On visit to West Africa, Security Council praises Liberia’s progress
‘We applaud the president and her team for inaugurating an ambitious national development and economic agenda,” Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States told reporters after a meeting with Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other Government officials on Saturday. “It was quite evident that Liberia has made [quite] considerable progress since the end of the civil war.”
Ms. Rice, along with Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki of Morocco, co-led the Council delegation on a two-day visit to Liberia, part of a wider visit to West Africa which also includes Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
In his remarks to the media, Amb. Loulichki highlighted that the Council came to Liberia with a message of appreciation of what has been achieved by Liberia and its leadership.
“We are extremely proud of what Liberia is achieving and we are optimistic about the future of this country, not only to stabilize but also to have a prosperous future,” he said.
On Sunday, the Council members had the opportunity to see the country’s growth first-hand during a visit to an alternative livelihood project for traditional women, sponsored by the peacekeeping operation known as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The women, many of whom have been the victims of harmful practices, process and tailor colourful fabrics that they then sell as a means to generate income.
In addition to meeting President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and other Government officials, the Council members also met with representatives of civil organizations to discuss national reconciliation and governance issues. The Council’s last visit to Liberia was in 2009.
In Côte d’Ivoire today, the Council members will meet President Alassane Ouattara and representatives of that country’s National Assembly, before heading to Sierra Leone.
The delegation will return to New York on Thursday, 24 May.