THE ECOWAS Commission, in its consistent effort, restated its commitment to fostering peace, security and stability in West Africa amidst the challenges currently facing the region.
The pledge was made by the Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah at the opening of the 38th Session of the Mediation and Security Council at the Ambassadorial Level of the ECOWAS on June 16, 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Commissioner Musah, encouraged about the relative stability of the region on the political scene as evidenced in the successes recorded in the electoral processes held in some Member States, remarked that inclusive, free, fair, transparent, and credible elections are critical for sustainable peace, security and stability of our region.
He further noted that the Commission is looking forward to the successful conduct of the upcoming general elections in Sierra Leone and Liberia scheduled for June 24, 2023, and October 10, 2023, respectively.
Commissioner Musah noted that insecurity across the region particularly in the Sahel, remains a matter of grave concern. He stated that the ECOWAS Commission, “remains committed to the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and trans-national organized crime in the region through the implementation of the ECOWAS Action Plan on Terrorism and other frameworks”
He solicited the support of the Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives in the implementation of recommendations from the meeting, in order to strengthen peace, security, stability and good governance in the region.
The Ambassador of Guinea Bissau and Chair of the Mediation and Security Council at the Ambassadorial level, Joao Butiam Co, in his opening address, noted that the Meeting is taking place against the backdrop of great uncertainties at the regional and international level.
These include the peace, security and governance challenges as well as dire humanitarian and forceful displacements that have affected community citizens, particularly children and women.
He reiterated the commitment of the Permanent Representative Committee members to work collaboratively with the ECOWAS Management, especially with the mobilisation of resources towards finding sustainable solutions to the numerous challenges and difficulties facing the region in order to achieve the 4×4 Strategic Objectives of the current Management and the Vision 2050 of a Community of people living in peace and shared prosperity.
Among the memoranda presented at the meeting were those on Political Transitions processes, Peace and Security Situation, the operationalization of ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), the ECOWAS Stabilization Missions, Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (online), the Humanitarian Situation in the Region as well as an update on ECOWAS Early Warning System.
The Meeting of the Mediation and Security Council at the Ambassadorial level signals the commencement of the ECOWAS statutory meetings that will climax with the summit of the Authority of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in July 2023.