Monrovia – The Liberian government is proposing to the United Nations Security Council an extension period of one year for the stay of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in the country.
“Only one more year to continue the phased withdrawal – one more year to enable our recovering and reforming institutions to continue to stand up as UNMIL draws down,” Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Lewis Brown, told a Security Council briefing on Liberia Friday.
Ambassador Brown observed that “one more year of presence of UNMIL represents to many Liberians a ‘brand of confidence’ that would assist in mitigating, if not deterring, the real risk of a disruption during the country’s most sensitive political period.”
He added: “Only one more year of working together, in what for Liberia is a successful partnership to properly prepare for a successor mission and a democratically-elected government to continue the useful partnership and build upon the progress.”
The Liberian diplomat stressed that the country understands the many concerns associated with its request for an extension and there are concerns about increasing dependencies by national institutions on the international community.
Brown said there are also concerns that a request for extension may become recurring and concerns that the resources contributed to UNMIL are needed elsewhere, including in more troubled spots.
But Brown explained that the failure of the Liberian State, which necessitated the deployment of UNMIL, also occasioned the greatest collapse in the productive capacity of any nation since World War II – an estimated collapse of more than ninety percent.
“Corroded over time, national institutions were not simply defaced and rendered dysfunctional; they were effectively eviscerated.
Dwindling public confidence was altogether lost, and hope in a democratic future was nonexistent,” he pointed out.
“Indeed resources are finite.
And yes, there are growing needs in other parts of the world including on the African Continent for the resources of UNMIL. We continue to consider this situation seriously, and take the needed steps, within the limits of our means, to be removed from a dependence on UNMIL,” Brown told the Security Council.
The Liberian envoy observed that whatever decision the Council makes, the truth is that today, Liberia is a better country – a more peaceful and secure nation.
“We intend to keep it that way.
Again, we are grateful to the Security Council, the other agencies of the United Nations as well as our many bilateral and multilateral partners for your continued support.
“We do not take your continued support, or its associated costs, for granted, nor should the depths of our gratitude be ever underestimated,” he said.