UN, Sweden and Accountability Lab support National Youth Peace Building Conference
Paynesville: A two-day National Youth Peace building Conference organized by Accountability Lab with support from UN in Liberia and Swedish Embassy ended yesterday, 26 April 2017 at the Paynesville City Hall outside Monrovia.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served as chief launcher of the confab. She acknowledged that while it is true that at least 60% of the population in the country is comprised of young people; it was important to note that Liberia is very rich in history although remains troubled. She called on participants at the conference to use their deliberations in exchanging views on how to arrest financial indiscipline, the lack of transparency and accountability in the governance system.
The Youth Peace Building National Conference brought together about 150 delegates from the 15 political sub-division of the country to discuss non-violence, elections, entrepreneurship, art and culture among other.
President Sirleaf noted that judging by Liberia’s past; transparency, accountability, honesty and sincerity over the years have been eroded.
The Liberian leader also welcomed and commended the Liberian-born Super Star Joseph Van Vicker as well as Accountability Lab-Liberia and partners for organizing the conference.
Delivering the keynote address during the ceremony, a Liberian born Nollywood Star, Joseph Van Vicker, called Liberian youths to always go for what they want – with an open mind in a bid to promote the image of Liberia. Stressing, “Together we can build this country; if we are united as the youth of Liberia; I want to encourage you to be united.”
The Liberian movie star, currently residing abroad used the occasion to encourage the young people at the conference to be part of the democratic process and be ambassadors of peace. “Our democracy is in your hands; do not let anyone deceive you,” he emphasized.
The Liberian Nollywood Star urged the young people to herald messages that will educate the of dozens young people whom they have come to represent. He then called on the government to provide the youthful community the enabling environment and opportunity to be what they want to be.
Also making brief remarks were the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Liberia, Farid Zarif. He noted that Liberia is a nation of a young population under the age of 36 compared to most developed nations with aging population.
In his welcome remarks, Sports Minister, Sahr N’Tow gave the background and overview of the conference. He underscored the strategic role played by the Swedish Embassy and European Union (EU).
In a related development, the Liberian leader also visited the home of the late Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould in Sinkor; interacted with and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family for the death of their father.
The Ceremony was graced by members of the diplomatic corps including United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder, Director of the Department for Africa at Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Torbjorn Pettersson, Ambassador Lena Nordstrom, former Ambassador to Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo, UN Resident Coordinator and Lawrence Yealue, Country Director – Accountability Lab-Liberia, among others.