GOL, UNDP, IOM, Stakeholders Brainstorm on Migration -“Government Is Committed To The Project”-Koijee

MONROVIA – In anticipation to conduct a Local Migration Governance Indicators assessment, the Government of Liberia, the United Nations Development Program(UNDP), the International Organization for Migration(IOM) and other stakeholders conducted its maiden multi stakeholders introductory meeting yesterday, Wednesday, January 18, 2023 for Local Migration Governance just as the Lord Mayor of Monrovia, Mr. Jefferson Tamba Kollie, expressed delight towards the project,  committing the total cooperation of the government as well as soliciting support from the development partners to make the undertaking successful

In her welcome, the IOM Chief of Mission for Guinea and Liberia, Ann Fonseca said she was excited to be back in the country to be part of the meeting which reflects Liberia’s effort towards fulfilling its international obligations and commitments on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Madam Fonseca historicized about the project in which she said last year the IOM and UNDP partnered with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to conduct an assessment on Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) for Liberia which resulted to the development and publication of the country’s first MGI Profile.  “Today, IOM and the UNDP are once again collaborating with the Government through the City Government of Monrovia to conduct a Local Migration Governance Indicators assessment for Monrovia in order to produce the Local MGI Profile for the City of Monrovia. This meeting therefore marks the continuation of the good partnership between IOM and the Government of Liberia on issues of migration and development”, she said.

She said MGI is a tool used to assess the migration governance structures and practices at the national and local levels of countries, providing insights into areas of policies that have been developed and areas that could be further developed. She furthered that the initiative is a policy-benchmarking program that aims to promote the dialogue on migration governance at local, national, regional and global levels by supporting governments track progress on target 10.7 of the SDGs which provides for facilitating “Orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.”

She further said since its launch in 2016, more than 92 countries and over 51 cities across the world have engaged in the MGI process to assess their migration governance structures and to inform the design and development of their migration policies. She stated that in Liberia, the increasing influence of Monrovia, like other cities around the world, in shaping migration paths, both internal and external mobilities of people, requires attention from all stakeholders. “As such, we must work together with the City Government of Monrovia to improve migration governance at the local level”, she said.

“I wish therefore to welcome you to this meeting. I am glad that we have also been joined by civil society and academia. As we look forward to having a productive interactive consultation, I wish to restate our commitment to deepening partnership with the Government and people of Liberia on migration and development”.

The proxy for the UNDP Resident Representative at the program Stanley Kamara said his office was elated to be part of the other phase of the project having partnered with the government and IOM to conduct the assessment on migration governance indicators in the country. He noted that it was high time Liberia got listed in the project which has already been undertaken by other countries.

Mr. Kamara underscored the need for stakeholders to ensure that the project goes through the birth and implementation stage so as to address some of the development issues, such as migration in the country.

For his part, Lord Mayor Koijee who said he chose to place high premium on physically attending the program in the midst of other competing priorities, wholeheartedly welcomed the participants and extended profound thanks and appreciation to the IOM and UNDP for being supportive to the cause of development in the country.

“I want to thank our development partners, the IOM and UNDP for being supportive to the development needs of the country. We are excited for their efforts to align with the City Government of Monrovia and we are pleased to announce the commitment of the government to the entire project.

“We are aware that the issue of migration is not limited to our setting, it is a global issue which requires the total involvement and support of the international community in order to address this situation. And we are hopeful that we are going to have the support to make this project successfully”, he said.

Several speakers also made their inputs, all pointing to the fact that it was high time Liberia, having been signatory to most of the international obligations, should be in the readiness to further its participation among other countries.

A representative of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning said the migration question remains a major component of the national development plan, the Pro Poor Agenda for Development Prosperity which is premised on two of the pillars, stable state (national security) and national integration (social cohesion) and that the ministry has been in the vanguard among other line ministries and agencies to work towards the success of a robust migration policy of the country.

A live virtual presentation of the MGI process was brought to the program by two experts, Resume Cunnoosamy and Del Carmen Manzano who extensively discussed the topic and said Liberia could learn from other countries such as neighboring Sierra Leone and Gambia that have started to implement the policy.

In his closing remarks, the IOM country coordinator, Mr. Mohamed Cherif Diallo thanked the participants for taking up their time to attend the program and hoped that the initiative will yield the anticipated results, stressing that the IOM and its partners will continue to be engaged in the development aspiration of the country.

The program brought together representatives of line ministries and agencies of government, the UNDP, IOM, civil society organizations, academia, among others.

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