Liberia to Adopt ‘Own’ Operational Scope

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said the launch of the national component of the Common African Position (CAP) of the post-2015 global development framework is intended to move Liberians away from externally-driven initiatives towards domestically-inspired action.

The President is craving for the country to adopt its own program agenda and implementation based on its national priorities and needs of the people rather than adopting conventional approaches that may not fit in the context of the Liberian people’s needs and priorities.

President Sirleaf also said the CAP national launch is intended to inform policy makers and all stakeholders of the development agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 and enable Liberians take full ownership of the next process of the agenda.

Officially launching at the Foreign Ministry’s C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium on Monday, May 26, President Sirleaf described CAP as unique and  historic development because it is the first time that all of Africa has agreed with one voice on a common agenda, although in the formulation of national priorities there will be recognition of local specificities.

CAP builds a consensus on Africa’s post-2015 development agenda and identifies areas of priority to Africa.  It was adopted on January 32, 2014 and launched in N’djamena, Chad in March. The CAP was adopted by an African Union High Level Committee (HLC) chaired by President Sirleaf during the AU May 2013 Summit to draft a common position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The CAP defines six pillars that are essential to the development of the African continent as a whole and individual state. President Sirleaf said: “Through this new initiative we want see Liberians move away from externally-driven initiatives towards domestically-inspired action.

“I call on all Liberians, those in decision making positions, be it in government, private sector, academia, civil society and other organizations to take a serious look at the content of the CAP and see how national policies and strategies are similar or different and how we can view this document as the roadmap to development.”

The Liberian leader said that the CAP will provide a broad roadmap towards action that Liberia and the rest of the region must undertake to transform their societies as they embark on the longer journey of the African Union’s Vision 2063.

“The success in Africa’s growth must ensure that this growth is translated into dividends for our people,” President Sirleaf pointed out, adding, “In order to realize that vision, we must go through a true transformational process, a new agenda for development, a new approach that rejects and restructures the old models.”

She emphasized that Africa has a unique opportunity to take a lead role in setting the next development agenda, contrasting with what pertained when the MDGs were launched nearly 15 years ago.

 She also want Liberians engage in dialogue amongst themselves, “it is important that they talk to stakeholders in other parts of the world, mindful that no matter how beautiful a document is written, it is the responsibility of Liberians to turn it into action and priorities.”

“We ask you to all focus our attention on the opportunities provided by this roadmap so we end the dichotomy in which Africa is always called a rich continent, with poor people,” she noted

“We want our natural resources conserved, managed and used for the benefit of all of our people. We want to be competitive and achieve the same level of development as other regions of the world. We want a full partnership, a global partnership that ensures mutual respect and mutual responsibility.”

Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said the launch of the CAP is an important event, which provides a unique opportunity for all 54 countries on the continent to speak with one voice and ensure that their development priorities are included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. “As I see it, CAP is an excellent initiative in addressing our common problems and aspirations.”

Making reference to Pillar 5 which talks about Peace and Security, Chief Justice Korkpor stressed out that the work at the Judiciary is most impacted by this Pillar. “Just as there are intricate links between development and peace, security and stability are recognized by the Heads of State and Government of AU.”

“We hold that there can be no genuine peace and security without justice,” noting further that the links between them is unbreakable. He said the Judiciary is committed to the fair application of the rule of law in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. The Chief Justice hoped that African leaders will muster the political will, hold together and support the priorities of the continent on the world stage.”

Finance Minister Amara Konneh also making reference to Pillar Six (Financing and Partnership for Implementation of Post-2015 Development Agenda) said the need to finance critical infrastructures and other development priorities will require changes in the global financial system and support to underdeveloped countries commitment to the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Monetary Consensus on the International Conference for Development Finance, and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development.

The HLC, which comprises 10 Heads of State and Government from the five regions of Africa with two representations each, has held several consultative and technical meetings to look at the list of priorities developed by institutions around the continent to reach a consensus on the development framework that should succeed the MDGs in September 2015.

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