‘The settling of differences and disagreements through peaceful dialogue...’ says UN Envoy
During the ceremony at the City hall in Monrovia the SRSG expressed her heartfelt appreciation to the Government of Norway for its unwavering support to the UN since its foundation in 1945. ‘Throughout the UN’s history, Norway has always been a driving force in peace building efforts, strengthening the UN’s capacity for conflict prevention and crisis management” she said.
The UN Envoy further lauded Norway for its efforts to achieve one of the highest levels of gender equality in peacekeeping contributions. ‘Even today, out of the six officers receiving medals, four are women – demonstrating when given the conditions, gender parity is possible, even in spheres that are traditionally male dominated – such as the police and military,” said the SRSG adding ,‘ I hope that Norway’s example will be emulated so that we have more gender balance in peacekeeping missions” .
Underscoring gender balance, the SRSG also noted that on December 10th, the Norwegian Nobel Committee would be awarding the Nobel peace prize to three women: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian civil society activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni journalist and activist Tawakkul Karman. ‘The prize recognizes their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women, and for women’s right to full participation in peace-building work.” This is an achievement not only for Liberia and Yemen, but for all women around the world who work day-to-day, often unseen, to overcome violence and conflict.”
The UN Envoy also took the occasion to express her deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones in the recent tragic incident caused by a horrific bomb attack in Oslo followed by the massacre in Utøya, leading to the death of over 80 people. In her message SRSG Løj said “that we could all learn from the way that the people of Norway have been able to come together, to try to overcome this collective trauma with a common purpose of healing … [and how] Norwegians have reflected on the appalling attacks and [their] committed to understanding rather than judgment, and to dialogue rather than prejudice.” The SRSG said “We should all apply these principles so that future generations moves forward based on dialogue rather than inheriting past prejudices.”
Highlighting how Liberians have proved that despite political disagreements, they are committed not to return to war, the UN Envoy urged Liberians to uphold the peace they enjoy every day. ‘This peace is a hard-won collective achievement and must be honored as we see it recognized tomorrow in Oslo. The settling of differences and disagreements through peaceful dialogue is the best legacy we can leave our children.”