Monday, April 26, 2010

“Gays and Lesbians have Equal Dignity”

-Says Most Reverend Jefferts-Schori

The most reverend of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts-Schori, in a press conference at the Trinity cathedral on broad street upon her visit to the country addressed one of the most burning issues of gay and lesbian within the Anglican Church.
The Episcopal most who visit was intended to strengthen the relationship between the Liberian and the America Episcopal Church said that the issue of gay and lesbianism have been under discussion for nearly 50 years.
Most Rev. Jefferts-Schori said that God created every person differently and therefore every one have the right to have equal dignity.
“I believe that all Gods people was Created differently and have the right to have equal dignity,” Most Rev. Jefferts-Schori said.
She said of her visit to Liberia as presiding bishop was a physical massage that men and women are equally dignified in the eyes of God and hope that Liberian women in the Episcopal Church will understand that.
The visit of Her Grace to Liberia marks the first time in the history of the Episcopal church of Liberia that a Presiding Bishop has come to visit the diocese.
The Episcopal church of Liberia (ECL) was established by the American church in 1836 when the first missionaries were sent to what is now known as Maryland and for most of its existence is was just another diocese of the church until 1982 when the ECL became a full member of the Anglican Church of the Provence of West Africa (CPWA).
It was during the episcopacy of the late Bishop George D. Browne, the first indigenously elected Bishop of the Liberian Church that the church became a full member of the CPWA.
However, the relationship between the two churches has remained intact defined by a Covenant agreement that is continually reviewed and updated by both churches. The Bishop of Liberia is a non-voting member of the TEC house of bishop and delegates of ECL attend the General Conventions of TEC.
Her Grace Jefferts-Schori was elected as the 12th female presiding of a church that comprises dioceses in not only the United States but also in Asia, South and Central America, the West Indies and West Africa.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

‘It’s a mistake for a woman to lead’

NVP Kiadii told Students
The standard bearer of the National Vision Party (NVP), Bishop Dr. George Kaidii, last Saturday April 17, 2010 told students at the Vision International Christian College of Liberia (VICCOL), that it was a mistake for a woman to rule.
He said this at the induction ceremony of the newly elected students’ government at VICCOL where he served as a guest speaker.
As he spoke with a preaching rhythm, Dr. Kaidii said a lot, stating that the country was build on falsehood and said that the first civil rights abuse of indigenous Liberian took place in 1847, the same the country got its independence.
“The first civil rights abuse of indigenous in this land, took place in 1847. The book of isaih says because of the lack of knowledge the people of the nation perish,” he said.
During his hour plus elaboration the NVP standard bearer raised one of his famous choruses that the land reform policy of the government was not in the interest of the indigenous Liberians.
He described the efforts of the land reform as malicious and intends to take away lands from indigenous Liberians in the rural areas who understand little of the meaning of document that is being provided to them.
“It would not be too long when we can not locate the graves of our great grandparents in our villages, - Because the tyrant have driven up some sort of malicious, descriptive amendment for people to go in our areas and start claiming our land. Yesterday I have spoken and declared that; the land reform is not in the interest of the indigenous; because the indigenous has nothing but tribal certificates. A tribal certificate does not legitimize ownership of the land you must have a deed,” he said.

Liberia to Submit REDD Readiness Plans

On Friday, April 3, 2010, several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as well as donor partners including the World Bank and USAID gathered at a workshop organized by the Action Against Climate Change (AACC) Liberia under the theme building capacity within civil society to participate in policy dialogue on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in Liberia.
The Government of Liberia is now developing a Readiness Plan (R-PP) and the purpose of this workshop was to create space for NGOs, Government, private sector and other stakeholders to discuss and develop a list of priority issues that should be addressed in the R-PP.

The government and partners have expressed commitment to broadening stakeholder participation and input to the development of the R-PP and to take into account the views of communities.

During the function which was held in the conference room of the Family Planning Building on 18th Street in Sinkor, several issues about the REDD R-PP were raised.
Some of the issues discussed at the workshop were about the components of red and how could civil society organizations participate the dialogue of the R-PP.
Though the REDD program is intended to help reduce deforestation and degradation as well as carbon emissions emitting from them, question was also raised about those Liberians who are dependent on the forests and their various products for their livelihoods.
The meaningful reduction of carbon emissions could also support pro-poor development by helping biodiversity and secure vital ecosystem services.
The attendants at the workshop agreed that to achieve these multiple benefits, REDD will require the full engagement and respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities.
Though REDD is an emerging concept in the context of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its activities in developing countries must complement deep cuts in developed countries’ emissions.
The concept promotes the use of forests as carbon sinks as a critical action in the global efforts to combat climate change and slow down global warming.

The discussions on REDD/ REDD + (REDD plus) within the UNFCCC is concerned with how to reward efforts to address deforestation and forest degradation, how this relates to other measures such as drastic emission cuts, and a financing mechanism.

According to the overview of the workshop the UNFCCC talks in Copenhagen in 2009 failed to deliver an agreement. However, talks will resume this year with the hope of concluding a legally binding agreement on climate change.

But this is challenged by resistance to drastic emission reduction in US, Europe and other major polluters including China. Discussions on REDD have now been broaden to include plantations and sustainable management of forest (including logging).

Road Projects Doubts Clear

As Pres. Sirleaf discards notions of World Banks ownership

-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday, April 20, 2010, during a press conference held in the C. Cecius Dennis auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address national issues clarified that road projects taking place in the country were not solely a World Bank’s undertaking.

Though there have been speculations around town that road projects being carried out in the country was a World Bank’s project, President Sirleaf disclosed that the world bank was only managing funding that it as well as other donors have provided through the Liberia infrastructure funds.

The Liberia Infrastructure Fund was established in line with the PRS; through the World Bank, at the major donor conference held 2007 in Berlin, Germany.

“That trust fund is managed by the world bank. Any donor and we encourage all donors supporting our infrastructure to put that money into that fund. Under our PRS, base upon consultation with the people, we have said in infrastructure, roads are our number one priority,” Madam Sirleaf said.

This statement came in wake of a question posed to the president by a member of the press who was to take credit for the road projects.

According to president Sirleaf in her elaboration, some of the roads in the country was being undertaking by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as the government of Liberia using taxpayers money but the rest was being funded by the trust fund.

The president pointed out the road to Roberts port, Cape Mount County, and Todee as a project funded and undertaken by USAID according to their policy.

Other projects such as the S K D Boulevard and the A B Tolbert Road among others undertaking by the Government of Liberia and funded with taxpayer money.

The president further pleaded with Liberians to understand, that ‘no donor has any project in Liberia.

“They support us, we appreciate their support, they provide funding to supplement our resources, but it is not their project. It is your project. It is the Liberian project,” she said.