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*Minister Rennie Holds Discussions at UNESCO* --Promises Collaboration and Cooperation with Partners

*Minister Rennie Holds Discussions at UNESCO*
--Promises Collaboration and Cooperation with Partners
By: Isaac Yeah, Minister-Counselor, Paris
(UNESCO-Paris, France-November 17, 2021) Liberia's Minister of Information, Culture Affairs, and Tourism, Ledgerhood Rennie, has held talks on the sidelines of the 41st Session of the UNESCO General Assembly. The occasion also marked the UN body's 75th Anniversary.
The Minister met UNESCO's Assistant Director for Culture, Ernesto Ottone, and the organization's Assistant Director for Communications and Information Technology, Tawfik Jelassi. He also met and held discussions with the Japanese Ambassador to UNESCO, OIKE Atsuyuki. In his conversations, he highlighted the need to improve the cultural and information technology sectors of the ministry, while also enhancing productivity.
Minister Rennie extolled UNESCO for the cooperation and support it has rendered MICAT so far and emphasized the need for continued assistance for the ministry to effectively carry out its responsibilities. He said for this to happen, MICAT must work collaboratively with organizations such as UNESCO.
According to a dispatch from Paris, Minister Rennie said the ministry has been engaging the legislature to ensure the domestication of some pieces of legislation, stressing that this will help deal with such issues as illicit trafficking of artifacts and other materials from Liberia and have them returned.
The UNESCO Assistant Director for Culture commended Minister Rennie for the visit and agreed with him on the need for laws that promote Liberia's cultural heritage. Assistant Director Ottone said the protection of Cultural Heritage, including underwater heritage, intangible cultural heritage, traditional heritage, living heritage, and audio-visual heritage, can not be over-emphasized.
For his part, UNESCO Assistant Director for Communication and Information, Tawfik Jelassi, assured the Minister that his department stands ready to work with and assist MICAT in driving positive communication.
He said the UNESCO's Communication Department has heard of the progress being made by the Liberian Government in the media sector, with journalists practicing free of harassment and intimidation. He thanked the government of Liberia for the "good job".
Japanese Ambassador OIKE Atsuyuki said his government enjoys cordial relations with Liberia and that they stand ready to lend any support the Ministry may desire. Ambassador Atsuyuki commended Minister Rennie and the entire leadership of MICAT for the great job they are doing while calling for close collaboration to actualize the Ministry's goals and aspirations.
The 41st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO runs from November 9 to the 24, 2021.

“Adherence to Constitutional Term Limits Will Prevent Political Upheavals” President Weah Tells ECOWAS Colleagues - Wants Mediation With All Guinean Stakeholders to Restore Democracy

Monrovia, Liberia - The President of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah has challenged leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to take seriously the issue of adherence to constitutional term limits to avoid political and security upheavals in the sub-region. 


President Weah asserted that if the manipulation of constitutional terms is sternly discouraged by ECOWAS, the region could be spared the agony of military coups.  


“While we are condemning these military coups, we must also muster the courage to look into what is triggering these unconstitutional takeovers. Could it be that we are not honoring our political commitments to respect the term limits of our various constitutions,” the Liberian Leader queried. 


Addressing the extraordinary summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held virtually on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 to discuss the situation in neighboring Guinea and Mali, the President reminded his colleagues of Liberia’s zero-tolerance for military coups, recounting how Liberia is still reeling from such unconstitutional ascendency to power. 


President Weah said Liberia as a notable member of the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS aligns its position on Guinea and Mali to the position of these multilateral bodies that support ECOWAS’ Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.   


He however called for a more coordinated and all-embracing mediation strategy for Guinea saying the inclusion of all the major stakeholders is paramount so as not to repeat the missteps of Mali. 


President Weah then offered Liberia’s willingness to be a part of the ECOWAS Mediation Team for Guinea saying Liberia is well placed to be included given the socio-cultural relations and geographic proximity that both countries share. 


Meanwhile, ECOWAS has unequivocally reiterated its condemnation of the coup and will immediately dispatch a high-level mediation team to Conakry to examine the political, social, and humanitarian situations.  


ECOWAS also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and all others detained in relation to the military takeover. 


The Regional Bloc cautioned the Coup Leaders of the CNRD that they will be held individually and collectively responsible for the safety and well-being of President Conde and others who are also detained. 


Guinea has now been immediately suspended from the regional body and all its subsidiaries, pending the restoration of democratic rule to that West African Nation.


Dr. Weah was joined at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit by Ministers: Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah (Foreign Affairs), Nathaniel Farlo McGill (State for Presidential Affairs), Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. (Finance and Development Planning), Ledgerhood Julius Rennie (Information Culture and Tourism) and Mawine Diggs (Commerce and Industry).

Liberia's Education Minister Speaks At UNESCO GENERAL CONFERENCE


(UNESCO-PARIS, FRANCE-November 15, 2021) Education Minister Professor D. Ansu Sonii says Liberia's long standing membership with UNESCO and other international organizations shows testaments of the country's firm commitment to the principle of multilateralism and the protection and promoting of girls and women education.


Speaking at the 41st Session of UNESCO General Conference and the 75th Anniversary of UNESCO which runs from November 9th -24th, 2021 taking place in Paris, France, Professor Sonii emphasized the need for more attention to placed on education for all but with specific emphasis on education for girls and women.


Nothing else does it better than Education in all of its forms, Culture in all of its glory, Science in all of its inventions, which taken together have a single purpose, to ensure peace and stability in the world. For these reasons all Nations, developed and developing, have taken to education as the principal prerequisite upon which development agendas are set”.


Minister Sonii said Liberia like many other countries have heard the call to action in accelerating the education processes of its citizens and residents, in particular Girls education, adding that as of 2021 the Government of Liberia has introduced special incentive to improve girls enrolment, retention and completion. In that regard, the Minister noted that the gaps at all levels between boys and girls have substantially narrowed.


Professor Sonii believes that by our collective efforts in addressing the underperformance of education systems in the developing world, we will be in a better position to overcome the evils of unemployment, poverty and inequality and undesirable migration. Additionally, Liberia supports the initiative of soccer in schools which we believe reconciles nations and sustain peace.


The Liberian Education Minister says Liberia requested that the Historic Providence Island, the site on which the first group of settlers of former slaves settled, which ultimately led to the founding of the Liberian state be declared a World Heritage Site. He said the historic Providence Island being the epicenter of the Liberia Story, founded with bravery in the midst of colonialism and land grabs all across Africa in that Century needs recognition as the Nation which championed most of the ambitions that led to the wave of independence for self- determination across the African continent in the 1900s.


The 75th Anniversary of the UNESCO brought together over Some 28 heads of state and government gathered.


In his video message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised the role of UNESCO in promoting dialogue and mutual understanding.

"At a time of great inequalities, environmental crisis, polarization and the global pandemic, UNESCO's role is more critical than ever to restore trust and solidarity, to ensure greater access to education for all, promote cultural diversity and steer technological progress for the greater good," the UN boss said.

The work carried out by UNESCO proves its importance in "a more networked, inclusive and effective multilateralism that delivers tangible benefits for people across the world," he said.

The newly-re-elected Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said that the UN agency was established "based on a strong conviction ... that peace should be established upon the foundation of the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity.

Madam Azoulay highlighted the role of UNESCO, noting it played as an "essential tool" during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.






President Weah Appoints US Embassy to Bicentennial Steering Committee

Monrovia, Liberia – The President of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has named the Embassy of America near Monrovia as a member of the Bicentennial Steering Committee.


Dr. Weah said the inclusion of the US Embassy is very essential owing to the historic and direct role America played in the establishment of the Liberian state nearly 200 years ago.


It can be recalled that the first ship of the American Colonization Society, the Elizabeth, departed the shores of New York on February 6, 1820, for West Africa, bringing some 86 settlers.


Subsequently, between 1821 and 1838, the American Colonization Society, funded by the US Government, developed the first settlement that came to be known as Liberia on January 7, 1822.


The Liberian Chief Executive named the US Embassy to the Steering Committee on Thursday, September 9, 2021.


The US Embassy shall work with the Government of Liberia in the planning, organizing and execution of a successful bicentennial celebration.