‘A successful election is a shared responsibility of all Liberians,’ says UN Envoy
Monrovia Liberia - The UNMIL Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj has called upon political actors in Liberia to take advantage of the democratic space and express their ideas freely, without undermining trust and confidence in the democratic system.
SRSG Løj made these remarks on the 28th of March at the ninth Chinese UN Police Contingent medal award ceremony where 18 Chinese Police observers were awarded with UN peacekeeping medals for their commitment to the maintenance of peace and security in Liberia.
“In the last eight years Liberia has shown the world that its people want peace and stability,” Ms Løj said. Reiterating her recent briefing to the UN Security Council, the SRSG pointed out that the Council Members welcomed the progress that Liberia continues to make in consolidating its peace process. “They underlined the importance of the 2011 elections as a key step to further consolidate peace, and have urged that Liberians seize the moment and demonstrate to the world that peace in Liberia is truly irreversible,” the UN Envoy noted.
SRSG Løj commended the Chinese Police observers for keeping the peace in Liberia as well as helping to build the capacity of the Liberia National Police (LNP). She praised them for training new LNP officers; assisting in enhancing traffic management skills; engaging in community policing activities such as crime prevention, and self defense training for women who are vulnerable to gender-based violence, including rape. Ms Løj further thanked them for mobilizing their personal resources to rebuild the LNP station on Bushrod Island, which also has a separate Women and Children’s Protection Section. The SRSG expressed her gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for strengthening its presence in United Nations peacekeeping operations worldwide.
The Chinese Contingent Commander Superintendent Li Shulong said that so far China had contributed 120 civilian police officers to the UN Mission in Liberia, undertaking their tasks in human resource management, police support, information collection, criminal investigation, traffic management and emergency response.
In his remarks, the Deputy Director-General of Chinese Police and Head of the Chinese Delegation, Mr. Hua Naiqiang said Chinese peacekeepers have demonstrated enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism, and have made outstanding contributions in maintaining the stability and peace of host countries. He advised the police observers to continue to carry out their duties in compliance with UN Police core values and Liberian law.
Attending the medal award ceremony were UN Police Commissioner Guatam Sawang; Acting Force Commander Brigadier General John Kwaise; Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy Mr. Li Zhigong; Director of Mission Support, Hubert Price; Deputy Police Commissioner John Nielson; and UNPOL Chief of Staff Madam Deborah Addison Campbell. The program was also attended by LNP officers, community members, and senior UNMIL military and police officers.