Hon. Albert Chie
President Pro Tempore
54th National Legislature
Republic of Liberia
Accept our sentiments of profound greetings from the Liberian people under the able and capable leadership of the 31st Central Committee, Politburo, and General Congress concomitantly of the Revolutionary Vanguard Student Unification Party(SUP).
We, the Liberian people under the leadership of the Vanguard Student Unification Party assemble here today to bring to your attention what may definitely rob the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) of its status as an independent National Human Rights Institution. Currently, the Commission has five Commissioners confirmed by the Liberian Senate. The composition, according to the Paris Principles, adopted by the UN General Assembly which calls for an appointment of Commissioners to reflect different backgrounds- ethnic, religious, geographical, and professional backgrounds are being violated by the nomination of two additional Commissioners.
As you will note, the Senate in August 2021 did not exercise due diligence and confirmed four(4) out of the five Commissioners from virtually the same ethnic group-three (3) from the Grebo ethnic group and one (1f) from the Kru ethnic group, practically making the Commission a one-sided Commission in flagrant violation of the very INCHR Act of 2005 which calls for pluralism.
Additionally, in September 2022, the President nominated two Commissioners to complete the composition of seven (7) Commissioners. Again, two of the Commissioners hailed from the southeast (see matrix below). When the Senate confirms the two additional Commissioners, you will have a Commission with 6 Southeasterners, seemingly from the same ethnic group and region. With this Composition, the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) Sub-Commission on Accreditation will not re-accredit the INCHR considering the clear violation of its key principles- Pluralism and violation of the INCHR Act of 2005.
We, the Liberian people under the leadership of the Vanguard Student Unification Party want to categorically make it clear that the country losing its ‘A-’ status is a bad omen for the Government of Liberia and further a demonstration that the Government is not prepared to consider human rights as a key priority. The UN will not coerce host country officials to change. We should not presume that change will occur by introducing new ways of doing things. Instead, change will occur when key members within the system want it to occur. The Executive’s continuation to submit people with the same language suggests the lack of will power to change but under our system of checks and balances, the onus is on the Liberian Senate.
Mr.President Pro Tempore, we the Liberian people through the Vanguard Party recommend that the best option for the Honorable Senate now is to revert this trend, show the will to reform, and request the President to nominate two additional Commissioners, preferably females from other regions and tribes of the country. Therefore any further move not to consider this very critical step, the Commission will not retain its status and the Government’s action will send a message far and wide that it is not concerned with the protection and promotion of human rights in the Country. In this light, the A-status will elude the Commission and donor support will cease to the Commission as we missed out on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In addition, the Commission’s role in the elections of 2023 is crucial. The Commission requires public acceptance to build confidence in the Commission, it must reflect all groups in the country to be perceived as legitimate because it also occupies a powerful position vis-à-vis the public.
Honorable Senate, this is a patriotic call and we have to be selfless and consider making decisions in the interest of Liberia. The two additional nominees together with the five confirmed Commissioners will make the Commission one-sided and non-compliant with international norms and standards. Human Rights are universal and indivisible so many people are watching how you proceed with this decision.
Therefore, we the people of this country through the Vanguard Student Unification Party demand that the Liberian Senate under your leadership take heed of this matter and act accordingly in safeguarding the credibility and reputation of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights(INCHR).
In the cause for social justice, good governance, and a glorious homeland, the struggle continues!
LONG LIVE SUP!
Cde. Jusu Kamara
Secretary General/ SUP
Cde. Mustapha N. Kanneh
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