Monrovia, 01 November 2020: With support from UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Depart of Urban Affairs, finalised the National Urban Policy Diagnosis Note for Liberia at the Monrovia City Corporation. The validation workshop was attended by over 130 delegates comprising of urban stakeholders, national government representatives from various ministries, agencies, departments, and mayors and commissioners from across the country.
The workshop was opened by Mrs. Bindu Brewer, UN-Habitat’s Senior National Urban Policy consultant for Liberia, who observed that, ‘’Finalisation of the Diagnosis Note is a vital component of the implementation of Phase Two of the NUP development. For one, it is an important mechanism to ensure that ministers, mayors, senior experts, development partners, United Nations agencies, civil society, private sector, academic and research institutions, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations and key Urban Stakeholders are informed of the results of the Diagnosis Phase and content of the Notes’’.
Presenting the keynote address at the workshop, Ms. Paulita CC. Wie, the Deputy Minister of Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Chairperson of the Liberia Country Programme (LCP), thanked the participants for being a part of the process and showing support for the validation of the Diagnosis Note. She first spoke briefly on the works of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, saying; ‘’We are to support democratic, effective and efficient local governance and spearhead the implementation of the decentralization process, promote participatory decision making process, strengthen basic social services delivery, maintain peace harmony and social cohesion in the country’’.
The Cities Alliance Country Manager, Mr. Francisco Lopez remarked that the NUP process had been participatory and independents to ensure and strengthen national participation from across the country by bringing together participants from various institutions from across the country.
Sen. Gbleh-bo Brown, Chair of the Liberian Senate Committee on Internal Affairs expressed his gratitude to UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for inviting the Senate Committee for Internal Affairs to the Workshop. He highlighted the usefulness of the NUP and stated that ‘’it’s all about strengthening participation and the governance system in our country and that’s why we are all glad to be a part of it’’. He then encouraged the three parners to develop the NUP and move to the implementation of the policy.
Ms. Hawa Dee Sheriff, proxying the Mayor of the City of Paynesville applauded the Validation Workshop organized by City Alliance and UN-Habitat, she then welcomed the participants to the Validation Workshop, and express her gratitude of being part of the process.
Mr. Henry O. Williams director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), observed that; ‘’The Note we are here to validate today is a very important instrument to the NUP development’’. He declared that urban governance is a key tool for the success of the NUP and thanked UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance for incorporating and addressing all urban issues in the NUP process.
Representing the Ministry of Public Works, the Deputy Minister for Administration, Mr. Joseph P. Todd lauded the support from UN-Habitat and Cities to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and pledged the Ministry’s support to help achieve the goals and objectives of the National Urban Policy for Liberia. ‘’ The National Urban Policy as a tool, will not only help in reducing urban and territorial disparity, but will also help promote institutional collaboration and policy coherence toward the achievement of Liberia Vision 2030’’.
Mr. George Howe, Commissioner of the Governance Commission emphasized that ‘’urbanization comes with opportunities and challenges, and the opportunities must be utilized and challenges confronted through constant engagements with the relevant stakeholders as was demonstrated during the Diagnosis Phase of the NUP development process’’. He reaffirmed the support of the Governance Commission to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its partners UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance in developing a National Urban Policy for Liberia.
Mr. John Omwamba, Urban Policy and Project Management Officer at UN-Habitat Head office in Nairobi spoke on behalf of Dr. Remy Sietchiping, head, Policy, Legislation and Governance Section, Urban Practices Branch. Mr. Omwamba remarked that; ‘’UN-Habitat is pleased to be co-hosting the Liberian NUP Diagnosis Note Validation Workshop with Cities Alliance and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This is an important workshop that will aim at adopting recommendation of the diagnosis phase of the National Urban Policy development process. UN-Habitat congratulates all stakeholders that have actively been part of the process of NUP development for Liberia since 2014’’.