By Edwin G. Wandah
The United Nations yesterday celebrated 68th year of existence throughout the world, with a glorious celebration taking place throughout the 15 sub-division of Liberia.
The commemoration of the occasion yesterday at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Stadium brought together over 40, 000 different people among which were several UN Officials working in UNMIL. The Para-military in the country also formed part of the celebration.
The program also brought together more than 18 public and private school students and teachers, members of the Liberia Football team headed by former Lonestar coach Kelvin Sebwe; cultural troupes and members of the Liberia National Scout Association, all waving the UN Flag high up to demonstrate their love and affection for the numerous contributions UN has made to their country Liberia.
The program in Monrovia, which was one of the areas where the celebration took place began with a parade from the Palm Spring Hotel in Congo Town via ELWA Junction and ended at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville where many speeches were made.
Arriving at the SKD were several high profile UN Officials, including Acting UNPOL Commissioner Mr. Cesar Hawthome Binag, UN Force Commander, Maj. General Leonard MuriuKi Ngondi, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (DSRSC) and UN Resident Coordinator, Aeneas Chuma, including two of Liberia’s Cabinet Ministers, Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sylvester M. Grigsby.
Addressing the audience, UN Resident Coordinator, Aeneas Chuma, lauded their Liberian counterparts for the level of support it has received by evidence of the free environment and freedom of speech the Liberian Government has allowed in Liberia, something that was lacking for many years.
According to the UN Diplomat, UN, through UNMIL has enjoyed several good partnership agreements between the Liberian people and the personnel of UNMIL through a peaceful co-existence amongst the people of Liberia and even officials of UNMIL which has escalated to a big mutual relationship.
Also, the head of Community Outreach Unit at UNMIL, Osman Beak Sankoh, has lauded the gallant men and women of UNMIL for the level of unity and togetherness that has kept them together since the UN Body entered Liberia.
According to Sankoh, yesterday’s event was also marked by celebrations and words of hope to their Liberian partners who have shown so much love to them over the years. He said, similar occasion was being celebrated in other parts of the country, specifically, in the fifteen sub-division of Liberia.
Also speaking at the occasion, Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh, thanked the UN through UNMIL for the day. According to Minister Tarpeh, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf feels extremely proud and extended thanks to the United Nations Secretary General for the UN 68th anniversary.
Similar thanks were being carried out by some of the participants, mainly students and observers. According to them, they felt happy to be a part of the celebration which they said was history making.
“I am indeed happy to be here today to participate in this occasion, the celebration of the UNITED NATIONS Day. I am a happy Liberian today because it is through the numerous contributions made by UNMIL that at least we (Liberians) are breathing air of peace in our country,” Angel Bai stated.
“For me, it is my hope that UNMIL remains here in Liberia for the longest time, at least for twenty to thirty years; by then, Liberia would have been totally free from those evil ones who are still fermenting violence against Liberia,” Precious Allison stated.