MONROVIA-The Better Future Foundation (BFF), a proponent of Liberia’s Democracy Sustainability Platform (DSP), in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT), of the University of Liberia, Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB), and other Civil Society Organizations, will on Tuesday, 16, May, 2023, host a civil peace dialogue in observance of Liberia’s 59th National Unification Day.
The ceremony which would be held on the Capitol Hill Main Campus of the University of Liberia in Monrovia will take place under the umbrella of Partners for Democracy & Good Governance (PdG), an alliance of human rights and pro-democracy and civil society organizations (CSOs), inspired by their shared desire for strategic collaboration through advocacy to foster national and regional peace consolidation, security, and promotion of democratic governance, adherence to, and respect for the rule of law.
- E. Laurent DELAHOUSSE, Ambassador, and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Monrovia, LIBERIA, will serve as the Keynote Speaker at the occasion which has, as its Theme: “Reconciling Liberia for the 21st Century: Socio-economic, Political & Development Challenges & Prospects of the October 10th Legislative /Presidential Elections.”
The Keynote Address of Ambassador DELAHOUSSE will be followed by a panel discussion, featuring three expert presenters on the sub-themes: 1. The Socio-economic Challenges, Prospects & Implications of the October 10th Elections;” Political
Challenges, Prospects, and Implications of the October 10 elections; and Development Challenges, Prospects and Implications of the October 10 elections.”
The various sub-thematic presentations would be addressed separately by three distinguished scholars and peace advocates including Prof. Sekou Konneh, Vice President, and Dean of Student Affairs, University of Liberia; The Embassy of Sweden; Dr. Hubert Charles, Country Director, Welthunger Hilife; would be moderated by Prof. T. Debey Sayndee, Director, Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation, University of Liberia.
BFF and its partners believe that genuine national reconciliation and unification remain a critical challenge to human development, peace, and security in Liberia, 59 years after the formal launch of the National Unification Policy by William V.S. Tubman, 19th President of Liberia (late).
BFF President Augustine S. Arkoi, disclosed to the press in Monrovia that a Special Highlight of this year’s Unification Day program will be the formal launch of the National Unification Hero/Heroine Award (NUHA), which would, hereafter, be held as an annual event during Liberia’s subsequent National Unification Day celebrations.
The Unification Hero/Heroine Award (NUHA) is dedicated to searching for and recognizing the most outstanding institution/Liberian whose life and work inspire/contribute to genuine national reconciliation, peace, and unity in the country.
As part of this Year’s National Unification Day celebration, a “Sports for Peace & Development Tournament (S4P&D will subsequently be held before the October 10, 2023 Elections, featuring eight teams in (football & kickball), representing high schools, universities, and community-based youth groups who are also affiliated with various political parties, alliances, and coalitions.
The primary objective of the S4P&D is to create mass public awareness and cultivate a culture of political tolerance and peaceful coexistence before, during, and after the crucial 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections and beyond.
Mass public awareness and civic engagement is also intended to minimize the rising waves of electoral violence, desecration of the rule of law, and other rights abuses across the country, which predominately involve young people who should serve as catalysts for sustainable peace and development in the country.
BFF, a non-state actor and advocate for regional and economic integration of ECOWAS, has, from 2014 to the present, been involved in advocacy for the postwar reconstruction and development of Liberia and the sub-region.
BFF’s mission primarily involves initiating programs and activities aimed at promoting socio-economic, educational, international, and cultural understanding and cooperation.
Other distinguished personalities who are expected to not only grace the occasion but will also play significant roles in this year’s National Unification Day celebration are Madam Davidetta Brown-Lassanah, CHAIRPERSON, National Elections (NEC); Varney Sirleaf, Minister of Internal Affairs; Hon. Dorwohn Twain Gleekia, Chairman, House Legislative Committee on Peace, Religion & National Reconciliation; Archbishop Isaac S. Winker of Dominion Christian Fellowship; Rev. / Dr. Samuel Reeves, President, Liberia Council of Churches (LCC); and Alhaji Abraham Fumba Sheriff, Chairman-elect, National Muslim Council of Liberia; among others.