Ahead of October Presidential And Parliamentary Elections In Liberia, DSRSG BIHA Commends the Political Parties for The Signing Of The Revised Farmington River Declaration
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Officer in Charge of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Giovanie BIHA, today concluded a four-day working visit to the Republic of Liberia.
The objective of the visit was to participate in the signing ceremony of The Revised Farmington River Declaration 2023, organized on 4th April in Margibi under the auspices of Liberia's National Elections Commission (NEC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the United Nations (UN); and to discuss with the authorities’, ways of reinforcing UN-Liberia partnership ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 2023.
Prior to the signing ceremony of the Farmington River Declaration 2023, the Deputy Special Representative was received in audience by His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia. She also met with Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frank Musa Dean, Minister of Justice, Maria G. Harrison, Secretary-General of the Mano River Union (MRU), members of the international community, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and NEC commissioners, civil society organizations, and the UN Country Team.
In her meetings, Ms. Biha applauded the tireless efforts being taken by the authorities and national actors to consolidate peace and democracy in Liberia, and renewed the United Nations support to accompany them in their endeavor.
In Margibi, along with H.E President George Weah in his capacity of a political leader and standard-bearer, H. E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ms. Biha witnessed the signing ceremony of The Revised Farmington River Declaration 2023 during which the leaders of 27 political parties pledged their commitment to peaceful, transparent, and credible elections for the upcoming presidential and legislative polls in October 2023.
Addressing the ceremony, Ms. Biha emphasized the significance of the momentum in anchoring peace and democracy in Liberia. “I commend the leaders of political parties for their commitment to uphold peaceful elections, respect the rule of law, and resolve disputes through legal means,” said Biha, adding that the United Nations will remain mobilized to contribute to the consolidation of peace, stability, and development in Liberia.
The Deputy Special Representative also took part in a Diplomatic Dialogue on the role of political parties in promoting women’s political participation in Liberia” co-organized by the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women, and the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Center for women and development. Before concluding her visit, on Thursday 6, Ms. Biha visited a voter registration center in Margibi where she engaged with election officials and praised the work of NEC and its voter registration efforts.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations support and called on the people of Liberia to redouble their efforts to ensure that the upcoming 2023 elections will further deepen democratic consolidation in Liberia and in the region.