STEERING COMMITTEE PUSHES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ECOWAS CONFLIT PREVENTION FRAMEWORK
The Internal Steering Committee (ISC) of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) has upped the ante in bringing every Component and stakeholder of the Framework on board towards its smooth implementation.
To this end, the ISC met with Focal Points, officers of stakeholder components as well as representatives of the Development Partners at the ECOWAS Commission on the 11th of April 2016 to brief them on the steps taken by the ECPF Secretariat to fulfil vital recommendations and on the way forward on the operationalization of the ECPF with a view of having a more stable, conflict-free region where the envisaged greater atmosphere of peace can help in the realization of the ECOWAS integration goals.
Welcoming participants to the meeting, the ECOWAS Director, Political Affairs Dr. Remi Ajibewa recalled the strides made towards the consolidation of democracy in the region with internationally acclaimed credible elections which took place in 2016 in Member States of Niger and Benin together with the ones that earlier held in Nigeria, Togo, Cot d’Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso the previous year.
He said that despite the observed fragilities as well as isolated terrorist attacks in Mali, Cote’ d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, through its monitoring and peacebuilding mechanism, ECOWAS is advancing the cause of preventing conflict triggers especially so now that the new president of the Commission Marcel Alain deSouza has already identified peace and security sectors as his key priority during his tenure.
At the meeting, participants were briefed by the ECPF Secretariat on the fund raising strategy for the effective implementation of the ECPF, priority programmes for 2016 were also highlighted including updates and complementary follow up actions.
Presentations were also made by the holding Departments and Directorates as well as the representatives of the Development Partners on financial procedures, European Union (EU) procurement procedures, status of the priority areas of ECPF Components, as well as the redesigned ECPF web portal.
In the presentation made by the Communication Directorate, participants were told that the collaboration with the ECOWAS Community Computer Centre had matured to the point where the implementation of the ECPF Web Portal had started in earnest. The Portal which has a modern look and feel would in due course be linked with the main website of the ECOWAS Commission. The Web Portal was described as interactive, complete with user friendly social media tools and frequently updated information.
The meeting which was co-chaired by the representative of the Director of External Relations, Mrs. Benetta Tar also spelt out expected outcomes which included the need for reports by departments on progress of implementation as well as the importance of taking measures to monitor the effect of their outlined activities within the ECPF 3-Year Plan of Action.
The representatives of Partners who were present at the meeting included Mrs. Lena Schildt, Counsellor, Deputy Head, Regional Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, Addis Ababa, Mrs. Maria Lundberg, First Secretary, Regional Development Co-operation for Sub-Saharan Africa, Embassy of Sweden, Addis Ababa, Dr. Ludwig Kirchner, Head of GIZ Peace and Security, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Mrs. Yvonne Akpasom, GIZ Adviser. After making their observations, the partners pledged to offer technical and financial support to ECPF Components.
The ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) was adopted by the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) in January 2008 to provide a framework for operationalizing efforts to prevent conflicts in ECOWAS Member States. It is aimed towards mainstreaming conflict prevention into ECOWAS’ policies and programs and seeks to strengthen regional capacities and tools for preventing violent conflicts.
Going forward, a Report on the outcome of the ECPF Internal Steering Committee will be prepared and circulated by the ECPF Secretariat to ECOWAS Focal Point Directorates.