Gbarnga, Bong County – The Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) in collaboration with the Peace Building Office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support from UNMIL Quick Impact Project at the weekend held a two-day consultative meeting to review the Strategic roadmap for national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation.
The meeting, which was held in Gbarnga, Bong County, brought together over 100 multi-stakeholders from across the 15 counties who made significant input into the strategic document.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Acting Superintendent of Bong County, Mr. Anthony Sherif, welcomed the stakeholders and encouraged them to fully participate in the deliberation, adding that the peace building road map is very paramount in fostering national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation.
He thanked the organizers particularly the Peace Building Office and FIND for selecting his county to host the event while at the same time commending the office of the National Peace Ambassador for timely intervention in resolving the disputes between Bomi and Gbarpolu counties which, according to the Acting Superintendent, would have exploded into full blown conflict.
Speaking on behalf of the Peace Building Office and the Ministry of internal Affairs, Mr. Christopher Fayiah, Senior Program Manager at the Peacebuilding Office, informed the delegates that the meeting was part of ongoing consultation aimed at revising the national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation roadmap with a view of making it more responsive to the current peace building and reconciliation needs of the country.
He further stressed that the consultative meeting is a way on ensuring that all stakeholders contribute to the document and called on the participants to actively participate in the discussion.
In his special remarks, Ambassador W.R. Tolbert, III from the office of the National Peace Ambassador, Republic of Liberia extended thanks and appreciation to the organizers of the event and cautioned Liberians to support the on-going peacebuilding and reconciliation initiative advanced by the Government of Liberia and the international community.
Ambassador Tolbert further alluded to the fact that the roadmap was developed with the involvement of all the stakeholders. He emphasized the need for continuous participation of local people in the review processes and called on political parties and politicians to play a more proactive and robust role in the implementation of the National Peacebuilding road map.
In his closing statement, Mr. Roosevelt A.K. Woods, Executive Director of FIND, thanked the participants and the county administration of Bong for honoring their invitation to participate in the review process of the Strategic Road Map for National Healing, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation.
Mr. Woods mentioned that the Gbarnga consultative meeting will climax ongoing consultations with multi-stakeholders on the need to make the national peacebuilding and reconciliation document relevant to the emerging peacebuilding and reconciliation realities.
He called on would be government to consider the final version of the document which accordingly will be launched before the end of November this year very seriously by allocating funding and committing to the implementation to the five major principles in the national peacebuilding and reconciliation roadmap.
Mr. Woods further extended thanks to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) through its Quick Impact Project for funding the event which he said is a follow up to the last review done in April of this year.
The strategic roadmap for national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation was commissioned several years ago by the government of Liberia with support from its international partners including the United Nations as a working document to foster national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation in Liberia.
The ongoing review process spearheaded by the Foundation for International Dignity is intended to incorporate new issues including, land, gender mainstreaming and youth participation as well as bringing the five reconciliation principle institutions (MIA, MFDP, ONPA, INCHR and GC).
At the end the revision process, the final version of Strategic roadmap for national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation will be adopted by stakeholders including the five principle institutions on national reconciliation and formally presented to the Government of Liberia as a working document to consolidate national peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation during the incoming administrations.