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ECOWAS holds retreat for council on challenges of the region

Council Of The Wise Group Picture
Council Of The Wise Group Picture

As part of efforts to respond to the current governance, peace and security challenges in the region, the ECOWAS Commission convenes a two-day retreat of its Council of the Wise beginning today 29th April 2024 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The Council, which is an important instrument for the promotion of peace, security and stability in West Africa, was established by the ECOWAS Protocol on the Mechanism for Conflict Prevent, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security, and commenced operation in 2005. The Council of the Wise is made up of statesmen and women from the region who are deployed by the President of the Commission for preventive diplomacy and mediation in the Community.

During this retreat, the Council members will be deliberating on the disturbing resurgence of military coups, the democratic reversals arising from the spate of constitutional amendments and electoral irregularities, the unsettling trend of shrinking space for political participation, the alarming rise in politically motivated violence as well as the increasing socioeconomic consequences of youth unemployment. These have been major concerns of the ECOWAS Commission in its bid to promote political stability, peace, and democracy in the region through dialogue and mediation.

Addressing the opening session of the retreat, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, HE Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, reaffirmed the Commitment of the ECOWAS Commission under the leadership of H.E Dr. Omar Alieu Touray to find enduring solutions to the myriad crises affecting the region in collaboration with members of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise.

The Chairperson of the Council and former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan declared open the retreat while reiterating the commitment of the Council Members to contribute to solutions to regional challenges and urging the ECOWAS Commission to deploy adequate support for the effective functioning of the Council of the Wise. Goodwill messages were delivered by Martina Borovac Pecarevic, Deputy Chief of the European Union Delegation in Cote d’Ivoire, and Mr Bernard Basason on behalf of GIZ. Other participants in the retreat include HE Amb Fanta Cisse, the Permanent Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Cote d’Ivoire, some staff of the Commission and regional experts in peace and security.

The retreat was organized with the support of the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ).

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