NEC holds two-day high level Security Conference

Apr 15, 2016

The conference was to ensure that decision makers involved with Elections and democratic processes in the country are fully committed to the implementation of the NEC/Security Coordination Communique.

Ahead of the pending 2017 Legislative and Presidential Elections, the National Elections Commission has begun preparation for an effective security coordination amongst national security actors, in the face of UNMIL drawdown.

The Commission supported by the Elections Project with funding from the European Union, convened a high level security conference in Monrovia on April 13 and 14.

The purpose of the conference was to ensure that decision makers involved with Elections and democratic processes in the country are fully committed to the implementation of the NEC/Security Coordination Communique.

This is to facilitate timely approval of funding needed to be secured for elections purposes by State Security Actors in the Country, which would require proper planning for the up-coming 2017 elections.

The conference highlighted the guiding principles related to elections security, leading to the attainment of credible elections.

Making remarks at the opening session, EU Ambassador to Liberia Tina Intelmann expressed the hope that the outcome of the conference would address major security challenges of the upcoming elections and will constitute a milestone in the advancement of security coordination amongst national security actors.

The European Union has contributed 10 million euros to improve electoral institutions and electoral processes and operations for the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections.

At the same time, the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya stressed that funds allocated for elections security must be properly managed and accounted for.

“Security is not cheap, so it is very important to make a predetermination of the cost associated with financing election security operations” Counselor Korkoya emphasized.

He said the lack of adequate funding for election security or the mismanagement thereof seriously undermines the security of elections, especially where poorly motivated security officers are prone to negative influences.

The NEC Chairman pointed out that when resources are not provided on time, it affects the timeline of the process.

Chairman Korkoya expressed the hope that the workshop would serve as a forum for the exchange of professional ideas on the creation of a conducive environment needed for the conduct of free, fair, credible and peaceful election in 2017.

Participants also included representatives from UNDP, IFES, UN Mission, as well as State Security Actors from the Ministries of Justice, Finance, and National Defense, and security apparatus including the Liberia National Police, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Drug Enforcement Agency, Fire Service, civil society organizations, women and youth organizations as well as the media.

Contact

For further information, contact:

George Baratashvili-Chief Technical Adviser/Election Project-george.baratashvili@undp.org

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: zotasam@gmail.com Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

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