On 17 June 2021, H.E. Ms. Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations and Chair of the Liberia Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), convened an Ambassadorial-level meeting focused on efforts aimed at strengthening social cohesion in Liberia.
In her opening remarks, the Chair acknowledged that in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development for 2018-2023 (PAPD), the Government of Liberia put emphasis not only on what is known as negative peace – the absence of violence – but also on positive peace, expressed through social cohesion. She recognized that social cohesion was a broad term that could be regarded as the bonds that keep societies integrated through inclusion, equality and trust between citizens and in state authorities. The Chair recalled that the PAPD recognized that the attainment of a cohesive society would be fundamental for sustaining peace in Liberia and that national peacebuilding priorities therefore included social cohesion objectives to create a sense of shared values and civic responsibility, mitigate conflict, reduce income inequalities and improve access to basic services and upward social mobility. The Chair noted that partnerships would be key in this endeavor and informed the Commission of her recent bilateral consultations with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, in which the International Financial Institutions had highlighted their contributions towards social cohesion and advancing peacebuilding in Liberia, including support for governance reforms, access to basic social services across the country and addressing marginalization and exclusion.