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President Ernest Bai Koroma has returned to Freetown after attending the Forty-First Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire. (Photo: ECOWAS leaders)
In his welcome address, the current Chairman of ECOWAS President Allasane Quattara said the meeting was held to take a mid-term review of past meetings and congratulated his colleagues Heads of State and Governments for attending the session.
This, he pointed out has demonstrated their unity and how much they have built the anchor for the welfare of their people in the sub-region. The Ivoirian President extended thanks to his colleague Heads of State and Governments for their support towards his efforts as Chair of ECOWAS and for their unflinching efforts in maintaining peace and stability in the sub-region.
President Quattara implored his colleagues to continue to work on the restoration of constitutional order in Mali and Guinea Bissau, and also thanked the United Nations for their support in the realization of their efforts in the region.
He explained that meetings had also taken place at the military level to ensure the deployment of an ECOWAS force in Mali if the need arise and recognized the efforts of President Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso for the mediations taking place in Mali.
The Current ECOWAS Chairman also paid tribute to Guinean President Professor Alpha Conde and Nigeria’s President Jonathan Goodluck for their efforts in trying to restore constitutional order in Guinea Bissau.
He emphasized that member states must continue to push for economic growth as their citizens are looking forward to them to move towards action of developing their countries and the welfare of the people.
President Allassane Quattara also implored his colleague Heads of State and Governments to consider the recommendations of the ministerial meetings to reform the ECOWAS Commission especially in capacity building, and reiterated his belief in the ability and position of ECOWAS which will enable them to continue to take tangible decisions.
The Chairman of ECOWAS congratulated the newly sworn in President of the ECOWAS Commission Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedrago, saying that he is sure that with his vast experience he will live up to expectations in the course of executing his duties especially in consolidating the successes of his predecessors.
Delivering his statement, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said the people of West Africa were looking up to the Heads of State and Governments to live a democratic, peaceful, secured and stable life in the region, adding that to ensure that dream was fulfilled.
He promised to deepen the integration within West African countries to achieve the desired goal and pointed out that there has to be continuous concerted responsibility and efforts to restore constitutional order in Mali and Guinea Bissau as he applauded strides of the Presidents of Burkina Faso, Guinea and Nigeria for the remarkable achievements in Guinea Bissau and Mali.
President of the African Union Jean Ping said his invitation to the session was a testimony of the determination of ECOWAS to take up the challenges of promoting peace and security in the sub-region and congratulated ECOWAS for the interventions in Mali and Guinea Bissau. He commended ECOWAS for taking up the challenge of restoring peace and stability in the sub-region and for the unity that exists between the Heads of State and Governments and assured them of the African Union’s commitment to support them to realize their aim of collectively bringing peace and stability to the sub-region.
Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa Said Djinnit paid tribute to ECOWAS for taking up the challenge of restoring constitutional order to Mali and Guinea Bissau and applauded their efforts in the mediations in Mali which has returned the military to their barracks.
He told the Heads of State and Governments that the UN supports all efforts undertaken by AU and ECOWAS for the restoration of constitutional order in Mali, adding that they were also committed and ready to work alongside with the Body to protect the territorial integrity of Mali.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa called on the ECOWAS Mediation Committee to continue to dialogue to ensure that humanitarian support reaches people in the Northern part of Mali and also called on the Malian government to feature prominently in the negotiations.
On the Guinea Bissau issue, Said Djinnit also commended ECOWAS for the release of detainees and urged them to restore constitutional order by bringing all the relevant stakeholders together.
He noted with delight the commitment of ECOWAS towards the challenges of drug trafficking, small arms and piracy in the gulf of Guinea and its determination to ensure total peace and stability in the sub-region and reaffirmed their support to countries holding elections by working closely with the relevant institutions and organizations.
Mr. Djinnit reiterated the United Nations’ commitment to support the restoration of peace in the sub-region and to continue to facilitate support towards the implementation of actions and recommendations arrived at in their deliberations.
Swearing in ceremony of the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo formed part of the Session where he was assured of the Community’s support at all times.
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