UNDP outgoing Resident Representative Antonio Vigilante has underscored the importance of government’s decentralization policy.
According to a release, Mr. Vigilante urged the Ministry of Internal Affairs to continue efforts aimed at capturing citizens’ attention by giving them access to services. He made the comments on June 7, at a dinner tended in his honor, as he ends his tour of duty in Liberia. During the event held by UNDP management and staff, Mr. Vigilante expressed gratitude to the Government of Liberia and its partners for their contributions toward development. He used the occasion to thank all Liberians for their contributions during his three-year tenure of service especially at a time country faced critical health and economic issues due to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. “I have done my part. I want to thank everyone because without the collaboration of Liberians, we couldn’t have been here. It’s my hope that Liberia will continue to grow in peace and strength with several development programs on her shoulders,” he declared. Mr. Vigilante expressed the hope that the Government of Liberia will remain on the path of growth and development. ‘With resilience, the country will be better and we need to achieve women’s empowerment, government reform transformation, and job creation among other issues,” he added to the delight of the guests. The program was attended by an array of government officials, UN partners, members of the Diplomatic Corps, staff of UNDP, friends and many well-wishers. In their remarks, several guests spoke highly about the good work of Mr. Vigilante especially his contributions to the fight against Ebola in the country. For his part, UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen lauded the many efforts and contributions of the UNDP Resident Representative describing him as “a person who is development-oriented.’ “You came to Liberia at a time when the country was in a serious and deadly crisis as a result of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which claimed many lives,” Dr. Kamaluddeen stressed. While in the country, Mr. Vigilante contributed through several projects including the setting up of the Community Based Initiative, which provided the stage for community participation in the fight against the EVD as well as the country’s decentralization process aimed at providing services in the 15 counties. “During your stay you undertook several development programs, and set up the agenda for us to follow and improve the country through our mandate” UNDP Country Director mentioned. Dr. Kamaluddeen also pointed out that “Development transformation are the glue that holds everything together, therefore, we have to take time to work and bring in the expected changes”. Mr. Vigilante was appointed by the UN Secretary General in 2014 as UNDP Resident Representative. He also served in other capacities as DSRSG for UNMIL for Recovery and Governance, as well as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. Mr. Vigilante has already left the country. He has worked in several countries for the United Nations for over 35 years and is now retiring.