Mr Jean-Claude Brou, President, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, has called for more support of development partners and the International community in tackling the security challenges affecting the sub-region.
Brou said that the increase in these attacks and spread towards several countries further challenges governments of Member States on the urgent need to take appropriate measures and firm actions.
He explained that the criminal acts of terrorism and other conflicts have lead to thousands and millions of deaths, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, massive destructions of social and economic infrastructure.
“The burden of funding the fight against the growing insecurity on the budgets of member States have reached levels which compromise national financial equilibrium and funding for social and economic development.
“Given the trans-border nature of the phenomenon and its negative impact on member states and the community, the regional response also requires the support of all our partners in the International Community.
“I should therefore like to propose to your august body, to convene an extra-ordinary summit in the near future on the fight against terrorism.
“This would afford you the opportunity to consider specific measures and actions to give full effect to initiatives already taken in member states and at regional level.
“I should also like to welcome the significant, financial, judicial, police and military contributions to address the security challenges.
“These contributions are commendable to maintaining national security and defense mechanisms while sustaining effective cooperation is the surest way to curb security challenges”, Brou said.
The president said that ECOWAS Commission will continue to show the same commitments to member states in tackling the issues of economic and social growth, political instability, youth employment and women empowerment.
He said that regarding Guinea Bissau, the Commission will continue its efforts in line with recommendations to do all that is expected for its presidential elections to hold on Nov.24.
In his remarks, Mr Mohammed Chambas, Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) said that more efforts should be made in addressing the root causes of violent extremism and conflict in the sub-region.
Chambas said that the establishment of the Lake Chad Governors’ Forum for regional stabilisation, peace building and sustainable development initiative in the region affected by Boko Haram was a welcome initiative.
He said that UNOWAS will continue to enhance coordination with the G5 Sahel, ECOWAS and other partners to advance long term stabilisation goals in the region.
Chambas reiterated the need for a concerted regional and international effort in addressing other challenges facing the West African sub region related to governance, accountability, rule of law, and climate change.
He listed other challenges facing the region that requires attention to include Security Sector Reform, drug trafficking and transnational organised crime.
He said that it was the expectations of all that Guinea Bissau overcomes the ongoing constitutional crisis and delivers its election in November to prelude a period of institutional stability and prosperity.
Chambas lauded the successful conduct of Presidential elections in Nigeria and Senegal, and Legislative elections in Benin, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria, describing it as progress to the consolidation of democracy in the sub-region.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting aims at discussing issues concerning insecurity, good governance, trade policies and political stability in the region.
The situation of political instability in Guinea Bissau is also the focus of the meeting.
Edited by Felix Ajide