MONROVIA – Pres. George Weah has assured the world that next year’s election would be free, fair, and transparent.
Speaking at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, President Weah told world leaders that Liberia’s democracy is growing stronger than ever.
He said, “Democracy in Liberia also continues to grow from strength to strength. After many years of civil upheaval, Liberia is becoming a stronghold of peace and a safe haven for democracy.
Pres. Weah said democracy is thriving in Liberia because his administration has taken steps to strengthen institutions and created an environment where the press operates freely. He said the judiciary has also been empowered to function more independently.
Pres. Weah said: “We have put forward new legislation that empowers the media, while eradicating those that have tended to suppress free speech. I am proud to say that, from the beginning of my Administration to date, there is no political prisoner in Liberia.”
He said his government has taken a strong stand against the violation of the constitutional terms and has repeatedly called for strict adherence to the Constitutions in the West African region. He has also called for the return to democratic rule in cases of military takeovers.
He, however, called on all candidates partaking in the 2023 elections to avoid the incitement of violence, and any other behavior that could deprive the Liberian people of the peaceful space that they need to freely exercise their franchise, and freely express their political will in choosing their leaders.
This year’s assembly is being held under the theme: “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges”.
Speaking further, the Liberian President told his counterparts that his administration’s agenda – the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development has taken into consideration the size of the youthful population in the country – more than 60% – and has therefore initiated a youth rehabilitation and empowerment program – the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Disadvantaged Youth Project between 2019 and 2021, with the subsequent launch of a US$13 million National Fund Drive for the rehabilitation and empowerment of at-risk youth in Liberia.
President Weah further told the UN 77th General Assembly that his government prioritizes women’s empowerment and has been doing so through the development of a legal framework and the ratification of regional and international instruments to address gender inequalities which are being carried out as a result of socio-cultural perceptions, practices, and stereotypes that support male dominance and the subordination of women.
He said, “I would like to inform you that my government, together with UN partners, is implementing the EU Spotlight Initiative to end violence and harmful traditional practices against women and girlsand promote their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“Furthermore, the Government of Liberia is currently implementing a 50-Million United States Dollars ECOWAS-funded project to enhance the capacity of female entrepreneurs.”
He said all these are efforts being made by his administration to work along with the United Nations family to protect the planet, promote peace, prevent conflicts, ensure sustainable financing, and boost partnerships.
The Liberian President said the war in Ukraine has compounded the challenges that the world is faced with. He named economic downturn caused by the disruption of global supply chains, food insecurity, and rising prices of basic goods and services as a result of the war in Ukraine add up to the health and socio-economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He, however, said the United Nations will require immediate and collective global actions at the center of the search for solutions. He called for consideration and preference for the needs of developing countries, particularly least developed countries
in line with the Doha Program of Action for Least Developed Countries for the Decade; 2022-2031.
He said, “Working together with the United Nations family, Liberia hereby commits to protect our planet, to promote peace, prevent conflicts, ensure sustainable financing, and boost partnerships.”
As part of his government’s contribution towards the fight against Climate Change, President Weah said Liberia continues to take actions through the formulation of new policy frameworks and strategic interventions to address the impacts of Climate Change and protect the environment. He said, Liberia commits to achieving a target of sixty-four (64%) percent reduction in carbon emission below business-as-usual by 2030.
We anticipate that the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt (COP 27), will provide the opportunity to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.