Foreign Min. Extols UNDP For Continuous Supports
Foreign Minister, Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, has extolled the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), for the numerous material, financial and technical assistance it continues to render the Government and People of Liberia.
Min. McIntosh spoke at the ceremony marking the formal presentation and turning over of UNDP donations to the ministry under the collaborative and support partnership started by his predecessor, former Foreign Minister Olubanke King- Akerele. He further described his predecessor as a hard working personality whose aim was to seek avenues through partnership especially in the area of capacity-building for the young people whom he said is the primary focus of a post-conflict government.
Receiving the donations, Foreign Minister Toga McIntosh paid special tribute to UNDP Country Director to Liberia, Dominic Sam, for the donations and personal initiatives towards development efforts of post-conflict Liberia.
He lauded former minister King-Akerele in collaboration with the UNDP for launching the Development Diplomats Training Program, aimed to exposes young Liberians to development activities at foreign missions abroad. “The whole thing about this development approach to the Foreign Ministry, I think is visionary and is something that we will definitely carry forward and build on,” Dr. Gayewea McIntosh said.
The Foreign Minister used the occasion to inform the UNDP that the ministry has embarked on a serious reform exercise. “We hope that in the next months, the trend of that reform will begin to show. Specifically, the reform at the ministry will entail restructuring and capacity-building,” he said, adding that he will build on the dreams of his predecessor, strengthen relationship with the UNDP and try to get the most out of that window.
The release quotes Min. McIntosh as emphasizing the wise and effective use of donations as a way of showing appreciation to UNDP and other international partners. “Our challenge is to demonstrate to the UNDP and other partners that we do appreciate their own efforts towards the rebuilding of Liberia is the way in which we utilize those things given us,” he said.
Earlier, UNDP Country Director, Dominic Sam, recounted his organization’s support to the Foreign Ministry and said the donations were made possible through a series of requests by former foreign minister King-Akerele, whom he described as credible partner.
Mr. Sam said since the establishment of the collaborative and support partnership with UNDP in 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received material, financial and technical assistance from the organization.
The UNDP assistance included three vehicles, 23-seater bus, 18-seater bus, and a jeep for the exclusive use by the Gabriel L. Dennis, Foreign Service Institute as well as technical assistance for the “Development Diplomats Training Programme” in practice at diplomatic missions in West Africa.
The UNPD has also assisted the Ministry in refurbishing the Bureau of Archives by providing protected steel shelves and four air-conditioners for the maintenance of documents. They also supported the training of three employees of the Bureau of Archives in Ghana for record management and preservation for a period of one month.
The UNDP provided a complete set of equipment for the setting up of a printing room to help respond to the Government of Liberia numerous printing requests (gazettes, handbills, proclamations, etc).
They installed a V-SAT to provide internet and intranet connectivity which links the Home Office to Liberia’s Diplomatic Missions abroad in order to enhance financial accountability and documentation. Both the V-SAT, installation and other equipment cost about US$100,000. The UNDP also provided 13 computers and accessories to be used along with the V-SAT connectivity.
They approved the payment of TOKTEN contractors and some local staff to provide technical assistance within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The UNDP also provided a check of US$100,000 for the Liberia/Ghana Trade Fair. The balance US$1,842.50 which wasn’t used is deposited in the donation’s account.