The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Country Director, Mr. Kamil Kamaluddeen, says his organization has welcomed the consultative forum of the National Palava Hut system, which seeks to brainstorm on its nature, scope, and character as it is practiced amongst Liberia’s ethnic communities.
The UNDP Country Director made the statement Wednesday during the opening of the 3-day Palava Hut discussions at the Monrovia City Hall under the theme: “A Time to Heal.”
Dr. Kamaluddeen said ,“We welcome the efforts to establish, through this system, a local peace infrastructure that will facilitate dispute resolution processes that include—among other things—truth telling and atonement to help address past misdeeds in order to build a shared vision and ethnic cohesion among Liberia’s diverse ethnic communities.”
He said the welcomed step of the UNDP is in the ongoing effort to promote reconciliation and national healing, which are critical ingredients in consolidating peace and long-term stability in Liberia.
He congratulated the Independent National Commission on Human Rights for leading the efforts and working closely with other partners.
Dr.Kamaluddee described the palava hut forum as “hot in the heels” of the recently concluded Mano River Peace Forum that was held under the auspices of the joint Council of Chiefs and Elders in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County that was attended by Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Alhasane Quattara of La Côte d’Ivoire.
“As a mechanism to foster national healing and reconciliation at the community and grassroots level as recommended by the Truth Reconciliation Commission (TRC), we must admit that Palava Hut has been slow to start. But today we can say, ‘better late than never’ for this innovative mechanism that will create an opportunity for dialogue and peace- building, allowing anyone who committed any wrong-doing to admit to the wrongful act and seek pardon through the Palava Hut discourse.”
The UNDP head further stated that promoting reconciliation, building a culture of dialogue and consensus are key pillars of Liberia’s roadmap for peace and reconciliation.
He told the audience that UNDP and the entire UN system under the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) are proud to be associated with the peace and reconciliation efforts in Liberia.
He disclosed that UNDP was privileged to partner with the Palava Hut Forum under the auspices of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) in taking the forum forward.
He mentioned that under the UN Peace Building Fund, US$1.5 million has been allocated for the INCHR.