ECOWAS Commission’s Conflict Prevention Focal Persons Charged On Synergies, Innovative Approaches
Focal Point Directorates for the implementation of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) have been charged with ensuring greater inter-departmental synergy, innovative approaches, information-sharing and joint programming on conflict prevention and peace building initiatives.
The Focal persons were given the charge at the beginning of their Three-Day Workshop on the 14th of December, 2021 in Goshen, Nasarawa state, Nigeria.
At the opening session of the Workshop called among others to review the performance of the ECPF, in particular the implementation of the 2018-2020 Plans of Action (PoA), the ECOWAS Commission’s Director, Political Affairs Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa stated that the retreatants are expected to “analyze successes, shortcomings, and reposition the Internal Steering Committee (ISC) with the view of scaling up our collaboration and facilitating real change in Member States to enhance effective conflict prevention and peace sustainability”.
In this regard, he stressed that the year 2022 and beyond is very critical in finding ever new ways of ensuring effective implementation of the ECPF in terms of operationalizing the adopted PoA so that the resource mobilization strategy can assume even greater significance and urgency.
“Our collective decisions at this retreat must, consequently, demonstrate our resolve to prove our relevance to Member States in helping them to adopt forward-looking strategies and mobilize the requisite human and financial resources to strengthen their resilience to violent conflict over the next three years”, He added.
The success of the peace building processes, he maintained will depend on how thoroughly the Departments, Sections and Units understand the conflict dynamics in our region while adapting proposals and engagements in assisting Member States to address the root and proximate causes of violent conflicts, as captured in the ECPF.
On behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou as well as the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner, Peace and Security General Francis Behanzin, he thanked DANIDA, GIZ, USAID REWARD, UNOWAS, WANEP and OSIWA for their continued technical and financial support to the ECOWAS conflict prevention initiatives.
Welcoming participants earlier, Head, Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs, Dr. Onyinye Onwuka noted that since the last ECPF retreat in January 2020, there many events have transformed the security landscape of the region and the operations of the ECOWAS Commission.
Citing some of the many peace and security challenges of the region within the last one year, including reversal of democracy through the unpopular constitutional changes leading to tenure extensions by the Presidents of some West African countries, she urged the examination and proffering of solutions to the most pressing threats while expressing the hope that the Focal Point Directorates arrive at practical and realistic conclusions keeping in mind the current state of affairs in the international arena and specifically in Member States which calls for a prioritization ECPF programmes that can have the most impact on the ongoing security challenges in the region.
The Focal Points made presentations on their planned activities, achievements, challenges and lessons learned from the implementation of the receded PoA while making projections for the incoming 2022 – 2025 PoA.
Established in 2008, the ECPF’s 15 components comprise of Early Warning, Preventive Diplomacy, Democracy and Political Governance, Human Rights and rule of law, Media, Natural Resource Governance, Cross-Border Initiatives, Security Governance, Practical Disarmament, Women, Peace and Security, Youth Empowerment, ECOWAS standby Force, Humanitarian Assistance, Peace Education and its Enabling Mechanism.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).