BFF Honors Departing UNMIL Human Rights Chief

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UN Human Rights Chief Marcel Akpovo presenting his successor Mr. Uchenna Emelonye as assurance of UN continuous support to Liberia, as students of New Hope Academy look on with excitement.

Akpovo assures Liberia’s capacity to sustain peace & democracy

Mr. Marcel C. Akpovo, representative of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights in Liberia has assured that the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will not create any vacuum in efforts to promote human rights and sustainable democracy in the country.

According to Mr. Akpovo, UNMIL is delighted to leave Liberia with confidence and trusts that Liberians can govern their country with pride, dignity and the rule of law.

Mr. Akpovo who is also Chief of Human Rights and Protection Section of UNMIL made these remarks on Tuesday, March 27, on the campus of the New Hope Academy on Peace Island in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, when the UN Mission in Liberia was honored for its indelible contributions aimed at the consolidation of peace, security and the advancement of human rights and democracy in Liberia.

The ceremony in which the UNMIL Human Rights Chief was the Guest of honor was organized by the Better Future Foundation (BFF), in collaboration with Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB), and the New Hope Academy.

“UNMIL is very much touched for this honor. We are leaving Liberia with heavy hearts because of the strong bond of relationships we have established with the good and friendly people of Liberia over the years,” Akopovo stressed.

Mr. Akpovo lauded BFF and its collaborating partners including YBB and the New Hope Academy for the multi-purpose development initiatives being implemented on Peace Island via the Youth Enhancement Center for Peace, Democracy and Development, the New Hope Academy School and its National Youth and Human Rights Advocacy Program.

The students at the BFF program

UNMIL which has been in Liberia for the past 15 years, promoting human rights, democracy, and rule of law is scheduled to depart the country on 30, March, 2018, after a successful completion of its mission.

Making special remarks at the occasion, the incoming country representative, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Liberia, Uchenna Emelonye, underscored the need for Liberian youths to strive for education which he describe as a power for a better and prosperous future.

Mr. Emelonye informed the young people at the honoring ceremony that there is no tool or a framework to counter inequality and discrimination in the world except education.

He, too, expressed delight for the commitment of young people to acquire education as expressed in their positive engagements and other activities being exhibited at the New Hope Academy.

At the occasion, the UNMIL Human Rights Chief was gowned and certificated by organizers of the program.

Making remarks during the ceremony, BFF President, Augustine Arkoi, thanked UNMIL for the many capacity development and other training opportunities from which BFF youths have immensely benefited over the years.

Mr. Arkoi assured that the wealth of knowledge and skills acquired from such training would be used by the beneficiaries in the best interest of Liberia and the larger society.

Mr. Arkoi stressed that as UNMIL departs the country, Liberians are reminded of the importance of taking direct ownership of the responsibility to sustain genuine peace and democracy in the country which, according to him, can only be achieved through the dispensation of social justice, educational empowerment, respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law.

The ceremony was climaxed by the official kickoff and launch of what BFF calls “Youth & Human Rights Soccer Game”- (between New Hope Academy versus YBB), performed by the UN Human Rights Chief Akpovo, which according to organizers will be a medium for further promoting human rights awareness in schools and rural communities in Liberia.

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