Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2018) — Today in Monrovia, Liberia, an event will mark the completion of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia, known as UNMIL, which officially will close on March 30, 2018. UNMIL was established in 2003 to support peace in Liberia following a second civil war. Peter Yeo, Senior Vice President at the United Nations Foundation and President of the Better World Campaign issued the following statement today regarding UNMIL’s closure:
“This is a milestone for peace. After 15 years of service, the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is ceasing operations and leaving behind a more stable nation. This is an example of how UN Peacekeeping can help countries transition from fragility to stability – improving lives and creating a better world.
“Originally established in 2003 with strong support of the United States, UN Peacekeepers deployed to Liberia with a mandate to protect the vulnerable, pursue criminal justice, promote human rights, and secure fair and free elections. While its mission was vital, it’s the results that matter, and the UN Peacekeeping mission in Liberia succeeded.
“For the past two decades, the once war-stricken region of West Africa comprised of Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, and Liberia heavily relied on blue helmets to bring back peace, rule of law, and stability to their respective countries. Today, the region has been completely transformed, thanks in large part to the UN’s presence.
“UNMIL is the last of the three UN Peacekeeping missions in the region to complete its mandate and leave its host country in a safer, more stable place than they found it.
“It is important to recognize that even though UNMIL has completed its mandate, there is still much work left to be done in Liberia. UN agencies including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO) will remain on the ground working to restore economic prosperity, end extreme poverty, and build strong institutions in partnership with the Liberian government.
“The withdrawal of UN Peacekeepers reinforces the immense progress made in Liberia over the past 15 years. As a country that is no longer stricken by civil war and unrest, Liberia can now transition from peacekeeping to peace building and sustainable development in pursuit of an even brighter future for its citizens.”
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations. Learn more at: www.betterworldcampaign.org.