Mats Utas participates at the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development conference


He is on a research panel with Sweden’s permanent representative to the UN, Anna Karin Engström, and Liberia’s Minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah, among others. 

SIPRI, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development
Program Day 2 – Wednesday, 5 May

17.00-18.15 CEST Peacebuilding in Liberia in the age of compound risk

Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia

Liberia remains challenged in terms of fragility through the legacy of its civil conflicts 1989-1996 and 1999-2003. UNMIL supported the transition from conflict to civilian administration through 2003-2018, at its peak about 15000 persons were deployed to Liberia. The country remains one of the ten poorest in the world. However in terms of natural resources the country has great potential if it can manage to overcome its developmental challenges, including addressing fundamental issues like education, health country, agriculture, infrastructure and the lingering uneasy on unresolved conflicts of land and other resources which provide the fertile ground for the violence. The Weah-administration seeks to achieve macroeconomic stability, but with considerable challenges in socio-economic terms, exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. SGBV remains rampant and grew worse during the lock-down periods during 2020. Almost all issues relating to gender equality remain outstanding, despite important commitments by the Weah-administration. There are obvious compound risks emanating from economic, social, governance, environmental and health challenges. Are there lessons learnt, both from the choice of course of action of the UNMIL presence, and more recent challenges through the COVID-pandemic, to take from the Liberian experience?

Mats Utas, Professor, Department of Culture Anthropology, Uppsala University
Anna Karin Eneström, Ambassador, Sweden's Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Samuel D Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Government of Liberia
Yvette Chesson-Wure, Counsellor, Angie Brooks International Centre, Liberia
Stephen Rodrigues, UNDP Resident Representative, Liberia


Last modified: 2023-11-28