On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, the EU Delegation in Monrovia, in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT) at the University of Liberia (UL) convened a Peacebuilding Dialogue at the Capitol Hill Campus of the UL.
The Peacebuilding Dialogue was held under the theme "Strengthening Governance for Peacebuilding in Post Conflict Liberia: The Way Forward". The overall objective of this engagement with students and academics was to hold a debate on ways to strengthen governance for peacebuilding in Liberia.
The debate brought together about 80 academics, students and general public. 5 panellists from diverse backgrounds in the Liberian society presented on issues such as Women Inclusion in Governance, Security Sector Reform, and Strengthening the Rule of Law as part of the way forward to maintaining peace in Liberia.
Juan Antonio Frutos, Head of Political, Press and Information Section of the EU Delegation, stressed that governance is critical, in its different dimensions: democratic governance (inclusiveness, pluralism), institutional building (quality and effective public policies, decision-making, implementation of those decisions, public service delivery), fight against corruption (promotion of integrity mechanisms, transparency and accountability), rule of law, sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection, and sound economic policies, including public finance management and measures aimed at fostering an enabling business and investment climate.
Mr. Frutos recalled that governance is one of the focal sectors of the EU cooperation in Liberia, and that the EU and its Member States remain committed to continuing supporting Liberia's efforts in this area. He also emphasized that efforts to improve governance pay off, and the governance approach results in tangible benefits. Better governance results in more foreign direct investments, official development assistance, businesses, economic growth and job creation.
Women Rights Advocate Cerue Konah Garlo used the opportunity to stress the essential contributions women have made and must make in maintaining peace and stability and in improving governance in Liberia. Madam Garlo emphasized the dire need to increase the number of women representation in Liberia's institutions.
This debate was the first partnership between the KAICT and the EU Delegation in Liberia. KAICT Director, Professor Debey Sayndee, said: "We want to say a big thank you to the European Union in Liberia for this effort. Such discourse helps to strengthen our institutions and democracy as a whole. Our doors are open for more collaboration in the future."