House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers has told a New York based United Nations personnel visiting Liberia, on assignment of the UN’s Department of Peace Operations, that UNMIL imparted Liberia in many positive ways, ranging from manning the peace, security and the economy.
Mr. Herbert J. Loret, Program Manager for UNMIL Legacy Report project under the Department of Peace operations of the United Nations, along with Mr. Josh Jorgensen a Consultant, also of the UN’s Department of Peace Operations, are in the country on a review of the works, approach and activities of the defunct United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), aimed at getting the lessons learned in the Liberian story and what the UN could improve on, or do-away-with, for the future and now, in other conflict hot spots of the world.
Speaker Chambers told the visiting UN rapporteurs that UNMIL, in its early days in the country, commenced its mission on a good footing. He said the mission conducted a disarmament process the “DDRR” amidst challenges, but stated that the mission’s approaches to contract and significantly deal with NGOs in the execution of some paramilitary works outside the government security architecture entertained an inflicted number of ex-combatants in the DDRR process which did not achieve its fullness as envisaged.
The Speaker however intoned that UNMIL imparted the economy through micro economic activities in the Liberian commerce and trade, and accounted for a record flow of foreign currency in Liberia’s post-conflict economy.
When asked by one of the visiting UN Rapporteurs, Mr. Herbert J. Loret about the role the UN played during the Liberian peace-keeping and the peace building processes, Speaker Chambers says the United Nations performed well in challenging times and environment in keeping the peace with the deployment of armed troops to deter troublemakers and thereafter work with state-actors in peace building.
The Speaker furthers, that the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was too focused with governing than running a people partnership agenda. Dr. Chambers says UNMIL focus with the GOL at the time changed some of the structuring of the framework of institutions. He says the mission even attempted to undo conventional practices in the security sector command when it worked with the previous government and proposed tenure of service for persons heading security institutions.
Speaker Chambers says the United Nations needs to consider working with countries like Liberia where it succeeded in keeping and building peace, and transitioned its engagement to help build technical skills and capacity, wherein countries like Liberia can benefit in working with the UN to attract good investments and proffer good economic modules for sustainable growth.