ECOWAS initiates meeting of experts for establishment of the ECOSOCC-WA

Thu, Jun 13, 2024
By editor
4 MIN READ

Africa

THE experts from various ministries of the economy/finance, social affairs, culture and the private sector, think tanks, governance, peace and security from ECOWAS Member States are meeting from 12 to 13 June 2024 in Cotonou, Benin, as part of the process of setting up the West African Economic, Social and Cultural Council.

The aim of this meeting, initiated by the ECOWAS Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, is to examine and validate the relevant structures and processes proposed to make this platform operational.

The Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and the private sector need this platform so much to play a more active role in the realisation of ECOWAS Vision 2050, “ECOWAS of the Peoples: Peace and Prosperity for All”.

Within the framework of ECOWAS Vision 2050, which aims to establish a solid foundation for achieving ”ECOWAS of the people” and where civil society organisations, CSOs, play a fundamental role in conflict prevention and peace building in the region, ECOWAS, in partnership with the United Nations (UNOWAS and UNDP New York), jointly implemented in 2021, a project entitled “;ECOWAS (Post) Vision 2020: Strengthening regional capacities for conflict prevention;. As part of this project, the need to speed up the establishment of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council for West Africa, ECOSOCC-WA, was recommended.

With a view to making the ESCC-WA operational in West Africa, the ECOWAS Commission is organising the Cotonou meeting, which began on 12 June 2024.

After welcoming participants at the opening ceremony, Ambassador Amadou DIONGUE, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Benin, on behalf of Ambassador Abdel-Fatau MUSAH, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, said that this initiative marks a crucial step towards achieving a shared vision of an integrated and prosperous West Africa.

“The creation of ESCC-WA has never been more urgent than at a time when our region is experiencing democratic and security setbacks. To remain in tune with the deep aspirations of the people of our community, ECOWAS must work to conquer new frontiers, reach out to the people and work to meet their basic needs,” added Ambassador DIONGUE on behalf of Commissioner Abdel-Fatau MUSAH.

Acting as resource person and facilitator for this meeting, Toga GAYEWEA MCINTOSH, former Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, gave a brief overview of the history of ECOSOCC-WA, whose creation was decided in 1993 when the revised ECOWAS treaty decided to set up the six (6) key ECOWAS institutions, including the Commission, the Parliament and the Court of Justice.

The meeting was officially launched by Ambassador Musa NUHU, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to ECOWAS, who in his address also stressed the importance of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, saying: “The ECOSOCC-WA is designed to improve the participation of civil society in the decisions taken in our Member States, because CSOs have today become essential players in dealing with the growing instability in the region.”.

At the end of the two days of work, the meeting of the group of experts on the establishment of ECOSOCC-WA should make it possible to achieve the following results, among others: 1- the adoption of a basic framework and structures for the effective operation of ECOSOCC-WA, including the drafting of a charter, statutes and other documents that will govern the work of the institution in line with the changes made at the regional consultative meetings; 2- a three- year work programme that will guide and consolidate the establishment process; 3- a draft indicative budget over three years that will enable the establishment of ECOSOCC-WA and the implementation of the work programme.

Participants should also work to propose : 4- a better understanding of the comparative advantages and strategic importance of ECOSOCC-WA in addressing the current and potential political and socio-economic challenges and complexities facing the ECOWAS region, and finally 5-concrete documents with recommendations on the way forward to be presented at the ministerial meeting involving the ministers in charge of the economy, social and cultural sectors of Member States for validation and appropriate recommendations to be submitted successively for consideration and adoption at the statutory ECOWAS meetings which are the Administration and Finance Committee, AFC, the Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the Authority of Heads of State and Government.

A.I

June 13, 2024 @ 17:59 GMT

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