Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, Liberia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 chaired the fourth interactive dialogue on special political missions of the organization.
The dialogue, according to a dispatch from the mission, was also held pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 73/101 on the “Comprehensive Review of Special Political Missions,” which requests the secretary-general to hold regular, inclusive and interactive dialogue on the overall policy matters pertaining to the UN special political missions.
Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Political and Peace-building Affairs (DPPA), and Ms. Lisa Buttenheim, Assistant Secretary-General for the Department of Operational Support (DOS), made the keynote presentations on efforts by the department of political and peace-building affairs (DPPA), and the department of operational support (DOS) to ensure that special political missions adapt to evolving peace and security contexts.
Amb. Kemayah stressed the importance of the challenging work that special political missions in the world do; that they operate in environments where conflicts are increasingly complex and intractable.
He asserted that the rise in the average duration of civil war creates enormous challenges for special political missions, and increase in length of protracted refugee situation. He quoted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimate that the average length of major protracted refugee situation is now 26 years.
Amid such challenges, he said it was important for the UN interactive dialogue to address questions of how special political missions and the UN can strengthen national capacities to ensure continuity, sustain and consolidate peace in countries following their departure.
Kemayah also spoke of the need to address how special political missions can “involve local, national, regional, and international partners, build strong partnerships and work towards greater coordination, and coherence between national governments and partners.
He then paid a special homage to personnel of special political missions and peacekeeping missions of the UN serving across the world in harsh conditions for their immeasurable sacrifice.
The dispatch from the Permanent Mission recalled, “it took the collective efforts of the UN and the international community, immeasurable sacrifices; including lives, and billions of United States dollars to end the turmoil.”
Amb. Kemayah expressed pleasure that the UN Departments of Political and Peace-building Affairs (DPPA) and Department of Operational Support (DOS), and many United Nations Member States acknowledged the importance of addressing the root causes of civil conflicts; noting if interventions do not take into consideration root causes of conflict, the probability of relapse into conflict will be high.
He also emphasized the need for collaboration with national stakeholders and a clear transition plan and exit strategy as major drivers that can enhance sustainability, and welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s mandate for a transition plan to be developed at all missions.
Kemayah, who cited Liberia as an example, said the need for economic revival and provision of livelihood opportunities to the youthful population, which makes up 63 percent of the Liberian population, solidifies the point for having a transition plan early.
He added, “Take Liberia for instance, we would not hide that the need for revival of the economy cannot be overly emphasized. The population of our country, 63 percent is youths, which is the case for most of Africa and all over the world at large.
“In the absence of livelihood opportunities for that set of people; youths; they could engage in activities that they should not engage in. Children and women are the most vulnerable and victimized, so hearing calls for the increased involvement and participation of women in special political missions is encouraging because we know that when women are empowered, the prospect of having a better nation is high.”