Liberia: legal identity summit

Several humanitarian bodies including the United Nations Development Programme, UN, UNICEF, WHO, and UNFPA addressed the issue of legal identity for all at a meeting with Liberia’s government.

Its a mission encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals, which states that legal identity should be available to all by 2030, from birth until death. As birth certification is one of the most primitive ways of obtaining legal identity, the meeting was also held to validate a report on the Civil Registration Vital Statistics in Liberia.

In 2011 the Government of Liberia introduced national identification with a biometric ID card issued to every citizen on its path to economic and social development, however, the UN LIA seeks to go further in securing the country’s grip on establishing legal identity from birth, developing “holistic, interoperable, and sustainable civil registration, vital statistics and identity management systems”. This is set out in the “Implementation of the UN Legal Identity Agenda in selected African Countries: Synthesis Report”.

The meeting, which lasted two days from 28 to 29 November, gathered stakeholders to validate aims of the UN legal identity project and assess the Social Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) strategy.

The committee in charge of developing this goal is the “Common African Position”, of which Liberia is a member and key UN agencies are involved, including UN Women, UNDP and WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA.

There is a long way to go until Liberia can ensure the registry of all births and deaths which the Daily Observer reports Stanley Kamara from UNDP said they were taking “responsibility for”.