The outgoing Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Antonio Vigilante, has underscored the importance of government’s decentralization policy.
Mr. Vigilante urged the Ministry of Internal Affairs to continue efforts aimed at capturing citizens’ attention by giving them access to services.
He made the comments recently at a dinner held in his honor as he ends his tour of duty in Liberia.
During the event held by UNDP management and staff, Mr. Vigilante expressed gratitude to the Liberian Government and its partners for their contributions toward the nation’s development drive.
He thanked all Liberians for their contributions during his three-year tenure including the country’s critical period of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
“I have done my part. I want to thank everyone because without the collaboration of Liberians, we couldn’t have been here. It’s my hope that Liberia will continue to grow in peace and strength with several development programs on her shoulders,” he said.
The outgoing UN diplomat expressed the hope that the government will remain on the path of growth and development.
‘With resilience, the country will be better; and we need to achieve women’s empowerment, government reform transformation, and job creation among other issues,” he said to the delight of the guests.
The program was attended by an array of government officials, UN partners, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, staff of UNDP, friends and many well-wishers.
In separate remarks, guests spoke highly of Mr. Vigilante’s contributions especially to the fight against the 2014 deadly Ebola virus crisis.
UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen described him as “a person who is development-oriented.”
While in the country, Mr. Vigilante helped set up of the Community Based Initiative, which provided the stage for community participation in the fight against the EVD, as well as the country’s decentralization process aimed at providing municipal services in the 15 counties.
Mr. Vigilante was appointed by the UN Secretary General in 2014 as UNDP Resident Representative. He also served in other capacities as DSRSG for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for Recovery and Governance, as well as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
Mr. Vigilante has already left the country. He has worked in several countries for the United Nations for over 35 years and is now retiring.