ULAA's New Year's Message
Posted January 5, 2004
January 1, 2004
Praises be to God for the strength, blessings and courage to have withstood that which we could not change during the activities of the UNION for 2003. We recognize the relative peaceful atmosphere at home and pay special homage to the departed as they are remembered. Also, we extend our gratitude to the international community for its help in bringing peace to Liberia.
In the midst of some turbulent political engagements during the erstwhile Kromah-Rashid Administration, spilling over into the incumbent Rashid-Koffa Administration, the national leadership remains focused to implementing its set goals without yielding to unwarranted distractions. We shall continue to engage constructively so as to foster peace and unity within our ranks.
In order to effectively target vulnerable Liberians at home and in the Diaspora, the Administration launched projects “Take Back Liberia” and “Give Back to Liberia” during the year 2003.
Project Take Back Liberia encompasses a plan of action to facilitate peace and security in war-torn Liberia, the building of a constitutional democracy, socio-economic development and the maintenance of human rights. The project seeks to engage the United Nations, the Government of the United States of America, the European Union, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, donor countries, international financial institutions and other stakeholders.
In pursuance of this project, the Union, in collaboration with its Member Chapters, mobilized solidarity marches and engaged the international community to intervene in the Liberian saga. As a result, and with the concerted efforts of stakeholders, the Accra Peace Accords were signed, which ushered in the incumbent Liberian National Transitional Government. The Administration takes solace in being a signatory to the Accords.
The latter project, “Give Back to Liberia”, saw the establishment of a number of National Standing Committees of the Union, pursuant to the Constitution, for its collective implementation. The Humanitarian, Women’s and Elderly Committees collaborated in raising and donating over $3,000.00 worth of food to selected Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Liberia, while the International Affairs and Environmental Awareness Committee in October 2003 undertook a major environmental clean up campaign (“Operation Clean Sweep”) that give the streets of Monrovia a face-lift, collecting and disposing over 8 tons of garbage. The Women’s Committee successfully conducted a women’s empowerment meeting in Minnesota, while the Immigration Committee has been working frantically to have the Liberian Temporary Protective Status converted to Legal Permanent Residence.
During the period under review, the Union’s leadership structure witnessed changes in both the National Board of Directors and the Executive.
Board Chairman Ranney B. Jackson resigned to take a seat in the Liberian National Transitional Assembly as representative for Liberians in the Diaspora; Mr. Anthony V. Kesselly, a Board Member from Pennsylvania, was elected to succeed him. The immediate past National President of the Union, Mr. Sam Mohammed Kromah, having been preferred as Managing Director of the Liberian Industrial Free Zone Authority, tendered his resignation after presenting his State of the Union Address in Philadelphia. In fulfillment of the Constitution, the National Executive Vice President, Madam Roberta P. Davies-Rashid, was subsequently sworn in as National President of the Union.
Mr. Morris Tennesee Koffa of Washington, D.C., and Chairman of the Environmental Awareness Committee, was recommended for confirmation to succeed Madam Rashid as National Executive Vice President. The National Board of Directors, in fulfillment of its constitutional mandate, deliberated and confirmed Mr. Koffa in the said capacity.
The National Administration cannot ignore the tense relationship co-existing with the National Board of Directors and some National Executive members, which has the potential to disengage and derail it in achieving its maximum for the common interest of our people. The Administration shall continue to explore means towards an improved working relationship with the current leadership of the Board.
New Year’s Plan of Action for the Administration:
· 2004 is a renewed commitment to improve on the Administration’s humanitarian success path through its various established Committees; shall continue to remain the voice for constitutional democracy and social justice for the people of Liberia and in the Diaspora, inclusive of the prudent implementation of the Accra Peace Accords;
· The Administration shall seek to reach out to all Liberians residing in continental North America, and their associations and/or county organizations, with the view to working collaboratively and developing a forum for broad-based engagements;
· Challenging the National Board of Directors to fulfill its constitutional legislative responsibilities;
· Continue to strife for a better working relationship with the National Board of Directors; and
· Strengthen the structures of the Union pursuant to the Constitution to becoming more practical than theoretical
In conclusion, the Administration graciously extends its thanks and appreciation to the Doyen and members of the National Leadership Council, the Chairman and members of the National Board of Directors, Heads of National Standing Committees, and the entire membership and supporters of the Union for your continued support. We could not have made it thus far without your sacrifices. Let us together make 2004 a prosperous year for our suffering people and country.
IN UNION SUCCESS IS SURE. HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WISH YOU MANY MORE BLESSINGS.
By directive of the National President of ULAA, Mrs. Roberta P. Davies-Rashid.
Morris T. Koffa, Sr.
Morris T. Koffa, Sr.
National Executive Vice President/ULAA