Annan calls for more international support to rehabilitate Liberia

Annan calls for more international support to rehabilitate Liberia

As years of conflict have left the Liberian people increasingly vulnerable, Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on the United Nations General Assembly to give further support to the country's humanitarian needs, as well as its rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

In a report to the Assembly released today, Mr. Annan also calls on the international community to encourage the Government of Liberia to reform its institutions, promote greater transparency, reinforce the rule of law and establish inclusive processes for reconciliation and confidence-building, particularly in the run-up to the 2003 elections.

The continuous instability in Liberia has created a "perpetual dependency syndrome" which had damaging consequences for the future development of the country, the Secretary-General says, noting also that the degraded security and humanitarian situation make it difficult for UN agencies and bilateral donors to implement development and capacity-building programmes beyond immediate recovery needs.

Mr. Annan says the country, which experienced seven years of devastating civil war, was still faced with the challenges of establishing a sustainable peace and resolving the present conflict caused by weak economic management, social inequalities and ethnic polarization.

"The resolution of the conflict and the creation and consolidation of sustainable peace in Liberia is necessary for any development endeavour geared towards reducing poverty in the country," the report says. To consolidate peace, the military should be restructured and ex-combatants reintegrated.

The report also says Liberia's incipient democracy should be consolidated by forging sub-regional peace and security among the countries of the Mano River Union, and by strengthening civil society organizations, gender and human rights organizations, as well as governance and economic management institutions.