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In farewell speech, UN envoy urges Liberians to stick to path of peace

16 December 2007 The outgoing United Nations envoy to Liberia has used his farewell address today to call on the people of the West African nation to maintain the peace so that they can consolidate the social, economic and political gains they have made since the end of the civil war in 2003.

'Without peace and stability, the heroic task of building the new Liberia cannot go forward,' said Alan Doss, the Secretary-General's Special Representative to the country and the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), in the capital Monrovia.

'Whatever the grievances and resentments of the past, violence and destruction can never be the solution for the future. We cannot undo history, but we can overcome it with perseverance, tolerance and goodwill. Liberia is not destined to be eternally poor.'

Mr. Doss made the remarks at a ceremony in which he was honoured with one of Liberia's highest medals. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf decorated him with the Humane Order of African Redemption, with the rank of Knight Great Band for distinguished services rendered to Liberia and its people.

Conferring the award on Mr. Doss, Ms. Johnson-Sirleaf described him as 'a true friend of Liberia, a committed leader, and a champion of peace and development.' A peace park for children in the Monrovia suburb of Paynesville has also been named after the envoy.

Mr. Doss, who is from the United Kingdom, is being succeeded as the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Liberia by Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark. He now heads to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to become the UN Special Representative in that country.

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