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Ambassadors for Peace

UN Mission in Liberia Supports National Peace Council

The National Peace Council (NPC) of Liberia was launched May 6 in Monrovia by the President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was represented by Youth & Sports Minister, Councellor Jamessetta Howard Wolokollie at the Monrovia City Hall. Support for the work of the NPC was declared by a representative from UNMIL, the UN mission in Liberia.

“On behalf of the President of the Republic of Liberia, I take this opportunity to officially launch the National Peace Council of Liberia,” Councellor Wolokollie declared.

The launching of the NPC was at the start of a 3-day West Africa Ambassadors for Peace conference which ended on Monday, May 8, with Vice President Joseph Boakai in attendance and award of a number of Peace Ambassadorships on several prominent Liberians.

According to the UPF/IIFWP Chairperson Madam Mary N. Brownell, the new National Peace Council is “a permanent structure to foster peace, good governance, peace education and national reconciliation so as to promote human development at all levels of the Liberian society as well as the sub-region.”

President of NPC of Liberia, Dr. Evelyn Kandakai said the NPC will be driven by core principles of the UPF such as God-centeredness, that humanity is one global family under God; by the principle of true families as the foundation of world peace. The interreligious nature of the NPC—even beyond the religious—seeks to break down barriers whether national, religious, race, tribal or other by the principle of partnership among individuals, educational institutions, organizations, corporations, media, and governments.”

Rev. Gerald Coleman, a commissioner of Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia, who represented the TRC Chairman, observed: “Today, May 6, 2006 will certainly be remembered as the second most historical day in the resurrection history of Liberia which symbolizes LIBERTY In Africa (LIBERIA).” He also used the occasion to inform the public that the TRC will be launching its own activities on June 22, 2006, noting that “while TRC has short life, you (the officers of NPC) have the potential of being the moral guarantors of our work beyond 2008.”

Mrs. Bangura Chief of UNMIL Civil Affairs Section, pledged for UNMIL’s support establishing peace councils at county and district levels, local people can bring reconciliation and strengthen peace in the country by bringing their own ideas, and in full consideration of the local situations and circumstances.

Ambassador Joseph Boakai, the Vice President of Liberia, delivered the closing remarks in which he stated: “This is a praise-worthy approach and I commend organizers for this unique concept. The concept about peace councils as espoused by UPF will further consolidate the strides we have made in the search for genuine peace and harmony in our country and the world.

“I am confident that these councils will get the basis for dialogue among our people and bring about inter-religious cooperation and subsequently contribute to the reconciliation and reconstruction processes of Liberia and the sub-region.

“Initiatives like the peace councils will help curb incidents like the October 28 - 31, 2004 rioting and public disorder during which mosques and churches were burnt down and many lives lost,” the Vice President said.

Prominent Liberians were commissioned as Peace Ambassadors during the closing ceremony, including Amb. Joseph Boakai, D. Musuleng Cooper, Dr. Amelia Ward, Dr. Frederick Gbegbe, Rev. Plezzant C. Harris, and Dr. Elizabeth Harris. Liberia is the first nation to launch a National Peace Council within the framework of the Universal Peace Federation.

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