President George Manneh Weah has delivered his second address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York where he committed Liberia to supporting, upholding and exhibiting the core values and founding principles of the United Nations – the promotion of peace and security, human rights and justice for all.Addressing 193 members of the UNGA High-Level General Debate Wednesday, September 25, President Weah hailed and recounted UN’s contributions to Liberia, which in recent years include the restoration of peace and stability following over 14 years of civil unrest.
“Today, Liberia is the United Nations’ success story globally. As President of Liberia, I will keep the peace and ensure that, under my watch, Liberia doesn’t return to the dark days of conflict and war,” President Weah maintained.
He pointed out that Liberia has begun proceedings for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations as he vowed to listen and do the will of the Liberian people.
The TRC report calls for the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal to prosecute those identified as having committed gross violations of human rights and economic crimes between 1979 and 2003.
The TRC also and importantly recommended the use of a conflict-resolution mechanism that has been traditionally used in Liberia, called the “Palava Hut” mechanism, whereby, in various district meetings conducted by community elders, perpetrators could publicly request forgiveness from their victims, and where the aims of restorative justice could be served.
President Weah assured the people of Liberia and the world at large that he would listen to the resonating voices of Liberians and their international partners which called for the establishment of economic and war crime courts.
“It is important to bring closure to the wounds from the 14 years of Liberia’s brutal civil war, and that we need to agree on a mechanism that would guarantee the sustenance of peace, stability, justice, and reconciliation, as well as enhance our prospects for economic recovery,” the Liberian Chief Executive also said.
Considering the importance of the matter, he said: “I have already begun consultations with our National Legislature – the representatives of our people – and we intend to have a broader engagement with the Liberia Judicial System, and with our strategic international partners and organizations, in order to determine pertinent issues such as legal framework, timing, venue, and funding.”
He solicited the unflinching support of the international community and other partners, expressing the hope that there would be a consensus in determining a pathway to resolving this issue of war and economic crime courts in the country. LINA