On his debut appearance at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), President George Manneh Weah has depicted Liberia as a “peace keeping success story,” extolling the United Nations for aiding in this endeavor through its UNMIL peacekeeping mission that ended the nation’s 15-year civil fracas.
“With the recent withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia we are now in charge of our own security, we thank you for the sacrifices that you have made in securing and maintaining the peace in Liberia after our prolonged civil conflict,” President Weah said.
President Weah said Wednesday in his address to the UNGA in New York, that Liberia has finally turned the corner, with more years of peace than preceding years of war, alluding also to the Accra peace agreement signed 15 years ago as part of the cornerstone which has also guided the nation’s peace process.
As a nation which still bears the scars of a brutal civil upheaval which led to the deaths of about 250,000 people, Weah did not just only shower the UN with praises for its role in relieving Liberia from the bondage of its brutal past, but the Liberian Leader also took up time to remind all, including world leaders attending the summit, to eschew conflict and cultivate peace through dialogue.
He said: “Our people across the country still bear the scars of conflict; we therefore intend to initiate series of national peace dialogues, throughout Liberia; we must restart those difficult conversations at the local levels and include our youths so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
President Weah opined that these frank exchanges through dialogue are essential steps in bringing lasting healings, reconciliation and unity to the Liberian people.
The Liberian leader emphasized that a nation which has experienced civil war must never take peace for granted and forget the long shadows that years of conflict still cast over people’s lives, saying, “We must realize and appreciate that ours is still a fragile peace.”
Referencing his government agenda, the Liberian leader maintained that the government program is not one of division, but rather an agenda that intends to provide an enabling environment for a united and reconciled people to be able to benefit and prosper from the economic dividends of peace.
He told the assembly that his government is placing emphasis on national security in order to enable the people of Liberia to live freely and without fear.
“I want to reaffirm the support of my government for the work of the UN, in striving to achieve global peace, counter-terrorism, UN reform, security, good governance and advancement of the principles of universal human rights,” he noted.
Weah indicated that the Government of Liberia remains committed to the rule of law, the alleviation of poverty, gender equality, elimination of gender-based violence and empowerment of women, girls and young people.