia Media Center Director said the Daily Observer alone published about 78 stories followed by Front Page Africa and New Democrat.For radio, he disclosed that Lux FM broadcast more than the rest of the stations monitored, giving 130 minutes of air time for Ebola messages.Search for Common Ground Director, Oscar Bloh, in his welcome statement, said the dialogue is the first for the Civil Society Task Force and they are determined to monitor closely the Ebola fight to ensure transparency in spending and community approaches towards survivors.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

EU Ambassador Emphasizes Human Development

first_imgEuropean Union Delegation Ambassador to Liberia, Madam Tiina Intelmann, says while they understand the strategic infrastructural needs of Liberia, human development remains cardinal on their agenda.Ambassador Intelmann told a Peace Education seminar at the Liberia Media Center (LMC) that the European Union “tends to focus on long term assistance programs,” maintaining that “the most important investment we can make is investing in the human capital of your country.”In this regard, the EU in support of the Peace Education Seminar, involving students from the Kofi Annan School for Conflict Transformation, Cuttington University, AME University, and the United Methodist University, has given 221,774 Euros out of 277,218 Euros needed to facilitate the project.The March 31 seminar launched the Peace and Conflict Studies Curriculum, developed jointly by LMC and other institutions.The Peace and Conflict Studies Curriculum project is expected to bring together university and community college students from different cultural and regional backgrounds in a discussion about peace and cross cultural tolerance in Liberia.Its objectives are to strengthen research, documentation, advocacy and communication capacities of potential students in Liberian  universities and community colleges in five counties.  The counties are Montserrado, Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa and Nimba.  The Peace and Conflict Studies project is expected to strengthen the prevention of conflicts, build peace and ensure the participants’  placement in conflict prevention opportunities upon graduation.The Curruculum is also designed to strengthen existing student structures and network in entrenching peace building practices and sustaining the institutional support framework specifically in  the project objectivesThe Officer –in-Charge of the Liberia Media Center, Larmii Kpargoi, acknowledged the financial role of the EU in the project and suggested that the curriculum be taken at different academic levels.At the close of the day the Media Center presented digital peace libraries to each of the seven partner tertiary institutions, comprising an internet stick and a desktop computer, loaded with peace and conflict resolution materials.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Russia 2018 World Cup 2nd Leg in Abidjan Today: Can Debbah Plot the Elephants’…

first_imgDuring his playing days in the 1980s, James Salinsa Debbah, the current national soccer coach of Liberia, was known as the ‘Miracle Man.’I know the reader may want to know how he came by that accolade. In brief, Salinsa – that was his popular name – was comfortable with the number 10 jersey, and always played at the inside left position.So whenever the national team, Lone Star, or his club team, Mighty Barrolle, was in a tight situation, like what the national team is facing with Ivory Coast, Salinsa would perform so well he would deliver, not only the victory but, the results needed.In his days, he was much loved by Liberians because, along with his teammates, he would produce to warm the hearts of the people.Though initially he did not want to use coaching as his career – he said so at one time – he is now head of the team, and he faces a difficult challenge against Ivory Coast.Many Liberians are now asking whether he could call on the past to influence the future. This afternoon, at the Houphoeut Boigny Sports Stadium in Abidjan, instead of the central town of Bouake’ as it was reported in this newspaper yesterday, Lone Star will settle the final decider in a foreign land.Many Liberians were satisfied how Lone Star responded to the occasion during the first leg last Friday, after the Ivorians had dominated the first 45 minutes.By the second half, Liberia had called off the bluff of the Elephants; and with seeming danger, the huge Elephants resorted to tactics that were too frustrating for Lone Star. Evidently, Salinsa took notice of that kind of play and would not let that overwhelm the team in this afternoon’s encounter.Admittedly, the Ivorians can now admit that the current group of players featuring for the national team wants to change history. The first one they changed was refusing to concede more than one goal Ivory Coast, as it was in the past, and forcing the Ivorians to tread carefully with frustrating tactics.The second history they intend on making is to prove to the Ivorians that the legacy that George Weah and company – Salinsa included – left is being picked up by the current players to demand their place in African soccer.I need to add that at this particular period of the team’s history, the Lone Star has an equal chance of winning today as the Ivorians had in the first game. And that is why I also need to remind my readers of the positive sentiments that former President Edwin Barclay challenged Liberians in his immortal Anthem ‘The Lone Star Forever,’ below:“Then forward, sons of Freedom, March!Defend the sacred heritage!The nation’s call form age to ageWhere’er it sounds ‘neath Heaven’s arch.Wherever foes assail.Be ever ready to obey.‘Gainst treason and rebellion’s front,‘Gainst foul aggression. In the bruntOf battle lay the hero’s way!All hail, Lone Star, all hail” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

In Montserrado Inter-High School Debate: Len Miller Loses to Wesleyan High

first_imgLen Miller High School, which topped last year’s Montserrado Inter-High School Debate, has been trounced in the knockout stage of the competition by Gardnersville Wesleyan High School. Len Miller failed to maintain its excellent form which its team exhibited last year.At the start of the debate, a large section of the divided audience shouted in support of Len Miller while describing Gardnersville Wesleyan as the “underdog.”But surprisingly, at the end of the debate, the three judges announced the score in favor of Garnerville Wesleyan 86-80 points against their feared rival Len Miller.Both schools resolved on the topic, “Should the Government Grant Prosecuting Power to Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC)?”Presenting their affirmative side of the argument, Len Miller quoted section 5.1 of the LACC Act, which says, “…The Commission should have prosecuting powers to eradicate corrupt practices from the Liberian society.” Borrowing a line from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Len Miller team argued that “Granting direct prosecutorial power will strengthen the LACC, insulate it from reliance on external entities of government and help dispel notions that decisions to prosecute and not to prosecute are politically motivated.” The team contended that it was about time the President’s argument was supported and said it was convinced that LACC be granted prosecutorial power in order to properly fight corruption. On the negative side of the debate, Gardnersville Wesleyan argued that “LACC as an autonomous and independent body established through an Act of Legislature in August 2008, has no provision to prosecute, rather it is only the Judiciary that has the power to prosecute whoever commits an offense, be it a corrupt practice or not…” Meanwhile, in the other two debates Apostolic Foundation High School (Affirmative) defeated Jimmy Jolocon (Negative) 82-84 on the topic, “Should Africa Use a Single Currency?”Earlier Lombardia walked away with free points after J.J Roberts failed to turn up for the debate. The debate is held every week by the Devine Event and Consultancy under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and powered by Cellcom GSM and other partners including Samba Juice and the Ministry of Information. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

One More Year is All We Need

first_imgMr. President,I thank you for the opportunity to participate in this Briefing Session. A few months ago, we were similarly honored. We used the occasion to draw the attention of the Council to the continued progress of Liberia in consolidating its cherished peace. Today, notwithstanding the difficulties we face and the challenges that lie ahead, we remain confident and optimistic in the success of the peacekeeping mission, and in the growing capacities of the Liberian government to maintain and sustain the peace.Essentially, the defining question of this current engagement of the Council is how, and importantly, when can a transition from full peacekeeping operations occur so that Liberia’s progress and the success achieved at such high costs in lives and treasure are not unnecessarily risked and regrettably undermined?Essentially, as to the important question of “how,” a number of measures have been recommended by the Secretary General in defining the possible mandate of a successor mission. The Liberian Government finds these measures to be largely favorable. We, however, urge careful consideration including of analyses not only of residual gaps but also of the quality of accompaniment, as well as lessons to be learned so as to more meaningfully address the challenges of the future – challenges in peace building, consolidation and development.Responding to the critical question of “when,” the Liberian Government is proposing an extension through a definitive period of one year. Only one more year to continue the phased withdrawal – one more year to enable our recovering and reforming institutions to continue to stand up as UNMIL draws down; one more year of presence of UNMIL, which represents to many Liberians a “brand of confidence” that would assist in mitigating, if not deterring, the real risk of a disruption during the country’s most sensitive political period. Only one more year of working together, in what for Liberia is a successful partnership to properly prepare for a successor mission and a democratically-elected government to continue the useful partnership and build upon the progress. We understand the many concerns associated with our request for an extension. There are concerns about increasing dependencies by national institutions on the international community; there are concerns that a request for extension may become recurring; there are concerns that the resources contributed to UNMIL are needed elsewhere including in more troubled spots; there are concerns that similarly conflicted countries, including in our neighborhood, have had their missions brought to successful closures, which necessitates that we do so as well; and there are concerns that electoral processes are not the objects, or ought not to be the objectives, of peacekeeping missions. These are all reasonable concerns.Mr. President,The failure of the Liberian State, which necessitated the deployment of UNMIL, also occasioned the greatest collapse in the productive capacity of any nation since World War II – an estimated collapse of more than ninety percent. Corroded over time, national institutions were not simply defaced and rendered dysfunctional; they were effectively eviscerated. Dwindling public confidence was altogether lost, and hope in a democratic future was nonexistent. Of course, we have come a long way. Thanks to your continued support. And we are always the first to admit that we have some ways to go to become the nation we know we can be. Notwithstanding, we intend to meet our target of an eight thousand strong police force fully deployed all across the country from its current strength of five thousand one hundred, and to ensure a continuous commitment of the police, and all other security institutions to training, including in the important element of safeguarding human rights and improved professional standards. The nearly two thousand six hundred immigration officers will be further strengthened with the completion of training facilities in northern Liberia with a training capacity of one thousand officers. And we are proud that our military is growing in professional competence with support especially from the United States, and other friendly governments, and with mentoring from ECOWAS. Access and affordability to justice which was nonexistent in many parts of the country is improving. Our security institutions are demonstrating signs of increasing readiness to stand up as UNMIL stands down.However, we continue to remind ourselves not to be consumed by overconfidence. The ensuing conduct of historically unprecedented elections, the impactful consequences for the future, and the associated risks that portend, are challenges for which many of our institutions may not yet be fully tested or adequately prepared. To have UNMIL, this “confidence brand,” walk with Liberia for only one more year through this last mile is an added guarantee and a priceless insurance which completes the UNMission of keeping the peace not only by the separation of belligerents, but importantly also, through a more meaningful transformation from a failed state to a thriving democracy. And although this may not have been the mandate per se, it is hard to imagine that the peaceful and successful conduct of the ensuing critical elections is not an important test, if not the last important test, of the success of the mission.Indeed resources are finite. And yes, there are growing needs in other parts of the world including on the African continent for the resources of UNMIL. We continue to consider this situation seriously, and take the needed steps, within the limits of our means, to be removed from a dependence on UNMIL. And the truth also is that the lack of resources, or the growing need in other parts of the world for the resources of UNMIL, must necessarily compel all of us – the Liberian Government and the Security Council – to bring this successful mission to an end in a way that may not require a return to the Security Council; nor will the Security Council perceive a reason to redeploy peacekeeping resources to Liberia in the foreseeable future. In this regard, the potential risks, especially pertaining to the conduct of unprecedented elections, to which the recent Assessment Report of the Secretary General refers and the Peace Building Commission alludes, should be avoided.Mr. President,Whatever decision the Council makes, the truth is that today, Liberia is a better country – a more peaceful and secure nation. We intend to keep it that way. Again, we are grateful to the Security Council, the other agencies of the United Nations as well as our many bilateral and multilateral partners for your continued support. We do not take your continued support, or its associated costs, for granted; nor should the depths of our gratitude be ever underestimated. We know that because of your priceless investments in Liberia’s peace and security, today, Liberians are increasingly hopeful – imbued with a growing desire, a more realistic impulse – at home and across the Diaspora, to be the builders of our future and the masters of our destiny. We know we were brought to our knees by the prolong tragedies of self-implosion. But no nation has been more desperate to recover. Again, we were recently ravaged by Ebola, and are currently shackled by an economy under severe stress. But the resiliency of our Liberian character – our will to overcome – must never be taken for granted.Even so, Liberia cannot afford another major shock to our recovery. We simply cannot afford to ignore the possibility, however remote, of another risk to our ongoing recovery efforts. One more year is all that we believe we will need to deter the looming risk. One more year, to afford a new administration of the Liberian Government the security it would need to continue the recovery and reform processes without the baggage of inherited insecurity.Mr. President,We are really at the end of a long walk together through UNMIL. We know it has been difficult. But it has been worthwhile. It has lifted spirits, rekindled hope and brought a country back from the depths of its own self-destruction. This may not have been the mandate per se. But no one can deny that this United Nations Mission has been successful. Let us now end it as sustainably, as responsibly, and as successfully as we possibly can.I thank you for your kind attention.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more