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Amb. Conteh congratulates ECOWAS at 41

Joseph T. Koon
Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh
Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh

MONROVIA, LIBERIA- Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh, has praised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its outstanding role in the maintenance of peace in the sub-region over the years.

Ambassador Conteh said despite the current security and financial challenges facing (ECOWAS), it  has made significant progress in the implementation and promotion of its protocols to address the political crises of member states.

A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja is quoted as saying the Liberian Envoy made the assertions Friday, June 10, 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria during the official celebration of the of the 41st Anniversary of ECOWAS.

According to Ambassador Conteh, the sub-regional bloc turned 41 on May 28, 2016 but official observance was rescheduled due to the 49th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government which took place in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

The Liberian Envoy congratulated President Sirleaf and Marcel Alain de Souza         as the new ECOWAS Chairperson and President of the ECOWAS Commission, respectively, as well as the incoming team of commissioners for their preferment

He prayed Almighty God’s guidance and protection for the new team in meeting the priorities that they have set for the Community in the months ahead.

Ambassador Conteh, who is also Liberia’s Permanent Representative to ECOWAS said:  “ECOWAS’ role over the last four decades since its founding in meeting its goal of economic development and regional integration is worth celebrating.” 

“Since the launch of Vision 2020 by ECOWAS to transform from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of Peoples, our Community has accomplished meaningful targets and objectives in its strategic planning,” he noted.

Ambassador Conteh named the adoption of a common passport for citizens of member states, trade liberalization, customs union, industrial policy, mines development, among others as major achievements of ECOWAS.

He acknowledged ECOWAS’ mediation which has made a big difference in resolving the civil conflicts in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire, as well as the sub regional bloc’s role in the resolution of crises in Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, and Mali.

In remarks, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain   de Souza, stressed the importance for the finalization of the establishment of the institutional framework for implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Mr. Souza said:  “All this will only be possible, thanks to the regulation of competition in the ECOWAS region, the creation of the Regional Authority of ECOWAS competition has proved necessary”,

Earlier, a Professor of the University of Ilorin, Amadu Sesay, lectured on the theme: “ECOWAS and Peace Support Operations in West Africa: Opportunities and Threats”.

Prof. Sesay argued that at length elsewhere from a purely economic integration scheme, ECOWAS mutated into what he termed as a veritable security Community. 

Mr. Sesay said: “The 1990’s provided opportunities for ECOWAS to promote peace and stability in West Africa:

“No other region has achieved such a feat in Africa; that is, the last inter-state border skirmish in West Africa was in 1984, between Mali and Burkina Faso, and was quickly brought under control, “ he said.

 


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