Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations
866 Uinited Nations Plaza
New York, N. Y. 10017
(212) 687 1033
A MIRACLE OF HOPE
Remarks by H. E. M. Nathaniel Barnes
Ambassador & Permanent Representative
Mission of the Republic of Liberia
To the United Nations
UNICEF Executive Board
2007 Annual Session
Special Focus Session:
Follow-up to the Joint Field Visit of the Executive Boards of
UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WFP to Liberia
June 7, 2007
Excellences, Esteem Members of the Executive Board of UNICEF Members of the Executive Boards of UNDP, UNFPA, and WFP here present, Excellency the Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs of Liberia, The Courageous and Honorable representatives of UNMIL, Ladies and Gentlemen, my dear friends.
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the UNICEF Board for convening this very important meeting and allowing me the honor to address you specifically on the issue of Priorities for Liberia UN Cooperation.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I testify to you today that we are witnesses, in fact, an integral part of A Miracle of Hope. All of you in this room have played and continue to play a pivotal role in bringing Hope to Liberia.
Hope for Freedom
Hope for Literacy
Hope for Good Health
Hope for Prosperity and
Hope for Self Reliance
The convergence of the desires of institutions and individuals to create positive
change in the lives of a people struck by violence, anarchy, deprivation, and fear cannot be more apparent than the efforts of all of the institutions/agencies and individuals represented here today. First, allow me to express deep gratitude on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia for the Miracle of Hope that you have given the people of Liberia. Second, I am unable to convey how proud I am to be a small part of this Miracle.
What are the priorities and how can we improve UN/Liberia cooperation?
Regardless of the many human, social, and economic needs that Liberia is presently confronted with, I believe that our strategic priorities should focus on building and expanding capacity to ensure sustained self reliance.
How can we together help Liberia to establish and sustain policies of good governance steeped in the rule of law?
How can we together help Liberia develop a health care delivery system that will meet the long term needs of its people?
How can we together help Liberia develop and maintain a comprehensive education system that will address its sustained capacity demands and meet the personal needs of all of its citizens?
How can we together help Liberia to feed itself?
How can we together help Liberia to prepare to take ownership of its destiny and control the factors of democratic principles?
Forgave me excellencies, I am not deliberately trying to be rhetorical. In fact the last thing I want to do is start sounding like a politician! But these are practical issues that I am trying to address.
The very good news is, I believe that we are all well on the path to addressing these issues. The recent field visit made by several of you in this room which is the primary subject of our discussions today is ample proof of how seriously you take these issues and the level of your commitment to address them.
There is no doubt in my mind that the requisite foundation of cooperation is in place that would allow us to accomplish our collective objectives. We must shore up that foundation with continued cooperation, rationalization and inclusive communications.
For example, I am very proud that my Mission played a pivotal role in securing the first major contribution to the UNDP’s Senior Executive Service program for Liberia. This whole process started with a conversation between my Greek counterpart and myself concerning immediate needs for Liberia and the Greek government’s desire to help. This conversation resulted in cooperative interactions between my Mission, the UNDP Africa Bureau/Liberia desk, the UNDP office in Monrovia, and the Ministry of Planning & Economic Affairs in Monrovia that in my own experience is unprecedented. The Government of Greece and the UNDP executed a MOU that allow initial funding of $100,000 for the SES program fro Liberia. The level of interaction and communications between all of the stakeholders was indeed enviable.
As a result of this very positive experience, I and my Mission have redoubled our efforts to leverage our bilateral relationships to derive similar results.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen in my opinion, this example is the epitome UN/Liberia cooperation. Cooperation which exhibit the basic qualities of trust, open and effective communications, resource sharing and a singularity of purpose.
In this light, I would like in this public manner, to state that the Mission of the Republic of Liberia is open and will enthusiastically embrace all of our partners here present in our endeavor to help you help us. We are but a phone call away. Additionally, we would appreciate being included in your interactions and programs even if for informational purposes.
Thank you for your time, efforts and the opportunity to address this august gathering.