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NCSCL Wants Support To Achieve Grand Bargain

By Grace Q. Bryant

The National Civil Society Council of Liberia through its National Secretary General is calling for more structural support for a strategic approach to achieve the Grand Bargain.
The NCSCL wants such support from the United Nations to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and the UN intentional commitment to empower CSOs to take broader leadership role during the development and implementation of policy and program.
Jeremiah Swen made the call over the weekend at a two-day UN Office on High Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR) Workshop to introduce the draft Combined Human Rights and Gender Checklist of Liberia.
The NCSCL Secretary General requested OHCHR to roll-up an intentional engagement process that will harness joint Multi-Stakeholder Policy Dialogue; a platform bringing together the Legislature and CSO in the attempt to enhance stronger commitment and partnership between state and non-state actors.
“This will help facilitate intentional commitment and strengthen state and non-state actors’ policy exchanges,” he stated.
He also recommended to OHCHR and maintained that the most secure pathway to attain CSO integration strategy is to implement the following:
The development, production and distribution of a Human Right Manual consisting of the Checklist, the Constitution of Law and all international conventions, treaties and Recommendations and ratified by Government of Liberia,
Timely establishment and sustain support of a Human Right Legislative Desk at the National Civil Society Council of Liberia.
The Checklist when launched and fully implemented by the National Legislature during the development, enactment and amendment of bills, legislations or acts will make Liberia the second country on the African Continent next Uganda.
Presenting the checklist, the UN Special Rappoteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children and former Justice Minister of Gambia, Mama Fatima Singhateh, highlighted the strategic importance of the Human Rights and Gender Checklist for legislative proceeding and enactment of law and or ensuring laws are human rights driven. The Checklist shall ensure the following objectives:
The former Justice Minister of Gambia noted that the checklist will serve as a tool that would also guide the legislature when debating on new bills ensuring that all bills are reviewed from human rights and gender perspective in accordance with the Constitution and relevant national and international obligations.
Singhateh said, “They will serve as continued reminder for law makers of their obligations and responsibilities to uphold the rights protected in the Constitution and the international human rights laws to which Liberia is a party when considering or debating on a proposed law or amending existing act among others.”
The legislative component of the workshop was held on the first day, Justice Singhateh detailed the technical roles of CSO as it relates to implementation, legislative engagement, advocacy and periodic assessment from Civil Society.
Holding of Joint Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting on Human Rights Review Session between GoL, CSO and international partners, aimed at monitoring the progress of the checklist and human rights situations.
The Workshop was also addressed by Ms. Simone Heri, Deputy Country Representative, Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.
She reminded GoL of her standing obligation to international protocols and conventions, the Constitution of Liberia and long-term benefits that the Human Rights and gender checklist inspires.

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