Belgium Pledges Support for Liberia

Friday, 16th March 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - Belgium has pledged to join countries supporting Liberia on debt cancellation and bilateral cooperation. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt made the disclosure Thursday in Brussels during an official meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Prime Minister Verhofstadt said he was impressed with the progress made by the Johnson Sirleaf Administration. The President was accompanied to the meeting by Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Dr. Toga McIntosh and Liberia’s Ambassador to Belgium Madam Youngor Telewoda.

In another development, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on financial institutions which have kept stolen monies from countries over the years to make full disclosure on the funds. The President said financial institutions should refrain from waiting for pressure often mounted on them by governments and stressed the need for these institutions to also disclose who the depositors are.

The Liberian Leader spoke Thursday in Brussels when she addressed a conference on the theme, ‘Improving Governance and Fighting Corruption, New Frontiers in Public Partnerships’.  The Conference brought together Heads of multinational corporations and senior government officials from around the world.

The President observed that corruption is a far reaching problem which involves donor countries, recipient countries and the private sector, adding that actions taken now will affect future generations. The President emphasized that good governance must find its actions deep in the minds of the governed and the government, and must go beyond the bad decisions and malpractices of those in decision making.

President Johnson Sirleaf emphasized that impartial enforcement of the rule of law requires an independent judiciary and an incorruptible police force. More accountability, the Liberian Leader noted, is one of the most effective measures in dealing with corruption.

Earlier, The President held bilateral discussions with King Albert II of Belgium, Belgian Senate President Anne-Marie Lizin, Secretary of State Francois De Donnea and European Union Commissioner Louis Michel.

The President and delegation return to the country today.