Diaspora Liberians Forge United Front to Support Struggling Homeland

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Amb. George Patten with former Ambasadors William Bull and James Teah Tarpeh at the All Liberian Diaspora Conference, held December 2019

Diaspora Liberians from various regions of the world wrapped up a two-day meeting over last weekend with a comprehensive resolution establishing themselves as a united front to help rebuild their homeland with keen focus on the key issues of economic Development, dual citizenship, immigration protection, women rights, health, education, and justice for war crimes in Liberia.

“Proposition One” of the 2020 Referendum took center stage with a decision to support the controversial constitutional amendment.

The conference resolution, according to a dispatch, was adopted at the Saturday closing session of the All Liberian Diaspora Conference held December 6-7 in Silver Spring, Maryland USA.

The Conference was sponsored by the leading umbrella Liberian Diaspora organizations representing various regions of the world brought together hundreds of Liberians, and Diaspora leaders, along with local officials, and diplomats, including Liberian ambassador the U.S. George S. Patten, former ambassadors, William Bull and James Teah Tarpeh, former U.S. ambassador at large Stephen Rapp, and former U.N. Prosecutor Dr. Alan White.

Leading speakers included former USAID Mission Director to Liberia, Dr. Anthony Chan; Former Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Cllr. Jerome J. Verdier, and former Presidential Advisor, Cllr. Seward M. Cooper, Sr.

ALDC Chairman John F. Lloyd Chats with Dr. Alan White

The Conference Chairman, John F. Lloyd, who addressed the opening event, said that the prime goal of the conference was to unite Liberians in the Diaspora to address the major issues affecting Liberia, noting, “We are here today because we remember where we come from,” he asserted.

The deliberations and resolution process were live-streamed around the world, and received broad- based support from the Liberian Diaspora for the focus on a range of important issues affecting Liberia.

“The Conference document will be officially released after formal presentation to the diaspora leadership,” according to the dispatch.

Diaspora Unity

After two days of deliberation characterized by huge outpouring of national pride, and devotion to their motherland, Liberians resolved to stand united as a global “All Liberian Diaspora Conference” bringing together the leadership of a large network of Liberian national organizations from around the world, while ensuring the representation of women on the governing council.

Dual citizenship

In the aftermath of heated debates and discussions on the issue of dual citizenship and “Proposition One” of the National 2020 Referendum, Diaspora Liberians resolved to support “Proposition One” as a giant step in their long quest to attain dual citizenship and restore the citizenship of natural born Liberians with other nationalities. However, they were keen to point out that the stipulations restricting dual citizens from holding an extended list of positions in the government is fall short of addressing the essential goal of reversing brain drain.

Economic Development

On the issue of economic development, the Conference observed the deep concern of the Liberian Diaspora over the steadily declining economic conditions in Liberia and called upon the current government to adopt realistic fiscal policies to alleviate the suffering of the Liberian people.

Justice for War and Economic Crimes

In their resolution, the diaspora Liberians reflected upon the toll of instability, and human rights violations in their homeland and took a principled stance supporting the pursuit of justice for war and economic crimes in Liberia with a realistic approach, as a means of rebuilding trust in the political stability of the nation and its struggling economy.

ALDC Chairman, John F. Lloyd (at podium): “We are here today because we remember where we come from.”

Immigration Protection

The resolution further observed the uncertain status of Liberians in the U.S. currently on the temporary immigration status of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who may be subject to deportation if timely action is not taken to address their expiring status. The Conference then resolved to mobilize the resources of all Liberians in the U.S. to lobby for the extension of DED while legislation is pursued for adjustment to permanent residency.

Through a majority vote, the resolution was adopted by delegates, and will be officially released after formal presentation to the Diaspora leadership.

Leading organizations sponsoring the conference, include the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas; The European Federation of Liberian Associations; the Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia; Conference of Liberian Organizations in the South Western United States; the United Liberian Association Ghana, and the Coalition of Concerned Liberians.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Good beginnings! First of its kind. It covered a lot and was informative!. Look forward to 2nd conference where a concentration could be a specific area of development and subject matter experts cold be invited (agriculture, markets,roads,education,etc.). Planning & resource building are crucial elements to building a nation.

  2. Good intentions!
    I pray that you have positive impacts of every sector like other Africans in the diaspora. I especially admire the Ghanaian, Ivorian, Nigerian and Senegalese diasporas. Hope Liberia will fall in line for a brighter future of motherland.

    What has been ingrained in me is that the major plague of Liberia is it’s diaspora. Please prove me wrong this time.
    Do not promote excellence in the USA and uphold mediocrity in Liberia.
    Do not respect law and order in the USA and trample on the justice system of Liberia.
    Do not reward hard work and merit in the USA and downplay it Liberia.

    Liberia is no longer your farm to come and harvest what you did not sow.
    Congratulations for the initiative. May it be inclusive, comprehensive and developmental. May the Lone Star once more hover aglow with prosperity, education, development and good health in the dark continent.

    My respect!

  3. The topic of DED is an issue of concern! But I have a viewpoint that could be rebuffed by many people. I will not shy away from my viewpoint because I am entitled to my opinions, but not the facts.

    My unpopular viewpoint:
    I think it would be advantageous for Liberians who are caught in the DED web to legalize themselves and quit arguing. Just do it!

    My fear:
    If in the final analysis, support and pressure groups do not succeed in their bid for Green Cards to be granted to the DED Liberians, a lot of precious time would have been wasted.

    I have a great deal of sympathy for the DED people. I empathize with the DED people. I have never been one, neither do I have a friend or relative who’s been caught in the DED web. But because they are my compatriots, I feel their pain. Unfortunately, I did not attend the state of Maryland dispora conference. Had I attended the conference, I would have raised my unpopular suggestion.

    Anything can happen. As Trump gears up for the upcoming 2020 election, he can appeal to the haters of non-whites in order to boost his poll numbers. Because I have a hunch about what Trump could do, I proudly present my viewpoint despite its unpopularity. Once again my fellow compatriots, do it. Legalize your status lawfully. Quit arguing. In the 2020 election year, your argument may not move a needle.

    Peace

  4. But which one is it from the compromised decision taken after all the debates ? Which one is it , accept it and come back to fight another one if things are not what they thought it was going to be , or join them if you can not beat them in their political policies or failure to persuade them . As usual, a lot of outlines drawn from speeches but short on practical implementation of what they would like to see done or accomplished. As a major player of the economy and budgetary support through remittances of capital and investment, there is no reason not to be a force to reckon with, but continue to play a passive political role in debates with limited meaningful outcomes. So what will it be ? Come back to talk again or join them in agreements ? In short , how are they ever going to accomplish any of the debates proposals through the legal letter ?

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