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Report on Joint UN/IFES Mission Electoral Process in Liberia


1.1       The United Nations Special Coordinator's office of Liberia (UNSCOL) requested the Electoral Assistance Unit of the Department for Political Affairs of the United Nations (EAU) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to organize and send a mission to Monrovia for the following purposes:

•          to establish a realistic budget for the 1994 elections in Liberia;

•          to assess the resources available to the Liberian Ad-Hoc Elections Commission;

•          to establish a preliminary list of tasks to be undertaken by the commission along with a tentative calendar;

•          to analyze the needs for external funding and technical assistance;

•          to formulate a UNDPIUNDDSMS project document for support to the Electoral Process in Liberia after discussions with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, IGNU, NPFL and ULIMO representatives, the UNDP field office and representatives of the donor community;

•          to ascertain with UNSCOL, IGNU, NPFL and ULIMO representatives the status of implementation of the provisions of the Cotonou Peace Agreement concerning the electoral process, and to establish a realist time-line for the implementation of election related activities;

•          to prepare a tentative working plan for the tasks featured in the time-line, specifying critical milestones for the major tasks or operations;

•          to assist in mobilizing and coordinating donor support to the project and overall election budget;

•          to organize and coordinate with the field office the immediate steps to be taken for launching the project.

The mission participants were Mr. Thomas Bayer, assigned by IFES, and Ms. Maria Helena Alves, assigned by the Public Administration and Management Division of the Department for Development Support and Management Services (TCMDI UNDDSMS) upon request from Electoral Assistance Unit. Funding for IFES' participation in this mission was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

1.2 The post-Cotonou Liberian Ad-Hoc Electoral Commission (ECOM) had yet to meet in Monrovia as a group. The timing of this mission was seen by the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative (SGSR), Trevor Gordon-Sommers, as a means of encouraging the immediate convening of the full ECOM in Monrovia.

1.3 The mission met with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Liberia, four ECOM commissioners, representatives and leadership of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU), representatives and leadership of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO), members of Liberian civic organizations, and members of the diplomatic corps and the international donor community. Discussions focused on the establishment of a technical and financial "umbrella" for a United Nations-sponsored project supporting Liberia's electoral process. Topics included: a calendar for the organization of elections, the establishment of benchmarks to allow the measurement of progress toward the elections and the evaluation of this progress, and financial arrangements for election funding. (Refer to Annex I for a list of meetings and contacts).

1.4 The mission participants would like to extend a special thanks to Mr. Trevor Gordon- Sommers, the Secretary-General's Special Representative; Mr. Gerald King, the Acting Resident Representative of UNDP/Liberia, and staff members of his office; U.S. Ambassador William Twaddell, U.S. AID Director, Mr. Lowell Lynch and their staffs; and representatives of the Carter Center at Emory University and the Friends of Liberia for information, guidance and support.

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