‘Promote High-level Dialogues, Social Cohesion, Genuine Reconciliation’ …UNDP Boss Says

Aug 21, 2017

Young People parading the streets of Monrovia during the launch of the Youth & Elections Project

The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Liberia, the Country must be prepared to promote high-level dialogues, social cohesion and genuine reconciliation of its people.

Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai said the Ministry of Youth & Sports has taken the first step towards the realization of these in the build-up to the 2017 elections with the official launch of the “Enhancing Youth Participation in the 2017 Legislative & Presidential Electoral Process” project. 

The project is an initiative designed to educate, engage and advocate for youth participation and leadership in peaceful electoral practices.

Speaking at programmes marking the celebration of International Youth Day and the official launch of "Enhancing Youths Participation in the 2017 Legislative and Presidential Electoral Process" project held at the University of Liberia auditorium, Dr. Beyai said UNDP through this project, will encourage and strategically support Liberia’s efforts to sustain peace through peaceful, fair and transparent elections through youth-focused interventions.

“As the leading UN development Agency, we work with governments, CSOs and other stakeholders in supporting peace initiatives through programmatic interventions….” He said.

The UNDP Country Director further stated: “I would like to encourage Liberian youth to develop interest and get involved in the country’s socio-economic, and political activities, including the 2017 elections. But their participation should be civil and non-violent.”

The overall objective of the launch of the 2017 Youth and Elections Project is to encourage youth to prevent electoral violence by reducing their vulnerabilities from manipulation and instill electoral values consistent with national, regional and international norms and standards.

In her keynote address, Nicole Weeks of the Young Political Leadership School (NAYMOTE) said to build sustainable peace in Liberia requires the collective effort of every Liberian.

“Sustainable peace is the assurance that when all of us are gone, our children and children’s children can travel across Liberia feeling proud that we fought corruption, that we respected the laws of the land and that we conditioned our minds to what was right and just…” Ms. Weeks said.

She said young people need to be empowered economically and politically and taught how to be courageous as well.

“We will not keep the peace because you give us small thing; we will keep the peace because we value our future”, Ms. Weeks stated.

The event brought together dignitaries from the Government, United Nations, the diplomatic community, schools, youth and women networks, civil society organizations, media, the physically challenged, among others.

Christopher John Lewis, UNMIL Deputy Chief for Peace and Consolidation Services, underscored the need for young people to ensure that peace and security becomes the hallmark for prosperity.

He said youth must take the vision of what they want their country to be, and that violence is never an option for resolving issues.

UNMIL Deputy Chief for Peace and Consolidation Services, said ensuring peace and security is vital for economic growth and prosperity in post war Liberia.

Also in remarks, the General Secretary of Liberia National Association of the Deaf (LNAD), Abdullah Tani Konateh, said the deaf community desperately wants to fully participate in the development process of the country, especially in the electoral process, but have not been given the chance despite several efforts being made.

“It’s our right to participate in the rebuilding process of our country especially with the issue of electing our leaders. We are one way or the other educated and have experience in civic and voter education, but we are lacking interpreters who will guide us in the process because we depend on them to interpret to us the happenings at various events since we are deaf,” he said.

The conception of the Enhancing Youths Participation in the 2017 Legislative and Presidential Electoral Process" project was encouraged by policymakers’ conviction to youth socioeconomic inclusion and empowerment at the national, regional and international level, including UN Security Council Resolution 2250, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDGs #3, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 16, and the African Unions 2017 programmatic theme "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth."

 

Contact

For further information, contact:

Salvator Nkurunziza-Peace Building Program Coordinator Email-salvator.nkurunziza@undp.org
Tel: +231 777703 814

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: zota.sam@undp.org Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

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