Liberia: Mayor Koijee Highlights Monrovia’s Challenges at the Strong City Network Dialogue During the Sideline of the 77th UNGA
New York, USA – Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee during the sideline of the United Nations 77th General Assembly, at the Strong Cities Network (SCN) event, highlighted challenges affecting residents of the City of Monrovia.
The Strong Cities Network (SCN) hosted a two-hour side event that brought together mayors and local government practitioners from across the world to share their perspectives on innovative city-led responses to threats of extremism as well as provide insights into opportunities for supporting local authorities’ action that would focus on abhorring localized and mainstreamed that is taking countries by storm.
The SCN is an independent global network of more than 150 cities and local governments dedicated to addressing all forms of violent extremism, hate, and polarization while promoting a human rights-based prevention framework in which local knowledge and practice inform national, regional, and international approaches.
Mayor Koijee along with several panelists including the Deputy Mayor of the City of Kampala, Uganda, Doreen Nyanjura; the Secretary General of the Municipality of Tunis, Hafidha Mdimegh; Mayor Marvin Rees of the City of Bristol, the United Kingdom; Zilina City, Deputy City Mayor, Barbora Birnerová; among others examined the local-level approaches, needs, and priorities of cities in carving out safeguards against violent extremism.
Mayor Koijee in his deliberations told the audience that he believes ending sexual and gender-based violence, encouraging dialogues, poverty reduction and a vibrant media are the surest ways extremism would be brought under control.
According to the Monrovia City Mayor, the international community and other policymakers have put more efforts to curb extremism in western nations, the Middle-east, and other places. However, he said, the African continent has been left out in most instances.
“Africa has been the breeding ground for some of the most dreadful acts of extremism. So, attention must be equally given to the continent since all of the issues that could underpin violence are pervasive in Africa, Mayor Koijee said.
He added: “In Liberia, for example, the growing wave of sexual and gender-based violence is a critical concern for community safety. Months leading to elections in our country are, unfortunately attracting violence of all sorts about issues that could otherwise be amicably resolved.”
Koijee said, “Statistics from the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection and United Nations Women, gender-based violence has been one of the major challenges within the City of Monrovia.”
“Families are still struggling to amicably settle household problems among themselves due to cultural differences and intolerance, which leads to the stronger gender using violence of different types and degrees against the weaker gender,” Mayor Koijee furthers.
The Monrovia City Mayor also stressed the need for vibrant media something he says that does not propagate misinformation and disinformation to fuel violence.
“We maintained that people of our generation: young people should be considered given their vulnerability to negative influences in the face of economic hardship,” Mayor Koijee said.