|UNMIL official calls on Liberian personnel to be productive citizens As the Mission provides technical training for 71 personnel with support from a local institution|
|Published on October 21, 2009||Email To Friend Print Version
The Director of Mission Support (DMS) of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Mr. Stephen Lieberman, has stressed the importance UNMIL attaches to building the capacities of its national staff before the Mission leaves Liberia. Mr. Lieberman made this statement at the graduation ceremony for 71 UNMIL national staff who underwent an intensive ten-week in-service training in plumbing, electricity, masonry, carpentry and vehicle mechanics.
On the use of the skills acquired, Mr. Lieberman told the UNMIL Liberian staff that the training was not only needed in UNMIL, but throughout Liberia. “Liberia needs quality tradesmen; we sponsor this programme with the belief that it will help you to be productive citizens of Liberia,” he said. He pointed out that, “We want you to have the skills you need to have a productive job, to obey your laws, to pay your taxes, and help your country grow,” adding, “if we can achieve these goals, then we have done lasting good for you and Liberia”.
This pilot project is an UNMIL partnership through its Integrated Mission Training Centre (IMTC) and the Stella Maris Polytechnic, a technical college owned and operated by the Catholic Church in Liberia. The DMS thanked officials of Stella Maris Polytechnic for supporting the training programme. He praised the IMTC for taking the lead in this endeavour, because UNMIL is the only mission that has this type of partnership to offer a national staff capacity development programme. “We are serving as a model for UN Headquarters to implement in other missions.”
The President of Stella Maris Polytechnic, Sister Mary Laurene Browne, thanked UNMIL for going beyond its peacekeeping duties in Liberia by “helping Liberians to be properly equipped with the necessary skills needed to earn them a decent living”. Sister Browne, a prominent Liberian educator, thanked the graduates who are going out there to be a part of building the nation. “Once they do that well and professionally, it will be to UNMIL’s credit – that you came here not only to make sure that the guns are silent, but to ensure that skills are available to our people who really want to learn and to make a difference in this country”, she said. She expressed appreciation on behalf of Stella Maris to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj, and UNMIL for their collaboration and pledged her organization’s readiness at any time to be of service to UNMIL in the future.
Attending the ceremony was SRSG Løj, who presented certificates of achievements to the graduates, among whom were two women. Also in attendance were the Dean of the Monsignor Stephen Kyne Technical College, in Liberia, Mr. Julius E. Adighibe; Chief Civilian Personnel Officer of UNMIL, Ms. Jeanie Fraser; and section chiefs of UNMIL from which national staff were drawn to undergo the training.
Based on the successful outcome of this pilot project, UNMIL has started engaging potential partners in other parts of Liberia to extend this type of programme for its personnel. This project is the second phase of the IMTC National Staff Assessment and Certification Programme in which supervisors assessed skills of their staff in different trade areas based on established criteria. Skills learned in this category are accredited and recognized by a credible Liberian institution.