GOL Excited over US Congress’ Commendation for Bicentennial -Says it is an affirmation of positive leadership

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism said it receives with much appreciation, the resolution of the US Congress commending the government of Liberia on its celebration marking the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the first set of freed slaves on January 7, 2022, that set the foundation of Liberia and described the impression from the US Government as an indication of the positive leadership under President George Manneh Weah.

Speaking at the special MICAT press briefing yesterday, Monday, February 7, 2022, Minister of Information  Ledgerhood J. Rennie, who made the assertion as the first official response following the decision of the 117th Congress’ position on the historical occasion which will be officially launched on Monday, February 14, 2022 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, said the occasion is expected to be graced by a number of international figures , including some members of the US Congress, representatives of foreign governments  and institutions, diplomatic corps, etc.

This week, the US Congress made the commendation in a Resolution on the heels of the Liberia’s historic Bicentennial Commemoration Programs, where the US Government Resolution, recalling the historic US-Liberia symbiotic ties dating more 200 years, noted that the House of Representatives remains committed to nurturing the enduring ties between the people and the Governments of the United States and Liberia, including through the provision of United States support for a strong civil society, reputable and accountable institutions, transparency, and other tenets of good governance that should help lay a solid foundation for Presidential elections in 2023.

The Resolution further encourages Liberia to redouble its efforts to counter corruption, advance the causes of human rights, and implement critical economic reforms necessary to accelerate sustainable economic growth and human capital development; calls on the Departments of State and the Treasury to continue to impose targeted sanctions and other measures against those responsible for undermining the rule of law as well as the faith and trust of the Liberian people through the conduct of corruption, gross violations of human rights, and other acts that threaten the peace and security of Liberia.

In the said Resolution, the US House of Representative recalled how on January 7, 1822, free Black Americans arrived in present-day Liberia through the efforts of the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color of the United States, also known as the American Colonization Society, established in 1816 to fund the passage of free Black Americans to West Africa where in 1847, the free Black Americans declared independence from the American Colonization Society and founded the Republic of Liberia, the first independent African republic, and established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1864 that have endured for more than 150 years.

The Resolution, further expounding on the special ties binding the two nations, extolling the United States interests in Liberia’s natural resources and Liberia’s strategic location in West Africa resulted in enhanced bilateral cooperation with the United States, which prompted the United States and Liberia to sign a defense cooperation agreement in 1942 and subsequent agreements that facilitated strategic infrastructure development in Monrovia and enhanced United States-Liberia defense cooperation, leading to Liberia declaring war against Germany and Japan in 1944, thus reinforcing Liberia’s commitment to support the United States and the Allies in World War II.

“Whereas, from 1980 to 2003, Liberia’s democracy was undermined by a coup d’e´tat, corruption, mass atrocities such as rape, torture, and forced disappearances, and two civil wars that left at least 250,000 people dead, tens of thousands maimed, hundreds of thousands displaced, and thousands of former child soldiers seeking rehabilitation and reintegration for physical and mental trauma; whereas Liberia, with United States support for democracy, governance, and anticorruption initiatives, emerged from decades of civil war in 2003 and worked to rehabilitate the democratic process through successive free and fair elections ever since; whereas, in 2016, the United Nations Security Council voted to end sanctions and an arms embargo on Liberia, citing substantial progress on post-conflict stabilization.

“Whereas the United States acknowledges ongoing efforts to address government corruption and other critical reforms in Liberia and will continue to work with the Liberian Government to advance the objectives of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission and other anticorruption agencies and goals underpinning Liberia’s participation in the Summit for Democracies in December 2021; whereas the United States remains the largest and longest bilateral donor to the Republic of Liberia, allocating more than $3,000,000,000 in multiagency assistance since 2003 to support stabilization, economic recovery, development, and global health, including support for Liberia’s response to the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak and the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, during which the United States has worked with partners to donate nearly 900,000 COVID–19 vaccine doses; whereas the United States has demonstrated its commitment to bolster bilateral relations through continued sessions of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue, Liberia’s ongoing participation in the House Democracy Partnership, and related initiatives; whereas Liberia remains a beneficiary of United States trade preferences through the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the 2007 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, both of which affirm the importance of open and diversified trade and investment between the United States and Liberia; and whereas the Liberian people and the Liberian diaspora have contributed significantly to the United States and Liberia and reaffirm the longstanding transatlantic ties between the two nations, which will be underscored by the Republic of Liberia’s bicentennial celebration,” the Resolution affirmed.

The US Government Resolution, besides commending the government for the celebration, also acknowledged the fight against corruption and the critical reforms being undertaken in the governance space in the country.

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