UN chief commends peaceful vote in Liberia dispatches Nigerias Obasanjo

“The Secretary-General hopes that the will of the Liberian electorate will be respected and that a seamless transfer power will take place within constitutional timelines,” his spokesperson said in a statement.Mr. Guterres has requested Mr. Obasanjo, who is a member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, to travel to the capital, Monrovia, from 28 to 30 December. Liberians yesterday voted in a second round of elections, deciding between Vice-President Joseph Boakai and George Weah, a politician and former soccer star.The first round of elections in the west African country was held in October. A runoff was originally scheduled for November, but was delayed due to allegations of voter irregularities by a third candidate.Speaking at the UN General Assembly in September, outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – the first woman elected as head of an African country – said that the polls would signal an “irreversible course” towards democracy in the country.Ms. Sirleaf took office in 2006, ending a civil war that erupted under the leadership of her predecessor, Charles Taylor. High-level Advisory BoardMr. Obasanjo is one of 18 global leaders, senior officials and experts on the high-level board created earlier this year to advise the Secretary-General on mediation and back those efforts around the world.The former President of Nigeria was involved in mediation efforts in Angola, Burundi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, among others.The high-level board is part of the Secretary-General’s pledge for the UN to embark on a “surge in diplomacy for peace.”The idea, according to Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland and also a high-level board member, is to prevent wars by “hybrid peace-building.”Ms. Halonen spoke to UN News during the board’s first meeting last month. AUDIO: Mediation board focuses on “hybrid peace-building” to prevent war

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