ECOWAS is committed to strengthening its intervention mechanisms to stabilise and address terrorism, cross-border crimes, inter-ethnic clashes, unemployment and migration in the region.
Speaking at the opening of the First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament on Thursday in Abuja, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou said, the region was faced with several security challenges.
Brou said the commission would continue to work closely with the parliament to reinforce political governance and democracy in the region.
“It is working hand-in-hand and in synergy that that we will achieve the objectives set by our Founding Fathers, that is, a united and prosperous ECOWAS, for that harmonious development of our people.
“In that respect, we will boost the cooperation, consultation and inter-institutional dialogue framework, through the frequent conduct of meetings.
“We will equally give new momentum to the implementation of joint programmes through the technical working committees. The support of the ECOWAS Parliament is invaluable in achieving greater visibility for ECOWAS member states.”
The commission’s president also said the region’s economic prospects were promising given the “good performance of major macroeconomic indicators”.
He added that the details of progress made in the region would be presented in the State of the Community Report during the session.
In his address, Speaker of the parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo said that the region had, however, made giant strides in the integration process and had strengthened trade among member states.
Cisse Lo also said a lot needed to be done and the parliament remained committed to fighting barriers to free movement and trade along the borders.
“The Founding Fathers opted to promote development and cooperation in all socioeconomic aspects and to put and remove obstacles to free movement of goods, persons and, services and harmonise regional policies to substantially improve welfare of our people.
“It is in this vain that we have sought to distinguish our tenure by fighting against all impediments faced by our people along the corridors in our borders by ensuring all protocols are upheld.
“We invite ECOWAS Commission to veritably consider these chronic problems that have undermined the integration process.”
The session would, among other activities, hold an interactive session with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nigeria on the Kampala Convention for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons in Africa.
It would also hold a session with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
edited by Sadiya Hamza