Liberian Delegation Reports to Regional Parliament

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Left to right Rep. Massaquoi, Sen. Johnson, Amb. Conteh. Rep. Snowe, Comm. Tulay of ECOWAS Commission, Rep. Siryon & Sen. Zargo during the opening session in Abuja, May 10

The Liberian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament says the country has taken appreciable steps to make meaningful contributions to the overall goal of attaining the vision of the ECOWAS Community by 2020.

The delegation’s assertion was contained in its Country Report that was presented to the regional parliament’s ongoing 2018 First Ordinary Session over the weekend, a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says.

According to the release, Lofa County Representative Honorable Clarence K.M. Massaquoi read the Country Report, compiled by its five members.

Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, Jr., of Bomi County leads the delegation, which also includes Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, the 3rd Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

Others are Bomi County Representative Hajah F. Siryon and Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo.

The presentation of Country Reports form part of  the legislative agenda for the ongoing 21-day session of the regional parliament, which opened on the 10th of May 2018 and will end May 30, the release adds.

The Liberian delegation’s Country Report covered the current political and security situation in Liberia; the status of the implementation of the Community Texts, and the progress achieved so far, following ratification of the Community Protocols and Conventions, implementation of the Community Programs, according to the release.

Other areas covered in the Report include the status of implementation of the ECOWAS macro-economic program relative to the level of achievement of convergence criteria; the status of implementation of the ECOWAS infrastructural and transportation policies and programs; and the sensitization activities carried out by parliamentarians.

The release quotes the Country Report as saying that “Liberia is politically calm and appreciably stable following historic and unprecedented presidential elections that witnessed a peaceful transition of power from one democratically elected president to another, seventy-five (75) years since a similar political transition ever took place in the Republic of Liberia.”

The Report continues, “His Excellency, George M. Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), then Senator of Montserrado County and a former member of the ECOWAS Parliament, received the mantle of authority as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia on January 20, 2017 from outgoing President Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa and Liberia’s first democratically elected female president, having served two terms as head of state and Head of Government.”

On the security situation in the country, the Report adds: “The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has finally ended its peacekeeping mission in Liberia, leaving the provision and management of national security in the hands of the Liberian security team. Being mindful of standards, the international community set standards to be met by the new and restructured security team.”

On Liberia’s delayed remittance of its share of the Community Trade Levy for the last quarter of FY2017, the Liberian delegation regrets the situation, which it said is due to delays in both the electoral and the transition processes back in the country.

It then assured the Parliament: “As the [new] Liberian government takes shape, every necessary step is being taken to ensure that settlement of this payment is made to put the country in good standing with the community.”

The Liberian Delegation, however, concluded in its Report that, “Liberia has evidently made significant progress toward this end and continues to show goodwill.”

The convening of the current 2018 First Ordinary Session is in line with the stipulations of Article 27 of the Supplementary Act of the Parliament, which provides that the ‘Parliament shall meet twice a year in Ordinary Session.’

The five-member Liberian delegation forms part of the one hundred and fifteen (115) members of Parliament from ECOWAS’ 15 Member States that represent over 320 million people at the ECOWAS Parliament, the release concludes.

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