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85th ECOWAS Council of Ministers meeting ends

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The 85TH Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers has ended ahead of the Summit of Heads of State.

The two-day meeting, via videoconferencing, was in preparation for the Summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, which would also be held virtually on January 23.

During the Ministers Meeting, they deliberated on issues germane to the region including the Annual report of the President of the Commission, the financial situation of Community Institutions, the situation of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the region, the Report of the Auditor General and of the Audit Committee.

Others were the Report of the 28th meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee, and several memoranda from Heads of ECOWAS Institutions and the Commission.

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister Designate and Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, in her closing remarks, expressed gratitude to her colleague Ministers for their active participation in the 85th ECOWAS Council of Ministers Meeting.

“My appreciation also goes to the ECOWAS Commission, particularly, Dr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Madam Finda Koroma, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, all Commissioners and staff, and indeed their Technical Representatives for the quality of the reports and recommendations submitted for our consideration.”

She said, she was happy that the conclusions of their meeting had been greatly enriched by the invaluable contributions from all Member States.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said it was further gratifying to note that the Council meeting had charted a clear path for the enhancement of the integration process of the region.

“I have no doubt in my mind that drawing on our collective efforts and commitments, we can surmount the multifaceted challenges confronting the region, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent extremism and terrorism, climate change, political instability and consolidation of democracy,” the Minister said.

“It is worth noting that the regional approach to addressing political and security-related problems has always proven effective over time.”

She said notable regional initiatives highlighted during this Council meeting include the establishment of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanisms to stem crisis of every nature, ranging from conflicts to environmental issues, the determination to ensure the restoration and consolidation of peace and democracy, gender-based violence and cross-border cooperation.

She said the adoption of the final report of the 85th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers is, indeed, a clear manifestation of the importance they all attach to the promotion of peace, security, political and economic stability in the ECOWAS region.

She said the report, in summary, was a bold affirmation of the leadership of the West Africa region to commit considerable time and resources to better the lives of community citizens in a sustainable manner.

“Let us constantly remind ourselves of this huge task and responsibility as we implement our national and regional plans for the year 2021,” she stated.

Source: GNA

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