Annan hails creation of group of nations concerned about situation in Liberia

In a message to the inaugural meeting of the International Contact Group on Liberia, the Secretary-General said he was pleased to note that the membership reflected the “convergence of views” among the international community and regional stakeholders on the need for effective cooperation to promote lasting peace and stability, especially in Liberia.He also noted that significant progress had been achieved in Sierra Leone, contributing to the general stability of the sub-region. “We must do all we can to preserve and consolidate this progress, and expand our efforts to foster peace and stability in the rest of the sub-region,” Mr. Annan said in his message, which was delivered on his behalf in New York by Tuliameni Kalomoh, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.“We must encourage those who work to promote peaceful change in the sub-region, including civil society groups, and take a firm stand against those who hamper the attainment of this objective,” he added. “And we must encourage all efforts made inside Liberia to prepare fertile soil in which peace, democracy, good governance and stability can take root.”Abou Moussa, the Secretary-General’s new Representative for Liberia, will be the UN focal point on the ground, working with the Government of Liberia and the Group to help it achieve its mandate.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, will also be closely monitoring developments in the Mano River basin. The envoy plans to visit the countries of the Mano River Union shortly to explore ways in which the UN can support efforts by its members and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to promote sustainable peace and stability. read more