Her Excellency Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations and Chair of the Liberia Configuration, Peacebuilding Commission has stressed the need to urgently address the funding gap of 25.5 million US dollars to ensure the successful conduct of the Presidential and Legislative elections in October.
Ambassador Eneström noted that funding the elections was the primary responsibility of the Government of Liberia, but assured that many international partners are working hard to support national efforts in the lead-up to the elections, including the United Nations, regional organizations and International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
Ambassador Eneström spoke of a recent bilateral consultation she held with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, during which the institutions outlined their contributions to addressing inequalities, increasing opportunities for women and youth, and improving access to education and health services.
The Swedish Envoy applauded the Government of Liberia for preparations it has made so far for the upcoming elections and the remarkable progress in the country’s peacebuilding process, emphasizing that the elections represent a crucial milestone in consolidating peace and democracy in Liberia.
She hailed the signing of the Farmington River Declaration in which 26 political parties pledged to ensure free, fair, peaceful, transparent, credible, and non-violent elections and judicial resolution of electoral disputes and described it as an important achievement, sending a clear signal to all party supporters that violence will not be tolerated.
On ensuring an inclusive electoral process, the PBC -Liberia Configuration Chair expressed support for enhancing youth and women’s political participation, especially an initiative by UN-Women and the National Elections Commission encouraging political parties to sign a voluntary pact to include at least 30 percent women on their candidate listing.
Ambassador Eneström then reaffirmed the Peacebuilding Commission’s commitment to continuing its support to Liberia’s electoral process and its efforts to sustain the peace.
She was speaking on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at a meeting of the Liberia Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, convened to receive an update on the preparations for the general elections in Liberia, and to discuss priority areas and related actions in the areas of women’s and youth political participation and preventing electoral violence.
Hon. Thelma Duncan Sawyer, Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Edward Mulbah, Executive Director of Liberia’s Peacebuilding Office, and Hon. Davidetta Browne Lansana, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission provided briefing on Government’s preparation for the upcoming elections.
Amongst others, the Government representatives mentioned the conduct of the national census, the first phase of biometric voters registration, relaunch of a robust conflict early warning and response system, efforts to increase women and youth participation in the electoral process, and the need for more financial, technical and logistical support from the international community.
Naomi Tulay Solanke Executive Director of the Community Healthcare Initiative, and Ernest Dukuly, Secretary General of the Federation of Liberian Youth also briefed the meeting on women and youth political participation.
Several member States of the United Nations including Demark, Dominican Republic, Japan, Kenya, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa hailed the remarkable peacebuilding progress in Liberia and expressed support for the ongoing electoral process.