LIBERIA

I. Political Context

Liberia was founded in 1822. Its territory, home to 3.5 million people, has never been colonized and was inhabited by freed slaves coming from the United States of America. Following the first civil war (1990‐1996), President Charles Taylor was elected in 1997. The second civil war (1999‐2003) forced President Taylor into exile and led to the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force, UNMIL. The stabilization of the country after a conflict in which child soldiers had been widely utilized and an estimated 270,000 people had been killed, led to the holding of presidential elections in 2005. The winner of that election, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, became the first female president on the African continent. Presidential elections are scheduled again for 2012, as well as elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The United Nations system in Liberia is led by an Integrated Office headed by a Special Representative of the UN Secretary‐General. UNMIL has developed a common strategy document called " At work together". It represents the equivalent of the " UNDAF +" in Guinea‐Bissau, " Joining efforts for transition in Côte d'Ivoire", and the "UN Joint Vision" for Sierra Leone. The trauma experienced during two civil wars still affects every‐day life in Liberia. National capacity is particularly weak, crime and violence rates are high, and arms trafficking remains a prevailing issue. There is little information regarding drug trafficking in Liberia, but the country's main problem, as regards to the UNODC mandate, lies in the area of crime.

II. Programme Objectives

"At Work Together" presents the UN system's strategic objectives for Liberia. It is divided into four pillars: enhancing national security; revitalizing the economy; strengthening governance and rule of law; and rehabilitating infrastructure and basic social services. Pillars I and III contain areas falling under the umbrella of UNODC mandate's including topics such as arms trafficking, law enforcement capacity building, judicial reform and anti‐corruption. In this regard, UNODC, in collaboration with DPKO, DPA/UNOWA and INTERPOL, has developed the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI). The WACI aims at strengthening national capacities and crossborder cooperation to tackle organized crime and drug trafficking which are undermining peace and development in West Africa. It is covering, in its initial phase, four priority countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea‐Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It provides for the creation of Transnational Crime Units (TCU) and the development of a national assistance programme for each country.

A Ministerial declaration called "Freetown Commitment" endorsing the establishment of TCUs by the beneficiary countries was signed on 17 February 2012, hence paving the way for the operational response of the WACI. The National Integrated Programme for Liberia will complement the WACI. Stating its overall objective would first require a detailed assessment of the situation.

III. Main Outputs

Taking into account the document "At Work Together", UNODC's knowledge of the situation in Liberia, bilateral technical assistance programmes, the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa as well as the ECOWAS Political Declaration on the Prevention of drug Abuse, Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crimes in West Africa, the following main elements may be drawn:

a) Awareness and Research

A victimization survey and research on the extent of drug abuse are conducted.

b) Drug Prevention and Health

A national policy on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention among (injecting) drug users is developed;

Targeted capacity building activities aimed at health and social sector professionals are implemented;

Support is provided for interventions in the area of drug abuse prevention for the general public, outreach services for vulnerable groups, treatment, and reinsertion of drug users;

A comprehensive package of services regarding HIV/AIDS, STI, TB and hepatitis in prison settings is provided;

Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention into activities linked to law enforcement and justice is achieved.

c) Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism

Law enforcement training is further strengthened and infrastructure is improved;

A Transnational Crime Unit is established;

Law enforcement patrolling capacities are improved;

Intelligence and information gathering, analysis and exchange capacities are enhanced;

Joint Interdiction Teams at the international airport and the main seaport are created;

A Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is established and all relevant actors are sensitized to AML/CFT;

The national legislative framework (terrorism, drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, corruption, etc.) is revised and put in accordance with international commitments taken by the country. Advocacy for the ratification and implementation of additional relevant international conventions and protocols is also conducted.

d) Justice and Integrity

Specialized training to practitioners is delivered and syllabuses are reviewed;

Support to the Anti‐Corruption Agency (ACA) is provided and the country takes part in the UNCAC review mechanism;

Support to comprehensive criminal justice reform is provided;

Support to effective international cooperation in criminal matters is provided;

A victim assistance programme is put in place;

The penitentiary system has undergone reform and applies international standards;

Support to juvenile justice reform is provided.

Mitigation and Risk Factors:

The main risks relate to political commitment and operational engagement. Since technical assistance programmes require the full commitment of the beneficiary agency(ies), lack of engagement and political will could jeopardize the results sought. The presidential and legislative elections in 2010 might lead to a temporary interruption of the programme although no major problems are anticipated at the time of the drafting of this document.

IV. Monitoring and Evaluation

Similar to other NIPs, the programme is likely to include a Steering Committee comprising all the main direct beneficiaries, UNODC and the donors that will monitor and prioritize interventions at the operational level. The Committee would meet at least on a quarterly basis. Once a year, a high‐level segment meeting comprised of Ministerial counterparts would review past activities, validate the upcoming year's work plan, and receive an evaluation of the impact of past measures. At mid‐term and at the end of the NIP, evaluations will be conducted by external experts following modalities jointly agreed upon by the national authorities, UNODC and the donors.