In her last address to the Liberian press as Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia, Ellen Margrethe Løj, reiterated the UN’s commitment to ensure that Liberia’s security is not put at risk as national security institutions take on a greater security responsibilities.
“Changes will continue and we cannot rely on ‘business as usual,” said the UN Envoy “Accordingly, in the years to come, UNMIL’s transition will be carried forward, with national institutions taking on greater responsibility. While phasing out certain areas of support, the Mission will, at the same time, intensify its efforts towards capacity development. However I would like to reassure Liberians that the UN will work hard to ensure that it does not leave a security vacuum that puts Liberia’s peace at risk.”
SRSG Løj made these remarks at the UNMIL Headquarters in Monrovia on Wednesday January 25, 2012 during her final address to the Liberian media.
“I have been here for four years, and it has been a privilege to serve the United Nations, and the people of Liberia, as they travel along the road towards a lasting peace. As I prepare to leave the country, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the warmth and generosity bestowed upon me by the Liberian people,” said the outgoing SRSG Løj.
The UN Envoy also congratulated Liberians for the peaceful conduct of its second democratic elections since the peace agreement last year. She, however, noted that lasting peace would only be possible through reconciliation. “Through dialogue and inclusion, I am confident that Liberia will continue its work towards lasting peace.”
‘Your hard won, well deserved peace and democracy will require vigilance, and most of all, to rise above partisan and communal divisions. While many challenges are still ahead, I am confident in your ability to meet them” said the outgoing SRSG, urging all Liberians to take part in preserving the peace.
The former head of the Danish development agency DANIDA, and later Denmark’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ellen Margrethe Løj, has served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia since January 2008.