‘Liberia Poorer Now Than War Days’ – Cllr. Varney Sherman


MONROVIA – Senator Varney Sherman (UP-Grand Cape-Mount) County has told colleagues of the Senate that the only solution to addressing the high risk of insecurity, especially in the context of terrorism, is by addressing poverty.

By Henry Karmo, [email protected]

According to him, Liberia is poorer than it was when the civil war was being fought and said there is a need for a holistic approach to addressing poverty by the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

Sen. Sherman: “If we don’t address poverty with some serious degree, no other security program will protect us against terrorism. Let us address poverty very seriously in our country. Let’s address it in the context of the Legislatures and Executive branches working together.

“Our country is poorer today than when we were fighting war. We are poorer today on the aggregate than we were when we were fighting war. This city is far dirtier than it was 15 years ago, it is a fight we must address. If we do not recognize poverty, it will visit all of us.”

The Grand Cape Mount County Senator’s comment was in response to a report submitted by the Senate delegation headed by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor to Lome, Togo on Youth Engagement in Counter-Terrorism and Prevention of Violent Extremism in Africa.

Members of Senate delegation included Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Head of delegation, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, Montserrado County, Senator Gboto Kanneh , Gbapolu County and Senator Augustine Chea, Sinoe County.

In early January, a high-level parliamentary conference on Youth Engagement in Counter-Terrorism and Prevention of Violent Extremism in Africa concluded in Togo today. The one-day conference was organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Programme Office on Parliamentary Engagement, in cooperation with the National Assembly of the Togolese Republic, the African Parliamentary Union (APU), the Interparliamentary Committee of the G5 Sahel (CIP G5 Sahel), and the Shura Council of the State of Qatar.

More than two hundred participants, including parliamentarians and representatives of parliamentary assemblies, United Nations entities, Civil Society, and academia attended the event in person and online to discuss avenues for enhancing youth engagement in policymaking and legislative processes on countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism (PVE).

The Conference began with opening remarks from the organizers. “Youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the drivers of change today, and Young Parliamentarians present with us here now are the embodiment of this,” Mr. Mauro Miedico, Deputy Director, Chief of UNOCT’s Special Projects and Innovation Branch highlighted in his opening remarks.

 H.E. Ms. Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan, President of the National Assembly of Togo, stressed that “We must convert young people’s energy into a shield that will protect our countries and values.”

H.E. Ms. Mabel M. Chinomona, President of APU and President of the Senate of Zimbabwe, underlined that “To a large extent, young people are the first victims of terrorism and violent extremism as they are the main targets of terrorists who deprive them of their bright futures.”

Mr. Norbert Tankoano, Executive Secretary of CIP G5 Sahel reiterated that “In order to be at ease, we must support and educate young people on parliamentarian issues and on countering terrorism and violent extremism.” Hon. Mr. Saad bin Ahmed Al-Mesned, Member of the Shura Council of the State of Qatar thanked the UN for its efforts in countering terrorism.

 “We want to encourage initiatives that contribute to national and international endeavors to combat terrorism and build peace in Africa and the world, he added” In his keynote address, H.E. Mr. Duarte Pacheco, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Member of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal emphasized that “It is essential to engage young.