‘All Nations are Equal, at Least on Paper’

Cllr. Marvey with copy of the book.

Cllr. Marvey dissects Liberia and Africa’s economic and governance woes in new book

A Liberian Investment Lawyer Cllr. Mark M. M. Marvey, has authored a book entitled: “All Nations Are Equal At Least On Paper.”

In the book, Cllr. Marvey expounded on how over the years, poor economic management has limited the ability of the Liberian nation to exert its sovereignty.

While highlighting poor regulatory framework, dysfunctional institutions low human capacity, which have affected Liberia, like many other African countries, as well as exploitation and maneuvers by foreign companies, the US-trained Liberian investment lawyer, in the book, pinpointed the complexities that form the core of disgruntlement within the present framework for international trade, investment and global governance.

The book further showcases the effects of colonialism on Africa after about 60 to 80 years of exploitation of its natural and human resources by Western Powers, under the guise of Christianizing and civilizing the continent and how Africa was torn apart and plunged into a world molded by a web of laws fashioned by the Westerners, suppressing Africa’s values, considerably destroying its environment and culture and rendering it well marginalized.

Personalities at the Book Launch (2nd L-R): Cllr. Moses Paegar, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, Rep. Lawrence Morris, Cllr. Mark M. M. Marvey, Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, Mr. Wendell Addy, Hon. Gregory Coleman, Cllr. Negbalee Warner, among others

The author also reflects on the poor governance and leadership abilities that have been demonstrated by many African leaders, underpinned by a vain quest for power, entrenched cultures of impunity, abuse of rights, and corruption.

Cllr. Marvey argues that all of these invoke and sustain the perception that Africans are incapable of democratic self-governance.

According to the author, while poverty, illiteracy, and diseases continue to plague the African continent, many African leaders lived and continue to live in affluence while the few who have risen above such mediocrity, and have been inspired by the vision of a united front (United States of Africa), have either become victims of coup or regime change.

Marvey also takes a critical look at Article Two of the United Nations (UN) Charter, which provides that the organization, in pursuit of its purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the principle of sovereign equality of all its members.

“Till date,” Cllr. Marvey argues the composition of the UN Security Council, which consists of only five countries, as starkly unrepresentative of the peoples of the world.

“Africa, for example, a whole continent of about a billion people, consisting of 54 sovereign countries, has no representative on the Security Council. Yet, the UN prides itself as being democratic,” he wrote.

“Democracy, in my understanding, is not a spectator’s sport. Moreover, the conducts of UN Security Council members have rendered the notion of equality of nations a complete lip service,” the author further observed.

Cllr. Marvey: “I was so fascinated by the fact that westerners found it (UN) so convenient to cast into oblivion the legacies of abuses and utter cruelty that characterized those years of widespread and massive human degradation occasioned by both slavery and colonization, and tend to project an image of immaculate innocent such that they ought to be trusted to have the best interests of all at heart, and so much so that even the security of Africa, like the rest of the world, ought to remain bequeathed to their exclusive watch,” he said.

The author, however, advanced a number of recommendations aimed at a paradigm shift towards democratic governance, socioeconomic growth, and development not only in Liberia, but on the continent of Africa.

Eva Mappy Morgan, Chief Judge of the Commercial Court, who served as a Chief Launcher of the book, lauded Cllr. Marvey, said the book remains a resourceful material in telling Liberia and Africa’s true stories.

Judge Morgan called on Liberian scholars to emulate the positive example of Cllr. Marvey, who she described as a young and fast-emerging scholar of repute.

The president of the Liberia Chambers of Commerce, Wendell Addy, who served as a Co-launcher, summarized the book, but then recommended that it should be considered as a textbook for Liberia, and other African students so that the continent’s current and succeeding generations will have a clear understanding of the mistakes of the past and to make informed future concessions negotiations that will accrue more benefits as Africa endeavors to fast-track its development.

Other personalities who graced the occasion were Gregory Coleman, Chairman of National Bureau of Concessions; Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, Dean of Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law;  Cllr. G. Moses Paegar, President of Liberia National Bar Association; renowned human rights Lawyer, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongle; Representatives Laurence Morris and Samuel Anders, members of the 54th Legislature, all of whom hailed the book as highly revealing and scholarly.


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