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“World Safer, More Prosperous Today Because of UN,” President Weah Pays Tribute to UN at 75th Anniversary

(Monrovia, Liberia):As the United Nations celebrates its 75th Anniversary on October 24, 2020, President George Manneh Weah has had fond words for the august body which was founded to pursue and secure world peace and tranquility following a horrific global war.


Making remarks at celebratory ceremonies organized by the UN Liberia Office in Monrovia Friday, October 23, 2020, the Liberian Leader opined: “We can proudly say, the world is safer today and more prosperous because of the UN. However, some of the main focus of this august body must be realigned to current day realities. Countries and peoples have evolved. The world has changed and we must adjust to continue to achieve the objectives of the San Francisco Charter.”


He asserted further: “It bears testament to the foresight of its vision bearers to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations; adopted on 25 June and formally enacted on 24 October 1945.”


The United Nations’ 75th anniversary ceremony this year falls on Saturday, which is the 24th of October 2020, but was celebrated a day in advance since Saturday is a non-working day.


The anniversary theme this year is: “The future we want, the UN we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism confronting COVID019 through multilateral action.”


President Weah said he was glad to participate in a special occasion marking the observance of the remarkable milestone the UN has achieved, adding: “As we celebrate, in advance, the Seventy-Fifth (75th) year of UN existence, Liberia, one of the 50 countries that signed the Charter in San Francisco is proud to be a success story of what the UN stands for.”


He acknowledged that over the decades of its existence, the UN has scored remarkable progress around the world, particularly on the peace and security pillar.


“Its Peacekeeping missions, including the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), for example, has brought about law and order from intractable conflict situations,” Dr. Weah said further. “It remains the beacon of fundamental human rights for all, including freedom of speech, gender equality and women's empowerment.”


He said he was elated that the United Nations has helped and continues to lead during the raging health emergencies.


With UN assistance, President Weah asserted, “Liberia combatted Ebola and is now withstanding COVID- 19 a deadly disease that is not going away.”


According to him, COVID-19 has immensely overwhelmed healthcare systems around the world, including those of developed nations and its attendant economic crisis continues to have an adverse impact on many nations around the world.


“Ours has been no exception,” the President said confidently, but was quick to state that “working with our various partners, including the UN, we have seemingly been spared some of the most negative effects of the crisis so far.”


While the pandemic lingers, he noted, “we have experienced and continue to see different acts of violence and civil unrests in our sub-region. Let us remember that the real enemy is COVID 19 and not ourselves and our people.”


“Let's refrain from violence and embrace peace, because it is only through peace and stability development for our people and countries are possible,” the Liberian Chief Executive warned, adding that his government remains committed to the UN in securing world peace and upholding basic human rights for all.


He thanked Dr. Kingsley Opoku Amaning, Resident Coordinator and staff of the UN Liberia Office for the great working relationship between the UN and the Government of Liberia.


“In our various discussions over the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development,” he indicated, “there has been a common understanding that my Government and the United Nations will work more with the communities across the counties.”


“I would therefore like to see a greater and stronger United Nations presence at the community level to enable the body tailor solutions that will benefit the people.”

“Census Impacts Service Delivery at Grassroots Level,” President Weah Says as He Launches NPHC 2021

(Monrovia, Liberia): The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has underscored the importance of national census, stressing that it directly impacts socioeconomic service delivery for citizens at the grassroots level.


Launching the National Population and Housing Census (NPHC) 2021 at the Ministerial Complex today, September 25, 2020, the Liberian Leader noted that statistics are important for planning and implementing development programs.


He added: “If you cannot measure accurately then you will not be able to manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of services.”


“To address poverty effectively we must use targeted interventions that can be measured, and consult the people about their own development,” the President said. “It is therefore crucial that we mobilize the entire population to come forward and be counted, so that the results of Census 2021 can be used as a tool to improve service delivery.”


After the census, the President said, “we will have accurate data for the formulation of policy as well as implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  The results from the census will provide us with a unique opportunity to realign our development strategies, policies and programs.” 


In Liberia, the conduct of a census is guided by a constitutional provision that mandates the Executive Branch of Government to undertake the exercise.


The Chief Executive asserted that since it is not every government that could conduct a census, the NPHC will be a part of his legacy to the people and country.


“In addition to fulfilling this crucial constitutional requirement, the crux of our commitment on this issue is to ensure that development is equitable and in the public interest”, he said and urged citizens to fully cooperate with the exercise as it is for the general good of all.


The President said to support a nation’s development efforts, timely, relevant, sufficient and reliable data-sets are required, and the major foundation of this is the census.


“A census is usually the largest peacetime undertaking of a government. Because it is very involving and costly, a census is normally conducted only once every 10 years, but its products and tools could be used for over a decade.”


He acknowledged that undertaking such a huge national exercise needs a considerable amount of technical, financial and logistical resources.


“At this time of our development, with a pandemic looming large, Government cannot provide all the necessary inputs. But we have tried to make the census program happen by doing whatever we can to facilitate the implementation process,” Dr. Weah indicated.


He said in May 2019, his Government pledged US$3 million towards the census budget and provided US$700 thousand plus L$48 million as seed money to set up a Census Basket Fund to be managed by United Nations Population Fund (UNPF).


“In support of these efforts,” the President said further, “we received further contributions to our Census Basket Fund from several of our international partners. 


He thanked the Government and People of Sweden, through their Embassy near Monrovia, for making the first contribution and remaining the highest contributor to the census budget by a US$7.8 million contribution.


President Weah observed that Census information has a direct impact on service delivery for people at the grassroots level, stressing “because statistics are important for planning and implementing development programs.”


President Weah indicated that it would be very difficult to manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of services if people cannot measure accurately, adding also that measurable targeted interventions including consultation of the people about their development are needed in order to address poverty effectively. 


“It is therefore crucial that we mobilize the entire population to come forward and be counted, so that the results of Census 2021 can be used as a tool to improve service delivery.”


He said the launch of the 2021 Census is a key milestone achievement in the government’s development aspiration, which he indicated would enable government, through the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), reach out to each and every household and count the people throughout Liberia. 


“This will make us know how many people are in the country, how many are women, men, children, young people and old people; where do they live; how well are they living; how many are educated, and what do they do for a living, etc. This will enable government to plan well and deliver services to our people wherever they are,” President Weah stated.


He said the goals of the NPHC was in support of CDC Government shared national development aspirations captured in its formal national development framework, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) intended to guide its drive towards growth, development and prosperity. 


President Weah intoned that the PAPD anchors the government’s national development agenda on the foundations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


“It puts the Liberian people at the center of all development processes and helps us to ‘reach the furthest behind first’ and ‘leave no one behind’ as the national development processes ensue.”


The President informed partners that Government cannot provide all the necessary inputs especially at this time amid looming pandemic, noting that the government has tried and is doing whatever it can to facilitate the implementation process.

“Go and Serve Well,” President Weah Commissions Newly Appointed Government Officials

(Monrovia. Liberia):The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has urged four recently appointed cabinet ministers to “go and serve well” the people of Liberia for the benefit of the state.


Commissioning the Senate-confirmed members of Government, on Monday, October 19, 2020, the President said: “You were duly vetted, nominated, confirmed, appointed and now being commissioned. The expectations are very high. Go and serve your people. Do not disappoint.”


Those commissioned by the President included Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Ledgerhood J. Rennie, Minister of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism; Mrs. Mawine Diggs, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Charles Gibson, Ministry of Labor.


Dr. Weah charged the ministers to discharge their duties in the interest of the Liberian people and for the good of the nation.


He said his recent reshuffle of government, as well as the appointment of new persons into the government, was meant to energize his administration’s team to deliver on the promises made to the Liberian people as encapsulated in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).


The commissioning ceremony was held at the Cecil Dennis Conference Hall at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and families and friends of the commissioned officials.

“Let’s Refocus, Readjust UN Priorities,” President Weah Urges World Leaders

(Monrovia, Liberia):The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has stressed the urgency for collective action by world powers to review, re-focus and re-adjust the priorities of the United Nations so that it can become more relevant and more effective in meeting the challenges that are today presented by new global alliances and realities.


The Liberian Leader noted that the world has changed considerably since the United Nations came into existence after World War II, and the configuration of powers which obtained when its Charter was first written and upon which its decision-making structures were based, has witnessed many significant transformations over these past Seventy-Five years.


“In this regard, more attention has to be paid to inclusiveness of the most vulnerable in our societies, whose special needs require a new and different mind-set,” President Weah said in a visual statement on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 as he addressed the world body’s High-Level meeting in commemoration of its 75th Anniversary.


He said Liberia believes that the maintenance of world peace and security is of paramount importance for global growth and development.


“Every nation without peace is fragile, and has an uncertain future,” the Liberian Leader said. “Therefore, as we chart a new course for shared prosperity, we must reaffirm our collective commitment to multilateralism. As we confront these new challenges, multilateralism, international cooperation, and global solidarity will become increasingly important in addressing the complex problems that we now have to solve.”


Dr. Weah recalled that as part of the process of re-evaluation, the United Nations adopted in 2015 a set of seventeen (17) Global Goals to be met by 2030.


“These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to serve as a roadmap for our collective efforts to bring peace and prosperity to all mankind,” he noted, adding: “We are already five years into the 15-year Agenda, and with only 10 years left, it is already clear that we will have to re-double our efforts and accelerate our actions in many areas if we are to attain any or all of these lofty goals by the end of this decade.”


Dealing with COVID Pandemic


The UN General Assembly theme this year, “The Future we Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism - Confronting Covid-19 through Effective Multilateral Action”—President Weah stressed that such a theme could not be more appropriate, as the UN celebrates its founding amidst the ravishes of a global pandemic that has infected nearly 30 million citizens of most of its member states, and killed almost one million persons globally in just over six (6) months.


He used the forum to disclosed that Liberia was able to build on “our previous experience six (6) years ago with the Ebola Viral Epidemic, and I am proud to say that the Government and its development partners have mounted a robust National COVID Response that seems to have contained COVID-19 for the time being.”

The President further reported to the world body that “as a result, only about 1,320 Liberians have been affected by COVID-19 to date, of which approximately 1,213 of these have fully recovered, with some 82 Liberians falling to the pandemic.

He extended special thanks to Liberia’s bilateral and multilateral partners for the strong support received to deal with the COVID-19 emergency and help sustain the Liberian economy.


“The Government has now developed a Post-COVID Economic Recovery Plan that prioritizes short term actions and investments in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism, as a means of reducing the impact of COVID-19 but also providing the basis for economic recovery,” the Chief Executive asserted, acknowledging that the virus has exposed shortcomings, vulnerabilities of world order.


President Weah extended his deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families of all those who lost their lives to this deadly disease.


Dealing with Socioeconomic Problems


He also used the occasion to report on many measures taken by his Government since the 74th General Assembly to deal with the persistent socio-economic problems that continue to beset Liberia.

For example, the President said, the closure of schools to contain the COVID pandemic had seen an unprecedented recent increase in rape and sexual gender-based violence perpetrated upon young women and girls who have had to stay at home but that his government had taken a couple of measures.

“In response to this epidemic within the pandemic, we recently convened a National Conference which involved all Sexual Gender-Based Violence stakeholders”, President Weah said. “This resulted in the validation of a comprehensive roadmap intended to mitigate the incidence of this menace in our society. Based on the recommendations that emanated from the roadmap, my Government has declared rape as a National Emergency, appointed a Special Prosecutor for rape, set up a Sex Offenders Registry, and established a National Security Task Force on Sexual and Gender Based Violence.”

On the issue of ending Female Genital Mutilation, he said, “for the first time in our country, traditional leaders have agreed to take ownership for ending this harmful practice. This has resulted into a first-of-its-kind suspension of the activities of all traditional bush schools in Liberia, where this harmful practice is carried out. In addition, we recently passed into law the Domestic Violence Act; a legal instrument that seeks to abolish all forms of violence meted out against women, children and men.”

On the issue of corruption, the Liberian Leader reported that in order to call attention to the persistence and prevalence of corruption in our society, a National Anti-Corruption Conference was recently held, which was attended by all stakeholders, in an attempt to find practical and lasting solutions to this age-old problem.