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Donor Partners Snub INCHR, OHCHR Inaugural Retreat Opening?

It appears that all expected guests at the opening of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR) inaugural retreat reneged on honoring the invite.
The Rights Commission Retreat which commenced yesterday in Margibi County and expected to last up to October 8, 2021 had enlisted for remarks its donor partners inclusive of Embassies- Sweden, EU, USA, Germany, Ireland and China; Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive; among others but their conspicuous absence never went unnoticed.
The opening of the meeting was delayed by one hour with the expectation that those invited were on their way to the venue, but unfortunately, that was not the case which prompted the participants to begin the session amongst themselves with the presence of the ‘ever ready’ representation of the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform and the ‘ better late than never’ representatives from the Civil Society Council of Liberia and United Nations.
The OHCHR Country Representative, Uchenna Emelonye, highlighted the gross absence of invited donors terming it as an ambush which could have been averted adding that, that is one of the challenges for which the retreat was necessary for the new Board of Commissioners (BoC) of the INCHR.
”One lesson to prove that there are challenges ahead is that we have invited 15 guests and only two replied with excuses, therefore we expected that there would have been 13 guests but we have zero; this is a reason for us to retreat so that we can address these types of ambush,” Emelonye explained.
The OHCHR boss said the retreat require sitting back and thinking through on how to confront the many challenges and deciding a new strategy, therefore he admonished the participants to understand and recognize that there is a gap that should be bridged and called on the BoC to be strong to address the existing inherited gaps by encouraging a frank discussion.
Meanwhile, the OHCHR rep. cautioned the new BoC that Liberia is not Monrovia and therefore extended an offer to the INCHR pledging to cover the travel cost of every commissioner to the counties to scope human rights issues that cut across the country in order to move forward with the mandate on which the Commission was established.
‘If you fail, OHCHR fails; if you succeed, OHCHR succeeds; so we have no options. Remember you are inheriting legacies of past Boards of Commissioners. Staff members are resistive of contracts wherein they are imminent protests relating to them dropping their tools; though your action might not be wrong; laying down of tools for just a day will put us all in a fire brigade mode, so let us all tread cautiously knowing that the former BoC didn’t set a good profile,” Emelonye reminded the commissioners.
However, the new Chairperson of the INCHR Board of Commissioners, Dempster Browne, remains stern that any employee who violates the labor law will be dismissed using the law governing civil servants on absence without an excuse.

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