ABIC Receives Pan-African Award for the WSR
ABIC Receives Pan-African Service Award for the WSR
In recognition of the works of ABIC, specifically as it relates to the Women’s Situation Room, the Centre was awarded the Pan- African Service to Peace and Security as well as women empowerment on the African Continent during celebrations marking the 50th Anniversary of the African Union. The Women’s Situation Room was described as “Best Practice” to curbing violence before, during and after elections on the continent. The formula of the Women’s Situation Room to blend women and youth to prevent violence and ensure peaceful electoral process was highly applauded at the Centre during the ceremony.
Receiving the award on behalf of the Centre, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, Establishment Coordinator of the ABIC noted that the Women Situation Room and other peace and security related projects of ABIC were not done alone but rather in collaboration with other organizations. She said it is through the collective efforts of various groups that the projects of the Centre are implemented. She further dedicated the award to those women and youth, beginning with the women organizations of Liberia who started the revolutionary idea of the Women’s Situation Room in 2011 during the Liberian Presidential and Legislative elections. This was when the women of Liberia decided that violent elections was not an option and they embraced the youth of Liberia in a political process to stop and prevent violence before, during and after elections.
The award was presented in the presence of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan, Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan Cassell and host of high level personalities from Liberia and across the continent.
Upon the arrival of Cllr. Chesson-Wureh from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ABIC hosted a symbolically presentation of the Pan-African Service Award to the women and youth of Liberia at a ceremony held on August 8, 2013 at the Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia. Various Women and Youth Organizations under the banner “The Coalition of Women, Youth and Students for Sustained Peace” who collaborated during the initiation of the Women’s Situation Room were present for the presentation ceremony.
Speaking during the ceremony, Cllr. Chesson-Wureh declared that the award is exclusively for the women of Liberia, especially the women organizations in Liberia that started the revolutionary idea of the WSR in 2011 during the Legislative and Presidential elections in Liberia.
For her part, the Chairperson of the Board of Director of the ABIC, Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Olubanke King-Akerele extolled the women and youth of Liberia for the collaboration with ABIC that resulted to the wining of the award. She called on the parties to maintain the partnership for the sustenance of peace and security in Liberia and the region.
Making remarks at the ceremony, the Minister of Gender and Development Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell applauded the women of Liberia for their role in restoring peace to the country and for maintaining peace in Liberia.
Also speaking during the occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia, H.E. Augustine K. Ngafuan, thanked Liberians for maintaining the peace in Liberia. He said he was proud that a Liberian initiative (the Women’s Situation Room) could be recognized worldwide as a “Best Practice”. He went on to laud the ABIC for domesticating the international awards by hosting a symbolic presentation to the women and youth of Liberia who contributed to the winning of the award. The Liberian Foreign Minister, who also has oversight responsibility on the running of the Centre called on other institutions to follow the good example of the ABIC as a means of showing a sign of appreciate to everyone who contributes to the success of an initiative.
The award was symbolically received by Madam Cecelia Danuweli of WIPNET and Zekar Payweyne of the Coalition Youth Wing on behalf of the women and youth of Liberia respectively. Ms Danuweli who led a team of women of WIPNET to the occasion praised Cllr. Chesson-Wureh for recognizing their efforts during the 2011 elections and pledged Women In Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) commitment to collaborating with the Centre to implement meaningful projects that will lead to the sustainability of the peace of Liberia.