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ECOWAS Parliament advised to help consolidate peace in West Africa

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Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, has called on members of the Community Parliament to intensify support to regional leaders for the consolidation of peace and security in West Africa.

In particular, he enjoined the regional law makers to help ensure that electoral processes in Member States are peaceful, transparent and credible, and that “good economic and political governance as well as the fight against corruption should be institutionalized in our Member States.”

A statement from the ECOWAS Commission said Dr. McIntosh made the appeal on behalf of the President of the Commission, His Excellency Desire Kadre Ouedraogo, while presenting the “Status Report on the Community Work Programme – July 2011 to August 2012” to the Third Legislature Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Tuesday, 25th September 2012.

In addition, he urged the parliamentarians to encourage economic managers in Member States to incorporate regional agenda into their national development strategies.

He therefore called for greater and effective partnership with the Commission in the sensitization of Community citizens on regional programmes and projects as well as the active involvement of actors in the business sector.

“Shifting from the ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of Peoples thus, presents a major challenge that we must together deal with successfully,” he affirmed, referring to the ECOWAS Vision 2020 which promotes people-centred programmes.

Dr. McIntosh also urged the regional parliamentarians to encourage their national parliaments to ratify all outstanding 17 regional Protocols and Conventions that are yet to come into force.

These include the Protocol on the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, the Protocol on the Fight Against Corruption, the Protocol Establishing an ECOWAS Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance as well as the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

The ECOWAS Parliament functions in an advisory capacity and provides opinion on important issues germane to the sustainable integration and development of the Community.

“It is on record that the advisory opinion of the Parliament is highly regarded by all stakeholders, including the decision-making organs of the Community, notably the Council of Ministers and the Authority of Heads of State and Government,” the Vice President noted.

As part of his statutory functions, the President of the Commission is required to brief Parliament on the evolution of ECOWAS programmes and other events within the Community at each ordinary session of the Parliament.

Source: GNA

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