Liberia's government is patterned after that of the United States with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Political parties were legalized in 1984 and civilian rule was established in 1986. However, considerable political unrest and violence precluded any stable leadership from power through the mid-1990s. The 1986 constitution provides for direct election by popular vote of the president for a six-year term.
Members of the bicameral National Assembly, who serve six-year terms in the House of Representatives and nine-year terms in the Senate, are also elected directly. The constitution calls for a multiparty system. Major political parties include the National Democratic Party, the Unity Party, the Liberian Action Party, the Liberia Unification Party, and the United People's Party. The main opposition parties are the National Patriotic Front of Liberia and the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy. The Supreme Court is headed by a chief justice assisted by five associate justices, all of whom are appointed by the president.
Each of the country's 11 counties and two territories is headed by a superintendent, who is the direct representative of the president and has a council. The mayor of the capital city of the county also has a council. The counties are divided into districts, chiefdoms, and clans administered by county commissioners and paramount and clan chiefs. The ethnic peoples are allowed, as far as possible, to govern themselves according to customary law. County Development Associations assist in the delivery and improvement of government services.
The natural resources of Liberia are iron ore, timber, industrial diamonds, and gold. A large portion of the Republicís labour force is involved one way or the other in agriculture(70%) and some 8% in the industrial zone and some 22% in services, producing cassava and rice as subsistence crops and rubber, coffee and cocoa for export. Liberia is rich with iron ore reserves in addition to forest resources that are extensive.
The people most closely associated with the founding of the Liberian state were black freedmen from the New World. Known historically as Americo-Liberians, they migrated to Liberia from the United States mostly between 1820 and 1865. Blacks from the Americas have continued to migrate intermittently, but Americo-Liberians have remained a minority of the country's population. Liberia's indigenous African peoples may be divided into three linguistic groups: Mande, Kwa, and Mel (West Atlantic). The Mande, including the Kpelle, Loma, and Mano tribes, inhabit northern, northwestern, and central Liberia, as well as other nearby countries. The Kwa include the Bassa, De, Grebo, and Kru tribes of the coast and the Krahn (Kran), Sapo, and other tribes of the interior and southern half of the country. The Mel group comprises the Gola, Kissi, and other tribes in the north. The country's official language is English but astonishingly only 20 % of the population speak it. About two-thirds of the population are Christian, about one-seventh are Muslim, and almost one-fifth adhere to traditional religious beliefs.
More than two-fifths of Liberia's population is younger than 15 years of age. The birth and death rates, like those of Africa in general, are high by world standards, as is the annual population growth rate. More than half of the population is rural.
Liberiaís military situation is very weak and bad due to all the wars that occurred in the past. Liberiaís military comprises of Army, Air Force, and the Navy. Liberia cannot afford to spend more on military and defense, where it is currently spending $1 million dollars which equals 2% of the GDP. That figure to such a country is massive, since the amount canít even allow the country to afford a tank, despite all the aid it receives from wealthy countries.
Liberia's coastal terrain, extending approximately 350 miles (560 km) along the Atlantic Ocean, is sandy, low, and interspersed with lagoons and mangrove swamps. Inland is a belt of low rolling hills running parallel to the coast for most of its length. Dense tropical rain forest blankets much of this belt. Farther inland is a dissected plateau with scattered low mountains, varying in elevation from 600 to 2,000 feet (180 to 600 m) above sea level, where the forest is less dense. Mount Nimba, near the Guinea
frontier, is the nation's highest mountain, with a peak of 4,540 feet (1,380 m) at Guest House Hill. The country's major rivers flow south-westward into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Cavalla River, which separates Liberia from Côte d'Ivoire, is partly navigable.
The climate is warm year-round and has marked wet (May to October) and dry (November to April) seasons. The deforestation and drought conditions of the Sahel have lengthened the dry season in some areas. Mean annual temperatures range between 65 F (18 C) in the northern highlands to 80 F (27 C) along the coast. Yearly rainfall is as high as 200 inches (5,100 mm) on the coast, decreasing to about 70 inches (1,800 mm) in areas farthest inland. Roughly one-fifth of Liberia consists of tropical rain forest. There are a number of different timber species, including red ironwood, camwood, whismore,
and mahogany. Wildlife such as monkeys, chimpanzees, various antelopes, snakes, and crocodiles are common; elephants, bush cows, and leopards are also present in the country but are gradually disappearing.
Liberia has a developing market economy that is largely based on agriculture and iron-ore exports. Economic growth, particularly in the iron-ore industry, was steadily undercut during the late 20th century by rising fuel costs, civil war, and other problems. The gross national product (GNP) is not growing as rapidly as the population; the GNP per capita, although above average for western Africa, is among the lowest in the world.
Agriculture accounts for about one-third of the gross domestic product (GDP) but employs more than two-thirds of the workforce. The principal cash crops are rubber, coffee, and cacao. The rubber industry, dominated by large foreign companies and their plantation holdings, is the largest employer in the country after the government; its exports generally account for almost 10 percent of the GNP. The staple crops are rice and cassava. Rice yields are extremely low, and large quantities must be imported.
Liberia's forest resources are extensive. A large sawmill and a plywood mill came into production in the mid-1970s, but rapid growth in the forestry industry was subsequently interrupted by depressed lumber prices and exhaustion of easily accessible timber.
Manufacturing, together with mining, accounts for somewhat less than one-fifth of the GDP, employs about 4 percent of the workforce, and is dominated by the production of iron ore, which constitutes half of total exports. Few secondary industries based on iron ore or rubber have been established, and small enterprises making import-substitution goods predominate in manufacturing. The country's infrastructure has developed fairly rapidly, however, partly as a result of foreign assistance and partly as a result of projects undertaken by the mining concessions.
The Liberian government officially encourages private foreign investment in order to stimulate development. Substantial foreign aid for development is provided as grants and loans from a variety of Western countries, particularly the United States, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Exports include mainly iron ore, rubber, wood, coffee, and diamonds. Imports consist of machinery and transportation equipment, fuels, basic manufactures, and foodstuffs. Chief trading partners include the United States, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and France.
Liberia is Africa's oldest republic. It was originally intended to be a home for freed American slaves under the auspices of the American Colonization Society (founded 1816). The society established a small colony at Cape Mesurado (Montserrado) in 1821- 22. In late 1822 Jehudi Ashmun, a Methodist minister, became the director of the settlement and Liberia's real founder. In 1824 the colony was named Liberia, and its main settlement was named Monrovia. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Liberia's first nonwhite governor, proclaimed Liberian independence in 1847, expanded its boundaries, and worked to end the illicit slave trade on Africa's western coast.
Border disputes with the French and British lasted until 1892, when the final treaty defining Liberia's boundaries was signed. French encroachment continued, however, and in 1919 an agreement was signed transferring to France 2,000 square miles (5,180 square km) of hinterland that Liberia could not control.
Liberia's economic situation deteriorated steadily into the 20th century. Unable to pay off its loans, Liberia granted a 1,000,000-acre (400,000-hectare) concession to the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in 1926 and received a $5,000,000 loan to pay off foreign obligations. The loan further taxed the country, which later became embroiled in a League of Nations investigation (1931) into charges of complicity in forced labour and slavery activities. The government resigned, and new arrangements were negotiated with Firestone that put Liberia on the road to recovery.
The value of Liberia's rubber during World War II led the United States to sign a defense agreement that also resulted in the building of roads, an international airport, and a deepwater harbour at Monrovia.
President William V.S. Tubman was Liberia's president from 1944 until his death in 1971. His successor was overthrown in a 1980 coup that terminated more than a century of rule by the True Whig Party and also marked the end of the Americo-Liberians' long political dominance over the indigenous, inland-dwelling Africans. Economic deterioration was one of the reasons for the coup, but the coup's victorious People's Redemption Council could bring no immediate relief. Presidential and legislative elections were held in 1985; General (formerly Master Sergeant) Samuel K. Doe, leader of the 1980 coup and subsequent military ruler of Liberia, was elected president and took office in 1986. In 1989 a rebellion by former colleagues broke out and in 1990 developed into a civil war that engulfed the whole country, led to Doe's assassination, and aroused bitter ethnic and political rivalries that grew even more worse.
Overview of current situation:-
Seven years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1996 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held. President TAYLOR now holds strong executive power with no real political opposition. The years of fighting coupled with the flight of most businesses has disrupted formal economic activity. A still unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country.
Views on world problems:-
Liberiaís main ally is the United States of America for the moment, unless it gets direct aid from an Arab country in the future. It is a military dictatorship whose government currently supports the rebels in Sierre Leone and whose current president fears that the U.S might overthrow him for the first excuse. Liberia currently buys a lot of its oil from Nigeria, the next door neighbour. Furthermore, the president has to make some kind of accommodation with the United States. Supporting the U.S.A on this costs him nothing and might not make the U.S overthrow him. Liberia is neutral to many disputes around the world but supports peacemaking in the Middle East with America and actually is trying to persuade rich countries to send in money for AIDS and other things. The Republic has enough problems to deal with internally that prevent any other external positions other than being a member of the United Nations and some other global organisations.
Delegate: Nasser Al-Shaya
Issue #1: The Question of the Role of the UN Regarding Intervention in a State or a Region for Humanitarian Purposes.
Liberiaís stance on this issue is deeply initiated from the current situation in it and in other fellow countries surrounding it. Since Liberia is a third world country that does not have any sort of proper education in terms of both personal and social hygiene, it requests fellow richer countries to help in all ways ranging firstly from monetary to educational aid and awareness programs about AIDS that are directed by qualified teachers. Liberia strongly believes that it is within the boundaries of the norm and sensibility to stop such a fatal disease, AIDS, from spreading all over the world because that does not only benefits Liberia or other third world countries, but in fact benefit all countries and global organisations that spend a tremendous amount of time and money on the production of medications, paying doctors and inspectors that go and live in third world countries in order to cure the disease and all the efforts that are dedicated solely to this issue. AIDS is an absolutely positively considered a cause for "intervention", and thus, the UN program should concentrate on spreading more awareness of the disease to simply reduce deaths and decreasing the amount of people getting infected by it. Finally, controlling a monster disease like AIDS means increased productivity and labour workforce in a country as a part and the world as a whole.
Issue #2: The Question of Developing an International Legal Code to Deal with Criminal Activity on the Internet.
Liberia is not concerned with this issue to deeply. The situation in the country does not entitle the fact that technology should be even discussed, where as Liberiaís main focus is to gather and collect financial, medical, and food supplies, not computers, from fellow countries, leaders and organisations. The literacy in the country is too low to the extent where reading and writing is considered a lifeís time achievement. Computers are only found on governmental and presidential grounds. People who know about technology are even smaller than the fraction of the society. This issue will be of great interest and importance to those countries that have high literacy rates and the affordability to buy the computers simultaneously in order to generate such a development.
Issue #3: Whether Palestine Should Have Full Voting Rights.
Liberia supports the idea that peace is a major aim that all countries target. Liberia standís to the side of the United States in supporting the process of peace talks and agreements that it hosts accordingly whenever it is possible. Palestine maintained a good record with African countries which means that many countries will certainly be in favour of this issue. Palestine had a co-operative attitude throughout all peace talks held previously which indicates to the world its intention of reaching a signed peace agreement policy. Liberia strongly advises the support of peacemaking in the Middle East simply because Palestine has a lot to give to the world in terms of moral assistance and executive resolutions to occurring problems, due to the intensive situation that it underwent in the past.
Delegation: The Republic of Liberia
Committee: The General Assembly
Delegate: Nasser Al-Shaya
ISSUE #1: The Question of the role of the UN Regarding Intervention in a State or a Region for Humanitarian Purposes
Affirms that part of the Human Rights Commission, particularly Africa, should be supported heavily in order to rescue the life of those dying from fatal diseases,
Believes that all different people that suffer from a plague, such as AIDS or HIV, should be granted instant aid from the UN and other supporting countries to stop the vast number of deaths that result from the lack of medical resources,
Deeply aware about the efforts that are produced by the UN and fellow organisations, but would like to point out the inefficient results that exhibit a minimal ratio of input gives versus the output produced,
Considers that the process of liberation from such diseases urges, automatically, all rich countries that can participate, in a monetary manner,
Convinced that the process of liberation is inevitable and irresistible, since people throughout the recent two decades fought with their lives as weak weapons to face this attack, thus for this crisis to stop, a beginning to funding and medical equipment should be set.
Strongly urges all countries to participate in funding, producing fee waived medications and sending human resources to treat those people whom are in need.
2.) Authorizes the Military Staff Committee, headed by the UN, to inspect that all aid sent to the countries listed are in proper order and are reaching the people it is intended for.
3.) Requests all nations not to delay or disrupt the aiding process, so that the nations plagued will have a better recovery in order to prevent any death losses for the current situation.
4.) Urges all countries to send in aid or some sort to:
i.) help cure and extinct the disease,
ii.) increase productivity of the World and African population,
iii.) prevent the spreading of the disease more over new victims,
iv.) and most importantly focus our efforts and expenditure on other important issues, after dealing with this, that dominate the world every day in all terms to make the environment a better place to be and live in.
5.) Notes with appreciation the efforts of the UN, fellow countries, and committees for their help and support,
6.) Resolves that first world rich countries should participate monetarily in all campaigns held against AIDS and other fatal diseases.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, we are not here to salute the honourable chair, flatter the fellow delegates or talk privately about Dow Jonesís performance in the last couple of days.
We are all here to find a settlement about a world wide plague that is spreading amongst us dramatically, killing a tremendous number of innocent people. AIDS is a disease that needs to be controlled instantly, starting with the Third World Countries in Africa that suffer the most, due to their low educational capabilities and poor funding for the awareness programs and medication necessities. Liberia does not need to bring this matter closer to your attention due to it obvious clarity.
The Republic of Liberia stands before you proudly assured that all present countries will co-operate in a luxurious manner in seeking a reasonable solution, to the above mentioned problem, by the end of this conference.
As the delegate of Liberia, I was able to portray a more than good image of my government and population. I had the opportunity to testify at the Security Council about the issue dealing with Sierra Leon and the smuggling of Diamonds. For that my country had to say that this is a false accusation, since that Liberia is an ally for the U.S.A, how can it go against it by cutting taxes on those exported diamonds that have Liberian stamps all over the boxes but actually originated from Russia. In addition to more than one point of information that was well answered and a back up from Bangladesh, in terms of urging all the nations to send monetary aid to all poor countries of Africa and Asia.
Moving on to the lobbying and merging part, I had more that one submitter and nearly seven co-submissions for my resolution for issue #1. The lack of submitters was due to delegates wanting to throw vital parts of the resolution that were important to my country and other fellow African submitters, and to that I could not be flexible about.
At the general assembly I was most effective in the first and third issues, simply because the second was dealing with computer technology that I did not have nor own the ability to acquire. For the first issue, Liberia had the floor twice stressing on the fact that poor countries need aid of all sorts, and the resolution debated did not mention that so I proposed an amendment that the delegate of South Africa stole from me. In addition, this resolution had many bits that did not match together but many delegations did not see that were it was stressed by Zimbabwe, Sudan, Liberia and Central African Republic that it needs a lot of adjustments. Moreover in issue three, Liberia was yielded to by Zimbabwe and had the opportunity to ask more than three points of information. I also sent notes to other delegations giving them questions and ideas, but to my astonishment nearly all of them were acting out of character!
Finally, Liberia pointed out the fact that some clauses in the third issue resolution were contradictory, some words were vague and superficial since they needed strong basis, bring out false clauses, and most importantly brought to the attention of all delegations the fact that Israel wrote a clause that exhibited clearly the fact that Israel WILL CONSIDER peace and halt attacks if Palestinians withdraw immediately and that this resolution only deals with stopping the fight not resolving the state of the poor Palestinians.