At Global Forum, Liberia’s VP Frowns against Hatred Amid Echoes of Strain With President

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Reykjavik, Iceland – Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has stressed the need for peaceful coexistence  and the need for women to show love as a necessary ingredient for a better world.

Addressing this year’s Women Political Leaders Global Forum Tuesday, the vice president, serving as a conversationist, said ending all forms of hatred and violence is a key ingredient for living in peace and harmony. 

The VP participated in a specially-arranged Global Leaders Roundtable discussion, in cooperation with the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) in the serene ambiance of the highly symbolic venue of the 1986 Ronald Reagan-Mikhail Gorbachev Meeting which was held to promote peace and put an end to the Cold War. 

The setting offered a backdrop for the VP’s central theme Tuesday. “The thought of standing in the spot where Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev held meetings which brought  the cold war to an end is a sobering. We must end all forms of hatred and violence and live in peace,” VP Taylor averred.

The annual forum offers platform where women leaders discuss and share ideas and solutions. 

VP Taylor along with several key women leaders from around the world are using the conference this week to work collectively in weighing gains made and assessing gaps in a variety of issue areas, spanning gender issues, maternal mortality, world economic outlook, peacemaking and sustenance, digital leapfrogging, technology, as well as poverty alleviation, good governance and transparency, among others. 

The Vice President is also holding discussions with a delegation from the People’s Republic of China to discuss enhancing gender matters. 

Taking place the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, the conference, runs until Thursday.

Iceland has been the global champion in the World Economic Forum’s gender-gap index which examines disparities between men and women in terms of political empowerment, economic opportunity, education and health.

Prior to her trip to Iceland, the Vice President participated in an international health conference in the Ghanaian Capital, Accra, which focused on sounding a call to action in the fight against Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR).  The conference the release added was co-chaired by Vice President Howard-Taylor and her Ghanaian counterpart, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

The high-profiled trip by the vice president comes amid report strains between she and President George Manneh Weah who is said to be jittery amid chatters within his circle that the VP has hidden ambitions for the Liberian presidency.

The role of the vice president was a major talking point of last year’s presidential elections, particularly after former Vice President Joseph Boakai suggested during the presidential debate that he had been a race car parked in the garage for twelve years. 

On the campaign trail, candidate Howard-Taylor retorted without naming name but what many believed was aimed at Boakai, said she would not be a car parked in the garage.

In September 2017, the former Bong County Senator who had just been tipped as President Weah’s running mate suggested that the President and the Vice President are elected on one ticket as vision bearers to push the development agenda of their country. “The President and the Vice President are elected on one ticket, so they are like one. They should be discussing the vision, the plans and progress of their country, that’s the first place of the influence of the Vice President.”

The aftermath of the elections however has been a different story with President Weah, since his inauguration making multiple moves to wrestle key responsibilities away from his vice amid lingering confusion within the National Patriotic Party’s faction of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, pressing claims that the VP is quietly harboring a presidential ambition.  

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