Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 January 2020:
The United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have restated their commitment to the consolidation of efforts aimed at fostering peace, security and stability of West Africa.
The Commitment was given by both parties on the 16th of January, 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria when the President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Kassi Brou granted audience to a UN team led by Undersecretary-General Ms Rosemary DiCarlo.
DiCardo who is also the global body’s Head, Department of Political and Peace building Affairs (DPPA) stated that, the existing cooperation between the UN and the ECOWAS should be leveraged to sustain the current tempo of exertions meant to bring about a more secure, stable and economically viable region.
In collectively confronting the peace and security challenges of the region and the Sahel, DiCardo pledged the continuous cooperation with ECOWAS in ensuring that the upcoming general elections in the region are conducted peacefully and with credible outcomes. (Photo above: ECOWAS leaders at their Extraordinary Session last November).
President Brou gave a rundown of the issues which are top of the agenda of ECOWAS. including a multilateral multidimensional approach to counter-terrorism, as well as corresponding resource mobilisation strategy, while ensuring that the governance structure that will help in the realisation of set targets is put in place.
Specifically, President Brou stressed the need for all stakeholders to support the counter-terrorism drive outside of the military approach, seeing that other dimensions such as community support, a buy-in of the local populations, and sensitisation of the civil populace, women and youth as well as the deconstruction of the terrorists’ ideology are all part of the peace-building components necessary to achieve a secure and stable region.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas thanked president Brou for the regional body’s strides in ensuring greater stability in the region.
According to Dr. Chambas, the UN is committed to working closely with the leadership of ECOWAS, stemming from the bold steps being taken to confront the security issues already identified.
He stressed the need to strengthen existing collaboration and address the root causes of conflicts while working to improve coordination of efforts by partners.
He also recommended the convening of an all-inclusive stakeholders’ meeting on peace, security, stability and economic development of the region.
During the meeting, updates were given on the state of play regarding security in volatile areas, the dynamism of the political situation as well as the ground work done towards ensuring that elections coming up in some Member States in 2020 are peaceful and credible.
All I am hearing are the same old,tiring empty rhetoric,coming from our leaders – nothing’s changed,or noticeably improved,about the regressive,unproductive,and ineffective ECOWAS body. I would like to challenge all ECOWAS members to create an atmosphere for direct,one on one interactions with citizens by our Presidents on a public platform for the world to see.There are many questions that need urgent answers,and clarity concerning the responsibilities of member states in the areas of sensible Immigration policies,Free Trade agreements,commitment to the rule of law,and security enhancement in the West African region.
Also,I would like to see the ECOWAS body create a panel of experts,and consultants that would closely monitor,and advise member states on the need to avoid high interest loans,and how to exploit,and make the most of financial independence,thrift in governance,accountability,honesty,and transparency.Again,when was the last time the ECOWAS body,took bold steps towards ensuring that West African leaders become advocates,enforcers and ambassadors of goodwill, in the fight against rampant corruption. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.