Monrovia – The Government of Sweden through its Embassy in Monrovia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Mission in Liberia has signed a US$5.9 million agreement to support and strengthen access to justice in Liberia.
The Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia Lena Nordström said the signing of the agreement seeks to strengthen structures working for lasting peace and reduce factors contributing to violent conflict.
“Sweden is committed to promoting strong country leadership and ownership for the reform of the justice and security sectors…”
Amb. Nordström said at the signing of the three-year Joint UNDP and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Rule of law and Access to Justice programme titled “Strengthening the Rule of Law in Liberia: Justice and Security for the Liberian People”.
The Swedish Envoy said consolidating peace in Liberia requires sustained long-term efforts to build institutions that are accountable, inclusive, corruption-free and able to provide serVices to all citizens.
She said the process also requires vibrant and strong civil society, including women’s organizations, to support and challenge the government in the delivery of security and access to justice for all women and men.
The programme was designed within the framework of the UNMIL transition and developed in close consultation with the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and other national justice and rule of law institutions as well as civil society representatives to advance on-going reforms in the sector, building on the gains made under the Justice and Security Programme and other previous programmes.
It also aims at building on the extensive experience of both UNDP and UNMIL in the justice and security sector with support from the Government of Sweden, among other partners, and represents an important milestone in maximizing the combined resources and expertise of the UN to ‘deliver as one’ in enhancing justice and security in Liberia in the context of the UNMIL transition.
Ambassador Lena Nordström signed on behalf of the Government of Sweden while UNDP Deputy Country Director and Acting Country Director Cleophas Torori signed on behalf of UNDP.
In a brief remark, Mr. Torori thanked the Government and people of Sweden for the support and pledged UNDP fullest commitment to its implementation.
He said the signing of the agreement marks the beginning of the work that seeks to improve the reform processes and support access to justice in Liberia.
Also, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Political and Rule of Law, Waldemar Very expressed appreciation to the Government of Sweden for the assistance and promised to work for its implementation.
The Joint UNDP/UNMIL Rule of law and Access to Justice programme will also work in close coordination and collaboration with other UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as other international and national partners and civil society, to ensure synergy and complementarity in advancing rule of law and access to justice in Liberia.
The programme is anchored on four key outcomes, which include the following: i) strengthening the capacity of justice and security institutions; ii) enhancing CSO contribution to rule of law and community access to justice; iii) Ensuring gender responsiveness of justice, security and legislative actors and improving access to justice and security for women and girls, and iv) capacity building of key actors and stakeholders to monitor progress and results in rule of law.
The programme has recently been endorsed by the Government of Liberia and partners and is now set for full implementation starting January 2017.