Liberia: Governance Commission Gowns Out-going UN Resident Coordinator

Ambassador Yacoub El Hillo (4th from left) was honored by gowning by the Governance Commission

Monrovia – Governance Commission (GC) on Tuesday, August 6, honored by gowning the outgoing United Nations Country Coordinator to Liberia, Ambassador Yacoub El Hillo for his “enormous contributions” to the cause of the people of Liberia during his tour of duty.

Speaking at the gowning ceremony held at the GC, the Chairman of the GC’s Board of Commissioners, Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike praised Ambassador El Hillo for his hard work.

He said, “The UN Country Coordinator carried the spirit of everyone throughout his tour of duty;’’ adding, “Your work has spanned human resource development, women’s empowerment, youth development and support in achieving reforms in the governance architecture in relations to the Governance Commission’s work.” 

Cllr. Nwabudike further said, “It’s our tradition to recognize you for the value you brought to our partnership. Your leadership brings to our working relationship high quality values in the like of our collaboration. We honor and gown you in our traditional style. This demonstrates our appreciation for all you have done here”.

The Executive Director, Mr. Stephen S. Manley, in a statement of appreciation on behalf of the GC, praised Ambassador El Hillo for his tireless work in supporting the GC through team work. Mr. Manley pointed out that this action led to strengthening democratic activities including the work around the 2017 elections. He said “Organizing the Farmington River Declaration brought together 20 political parties to sign the conduct of the election for non-violence and to ensure that it advanced a consolidated and coordinated Transition Plan for Liberia in critical areas of governance.”

The Farmington River Declaration consists of a 13-count resolution that committed signatories to resolving election disputes through mediation and/or the courts; preventing election violence; up-holding peaceful political campaign activities; and to closely work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that they effectively perform their duties before, during and after the 2017 elections.

The GC ED reminded Ambassador El Hillo that his effort in supporting stability, change and continuity and the establishment of a pathway toward Liberia’s continued development will not go unnoticed.

Also, making remarks, the out-going Head of Secretarial of Civil Society Organizations of Liberia, Madam Francis Greaves, applauded the UN diplomat for his good leadership and reliable partnership with government and civil society organizations in the delivery of critical interventions, not only in terms of mobilizing funding, but also in terms of ensuring high quality contents.

Madam Greeves said UNDP has been supportive of their work. This was demonstrated in the crafting of the Government of Liberia and Civil Society Organizations Partnership Policy. She noted, “We regret your absence at the up-coming Partnerships’ Policy annual review and subsequent implementation but again we will remember you as we roll out these good things that your UN Team partnered with us to establish.”

Responding to the remarks, Ambassador El Hillo acknowledged with appreciation the best wishes and praises accounting for his stay in Liberia under the UN command.

He thanked the leadership and staff of the GC, the Civil society Organizations and people of Liberia for the good working gesture and cooperation he enjoyed during his stay on duty.

He praised the Liberian people for their resilience and willingness to put all the pieces back together in support of the peace.

“Liberia and all of its partners, including the United Nations want to see Liberia maintain the peace and move forward and never revert to its past.”

He encouraged Liberians to continue the good example for national recovery. He praised the country for continuing to make gains despite all the difficult times as he highlighted its international peace keeping missions in the army, police and the reforms on the national front in Decentralization and Land Rights Act.

According to him, the two important areas speak to governance reform activities, popular participations in decision making and natural resources management, which he believes can help drive development and resource management in support of the peace and sustainable development of the country.  

The event was climaxed by the gowning ceremony; perform by Ambassador J. Wesley Momo Johnson, Commissioner with Oversight of the National Integrity System mandate Area of the Governance Commission.

The Commissioner further conferred, in accordance with the Liberian traditional practices, the traditional title of Chief Momo. Henceforth, Ambassador Yacoub El Hillo is now officially referred to as “Chief Yacoub El Hillo Momo.”