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|Translate Dev. Programmes Into Better Life For The People|
|Published on April 30, 2008||Email To Friend Print Version
Deputy United Nations Envoy in Liberia, Mr. Jordan Ryan, has challenged local government administrators in Liberia to translate their development programmes into better quality life for the people. Mr. Ryan was speaking in Sanniquellie, the provincial capital of Nimba County, at a retreat of local government officials, reviewing the development and decentralized activities of the UN’s County Support Teams (CSTs).
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Recovery and Governance congratulated the Government and the people of Liberia for achieving the extraordinary participative process of formulating the national Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) based on district and county level consultations. He noted, however, that for the PRS to succeed a lot more hard work must be done. “The real test of your County Development Agendas is not the fine words they contain nor how neatly they are stacked up in your offices, but how they are used to change the life of every Liberian child, man and woman; how they are used to make Liberians safer, healthier and more educated, and indeed the Liberian nation more prosperous.”
The DSRSG described the CDAs, which have been formulated after broad-based grassroots consultations in each of Liberia’s 15 counties, as the aspirations and needs of the people. DSRSG Ryan urged the county administrators to build an information database for the effective monitoring of the development agendas. “The goal is to make it possible for the people of Liberia to hold you the leaders accountable – how you are living up to the promise of development,” he stressed.
Mr. Ryan said the idea of the CST project was to build the capacity of local officials so they could tackle the development aspirations of the people effectively. “We want to ensure that superintendents and line ministries in the counties have the capacity to listen, to lead and to manage.” He commended the political goodwill of President Johnson Sirleaf for the effective implementation of the CST concept. The DSRSG, on behalf of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), presented a 37 KVA generator to Nimba’s authorities for use by the administration building.
Liberia’s Internal Affairs Minister, Mr. Ambulai Johnson, urged the local government administrators to involve the people more in decision-making. Planning and Economic Affairs Minister, Dr. Toga McIntosh, said the grassroots consultations held throughout the 15 counties showed that the people of Liberia had identified roads, healthcare and schools as their pressing needs. He added that these needs had been reflected in the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) to be submitted to a donors’ meeting in Germany at the end of June this year. Papers on various aspects of CST and local government administration were delivered.
Other speakers, including Ministers and Superintendents, acknowledged the valuable contributions made by the CST in support of local government efforts in Liberia. The CST is an example of the UN family at work together in each of Liberia’s 15 counties in support of the restoration of national authority. This innovative mechanism aims to ensure a coherent and consolidated UN approach in assisting government to address the post-conflict challenges in Liberia. Also present at the retreat in addition to local country officials and national authorities were representatives of UN agencies and concerned UNMIL sections.