Home Politics Solve Disagreements Through Ballot Box -Ambassador McCarthy Tells Liberians

Solve Disagreements Through Ballot Box -Ambassador McCarthy Tells Liberians

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By: H. Richard Fallah

MONROVIA: United States Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Michael McCarthy, has condemned recent violence that occurred on the Capitol Hill main campus of the University of Liberia, which left several persons injured and normal learning activities disrupted.

The American Ambassador, during a roundtable discussion with State Department’s Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator, Richard Nephew, and USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director Shannon Green, on March 14, 2023, said violence of any kind has no place in a democratic society.

He said Violence does nothing but undercuts one`s own credibility and will only take a country backwards.

McCarthy thanked Liberia for what he described as recent progress made by the country in fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

“I was not here for International Women’s Day, but I still wanted to congratulate the Weah Administration, the traditional leaders, the religious leaders, the women’s support groups, UN Women, and UNDP for going far beyond lip service, to take coordinated action to preserve the Sande tradition, while fighting the scourge of FGM,” he noted.

Welcoming the State Department’s Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator, Richard Nephew, and USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director, Shannon Green, the U.S Ambassador said that the American Embassy near Monrovia has been privileged to welcome two of the most senior anti-corruption agents from the United States.

He noted that Liberians are well aware, that the U.S. government is deeply concerned with corruption, globally and especially here in Liberia.

Ambassador McCarthy: “Unlike Mozambique, Liberia is free of hurricanes or typhoons. Unlike Ethiopia, Liberia does not have invasions of locusts. Unlike Cabo Verde, Liberia has plentiful and dependable rainfall. A country that has been blessed with a bounty of resources, there is only a man-made plague that holds back Liberia today: that plague is corruption.”

He said, Corruption has been a part of Liberian society for over 200 years. Like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or the tradition of binding feet in China’s history, once corruption is a fully established way of doing business, it is very difficult to remove.

“And before anyone draws a conclusion that I am favoring one political party over another, or one administration above another, let me be perfectly clear, corruption in Liberia is far too ingrained and pervasive to pretend it could be that isolated,” he stated.
Comparing Liberia to Singapore, the U.S Ambassador accredited to Liberia, said Singapore with only 270 square miles of land, virtually no natural resources, and with a population almost the same size as Liberia’s, had a reputation in the early 1960s as one of the poorest, most corrupt countries in Asia.

Singapore’s per capita Gross Domestic Product in 1960 according to him, was $428.
U.S Ambassador: “Today, Singapore is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, and their per capita Gross Domestic Product in 2022 had risen to $82,794. In comparison, Liberia’s per capita Gross Domestic Product in 2022 was $630. How did this happen? Did they win the lottery? Was it by chance or coincidence? No”.

He said one of the primary reasons for the phenomenal success of Singapore, is that they decided corruption would no longer be accepted as a normal part of life.
Like most Liberians, he revealed, how he has great hopes for Liberia.

“Like most Liberians, I dream of a better country: one where labor regulations are enforced uniformly without prejudice, and not for personal manipulation or political gain; one where all legislators appropriate funds to a Ministry without the expectation of kickbacks; one where all Ministers negotiate on behalf of what is best for the country, not on the basis of what funds are being paid directly to them; one where public appropriations are distributed as the legislature directed them –not in a random or weaponized fashion determined by individuals; one where schools have no ghost employees and are supplied with the actual number of teachers on their payroll; one where donated medicine is actually available free of charge to the poorest of the poor in public health facilities throughout the country,” he indicated.

Ambassador McCarthy believes by doing so, Liberia can be a better country, just as Singapore but said, it is within the power of the Liberian people to make this happen.

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