By our Reporter
Authoritative sources have confirmed that leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have adopted a resolution demanding two permanent seats for Africa in the United Nations Security Council.
This development was part of the resolutions contained in a communiqué released at the end of the 62nd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held in Abuja, under the chairmanship of Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, and Chair of the Authority.
Specifically, the resolution said “The Authority of Heads of State and Government, considering the Ezulwini Consensus, the Sirte Declaration, the Common Africa Position (CAP), the Progress Report of the Committee of Ten on the Reform of the United Nations, under the coordination of Sierra Leone, and all related initiatives which consider the principles, objectives and ideals of reforming the United Nations for a fairer world based on universalism, equity regional balance, and ensures Africa’s legitimate rights to a fair and equitable geographical representation, adopts the Abuja Declaration on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council and calls for the allocation of two (2) permanent seats to Africa with all the attendant privileges, including the right of veto, and five (5) non-permanent seats on the Security Council.”
Also, the leaders said they welcomed the contribution of the Peace Support Missions deployed by ECOWAS, particularly the ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia (ECOMIG) and the Stabilisation Support Mission in Guinea Bissau (SSMGB).
Furthermore, they resolved to extend the mandate of ECOMIG for a further year from January 1, 2023 and instruct the Commission to consider, within that period, a gradual downsizing of the Mission and commence the training and reorientation of The Gambia Defence and Security Forces to enable them to play their constitutionally assigned roles in a democratic dispensation.
Additionaly, the ECOWAS leaders urged the Gambian Government to diligently implement the Security Sector Reforms (SSR) and instruct the Commission to ensure that the ECOMIG Force composition reflects a balanced regional outlook comprising troops from the ECOWAS Member States beyond the current countries participating in the Mission.
As a matter of urgent concern, the Authority reaffirmed its strong condemnation of unconstitutional changes of government and underscores the urgent need for collective action to entrench democracy and promote stability in the region.
It then reaffirmed its determination to scrupulously enforce the principle of ‘Zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means’ and to apply without exception the severest of sanctions for non-compliance.
Accordingly, in accordance with the instructions issued at its 61st Ordinary Session held in Accra, Republic of Ghana on 3 July 2022, the Authority directs the President of the Commission to continue discussions with Member States and if need be, with other stakeholders, with a view to reaching consensus on outstanding issues, to finalise the revision of the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
Again, the Authority further directed the President of the Commission to submit the draft revised Supplementary Protocol at its next session.
And the Authority also decided to set up a regional force whose mandate will include the restoration of constitutional order where they are threatened in the sub-region.
Hence, in unconstitutional changes of government the Authority reaffirmed its strong condemnation of unconstitutional changes of government and underscores the urgent need for collective action to entrench democracy and promote stability in the region.
Meanwhile, on Transition Processes in the Region, the Authority was briefed by the ECOWAS Mediators on the transition processes in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali. The Heads of State and Government commended the Mediators for their commitment, which has led to the positive results from in their discussions with the transition authorities in the three Member States and for the quality of their reports. The Authority took note of the recommendations made by the Mediators.
Regarding the issue of combating terrorism, the Authority expresses grave concern about the worsening regional security situation due to the recurrence and expansion of terrorist attacks and their humanitarian consequences.
Particularly, it expressed deep concern over the security situation in Burkina Faso and its possible consequences on the coastal countries and thus calls for urgent measures to support Burkina Faso in its efforts to counter terrorist attacks in the country.
Predominantly, the Authority underscored the urgent need to accelerate the implementation of the ECOWAS 2020-2024 Priority Action Plan to eradicate terrorism, through improved resource mobilisation and strengthening of the region’s operational and logistical capacities to effectively combat the scourge.
In the case of Single Currency, the Authority takes note of the conclusions of the meeting of the Ministerial Committee on the Single Currency Program of ECOWAS and commends it for the efforts deployed in the search for a consensus on the definition of “majority” within the framework of the Convergence and Macroeconomic Stability Pact among ECOWAS Member States.
There and then, the summit instructed the Ministerial Committee to pursue the search for consensual solutions on all outstanding issues with a view to creating harmonious conditions for the launching of the ECO.