30 September 2013, Monrovia, Liberia – UNITAR and the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women's Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security are jointly implementing a two-week training course on Conflict Resolution. Building on a “Training of Trainers” approach, the training is designed to enhance the capacity of local trainers to deliver courses in a conflict affected environment. During the opening ceremony, the chair of the ABIC board highlighted the overall goal of this training – to enable the participants to act as bridge builders and peace builders in their society.

The training, which is taking place from 30 September until 11 October in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia, brings together participants from key civil society organizations of Liberia and the ECOWAS region. In line with the mission of ABIC, the course has a special focus on training women who work in the field of peace and security. Along with learning and practicing the methodologies for the delivery of trainings, the participants engage in topics such as conflict mediation and negotiation.

The partnership between UNITAR and the Angie Brooks International Centre goes back to 2011. The jointly implemented trainings covered subjects such as “Protection of Civilians” and “Transitional Justice”. Hence the course which is currently delivered is not a one-time learning opportunity, but is part of a greater strategy and vision to enhance the capacity of African training institutions in the area of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. This is why the training of trainers component of this course on Conflict Resolution is key. During the three-phased approach, the institutes become increasingly empowered to deliver trainings independently, making these efforts sustainable.

Liberia is a country with a relatively young history of violent conflict. Whilst it is essential to support the local capacities in moving forward, a lot has been achieved already. As of today, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, was awarded a statue in the “Garden of Nations” at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. The Garden honors prominent citizens of the world who, in their own ways, have contributed to the ideals of world peace. The statue was funded by the youth of Liberia with the campaign “Put ma Ellen there” in recognition of the transformation the country has gone through during Madame Sirleafs presidency.