UN workshop in Monrovia aims to help Liberia meet treaty obligations

12 July 2006

United Nations experts are helping Liberia meet obligations under the many international treaties it has entered into as it emerges from over a decade of civil conflict, through a five-day workshop in the capital Monrovia.

The workshop, which runs until 14 July, was requested by Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs who said at Monday’s opening that while the country was no stranger to international treaty law it was lagging behind in implementing some treaties from which its people could greatly benefit.

Participants from all Liberian ministries, as well as the legislature and civil society organizations, are taking part in the five-day programme.

“The problem of treaty law management and implementation lost its focus due to the 14-year-plus armed conflict which has destroyed every sector of the Liberian society,” said Foreign Minister George Wallace, adding that since so much data was lost during the war there was a need for data storage, back-up and retrieval systems that were less vulnerable to natural or man-made disasters.

Last September the Chairman of Liberia’s National Transitional Government submitted 103 treaty actions at the annual UN treaty event signing, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

UN Resident Coordinator Steven Ursino said that the workshop would help Liberians leave war behind and develop “a legacy of recovery” in the capacity-building process that in turn would allow problems to be solved.

Bradford Smith, of the UN Office of Legal Affairs, added that the UN system and its partners were ready to support Liberia, especially in the area of international treaty reforms.


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