Pledging funds UN envoy to Liberia welcomes reconciliation commission

Helping launch a reconciliation commission to heal the societal wounds of Liberia’s brutal 14-year civil war, the United Nations envoy to the West African country said that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) would donate $500,000 to aid its operations.Alan Doss, the Special Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, also praised Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who came to office in January, for the commitment she has shown to setting up the long-delayed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).“The priority you have given to the inauguration of the TRC is yet another proof of your resolve to push ahead vigorously with your good governance agenda,” Mr. Doss said at the opening ceremony in the capital Monrovia, at which the nine members of the Commission took their oaths of office.Presiding over that ceremony, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said that the inauguration was an “unprecedented testament to the courage we have summoned as a nation and people to reckon with our shameful and despicable past.”“This commission is our hope – to define the past on our behalf in terms that are seen and believed to be fair and balanced, and bring forth a unifying narrative on which our nation’s rebuilding and renewal processes can be more securely anchored,” she said.According to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the President told the Commissioners that they were to “document all abuses, validate and establish the narratives of both victims and victimizers; while paying particular attention to women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable members of society; and to provide at the end of their mandate, clear and workable recommendations on how Liberia can collectively make restitution for the past – and move on in unity to face the future.”The ceremony was attended by members of Liberia’s three-branches of government as well as by representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations. read more