Conflict Prevention Initiatives

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Suleiman
Suleiman

ECOWAS solicits for more support from development partners to enable it to realise the objectives of conflict prevention initatives

|  By Maureen Chigbo  |  Jun. 24, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

THE Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, is committed to productive collaboration and cooperation with development partners to realise the objectives of its conflict prevention initiatives. It is also calling for strong support for the operationalisation of its conflict prevention framework, as a major tool for addressing the proximate and structural causes of violent conflicts and the promotion of human security and peace building in the region.

Group photo of all the participants with Suleiman in the middle
Group photo of all the participants with Suleiman in the middle

The framework adopted in 2008, “is a product of a critical analysis of multifarious perspectives of conflict dynamics in the region, consistent cross-cutting of ideas and wide-ranging consultations among experts, academics, practitioners, civil society and governmental actors within ECOWAS member states,” according to Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, ECOWAS commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Suleiman reaffirmed ECOWAS’ commitment at a retreat organised for focal persons on Natural Resource Governance and Enabling Mechanism Components of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework, ECPF, in Lagos, on Thursday, June 6.

She urged participants at the retreat “to analyse the broad areas covered by the ECPF vis-à-vis their mandates, and collectively agree on implementable activities for the next three years.” They are to also reflect on the expected outcomes of the activities and agree on follow-up coordination, in order to deepen ownership of the process within the commission’s directorates and foster the spirit of cooperation and coordination in order to effectively facilitate the implementation in member States. The directorates working on the enabling mechanism components are to see them as the “lynchpin, the anchor of the entire implementation process and the enablers, expected to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of implementation,” according to Suleiman.

As a follow-up to the retreat, ECOWAS is planning to hold a mapping exercise with development partners in the next few weeks during which the partners are expected to express their concrete support for specific activities within the priority matrices. This exercise, Suleiman said, would lead to a “clarification of funding and coordination procedures most appropriate for driving the ECPF process and proactive strategy for extending implementation to members states and civil society levels.”

Paul Ejime (left), and other participants at the retreat
Paul Ejime (left), and other participants at the retreat

The commissioner expressed the hope that the funding for the three-year plan estimated at $22 million could be mobilised quickly with support from development partners. She commended the Danish International Development Agency, DANIDA, which has already indicated its readiness to support the process through the third Phase of its Africa Programme for Peace, APP.

The Commission, with the support of the DANIDA, has already developed detailed implementation plans for 13 of the 15 components of the ECPF relating to the key immediate and structural causes of conflicts such as political governance, the security sector and human rights.

The Lagos retreat of the relevant directorates of the Commission has been convened to complete the process by developing the plans of action for the Natural Resource Governance and the accompanying Enabling Mechanism, with the help of consultants and civil society experts.

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