United States Ambassador to Liberia Christian Elder has charged 4th semester students of the young political Leadership School to own, protect and preserve the peace as they ensure greater transparency in the political process of their country.
The YPLS is a development program designed by NAYMOTE to improve Liberia’s democracy and electoral politics through effective youth participation and leadership as well as equip young people with the rudiments of political engagements, to effectively manage and be responsive to the national political environment. Delivering her keynote address, the US envoy emphasized that as the electoral season heats up, both politicians and youth must promote a sense of Liberianess (Liberia first), above parties, counties and hold a peaceful process that is based on respect for the rule of law. She indicated that politicians must remain conscious in their actions and words and ensure that their words and deeds empower the citizens who must use their minds and voices, not knives and rocks. “Be the change you want to see, own your peace because the responsibility is on all of you. By practicing how to do this respectfully and peacefully, you will ensure that there is greater transparency and fairness in the political process because in a political process, your voice needs not to only be heard, but heeded by government officials and the international community,” she said. She mentioned “peace is not something to be achieved; it has to be actively protected and preserved every day. This is not something that UNMIL or International Community can deliver to Liberia; every Liberian must feel the burden of responsibility of protecting this peace.” Speaking earlier, Millais Z. Sheriff President of the YPLS described the training of young political leaders as a tool that will rebrand the style of politics in Liberia. He said, “Under the YPLS, we do not see political parties but mama Liberia. This vision is so important to get our country rebranded and to understand that irrespective of our political affiliations, we owe a duty to Liberia and not political parties.” “We need to be rebranded as leaders because only we can make Liberia great. Liberia needs to move forward and young people through the young political leadership school are the rebrand of such an opportunity. At the YPLS, we do not see political parties but the prospect of Liberia moving forward,” he said.