ECOWAS ministers’ 87th session to focus on challenges, solutions

According to Mr Dada, the council of ministers meeting remains a vital platform to discuss and review thematic issues in the region to advise ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments as appropriate.

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The Economic Community of West African States Council of Ministers has listed reviewing thematic issues concerning the region as one area of focus during its ongoing 87th ordinary session.

Zubairu Dada, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the bloc’s 87th ordinary session.

According to Mr Dada, the council of ministers meeting remains a vital platform to discuss and review thematic issues in the region to advise ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments as appropriate.

“Indeed, this year’s agenda is a testament to the commitment of ECOWAS and its institutions as well as members in the development of the region in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Mr Dada. “At this august gathering, we will consider, as we did in the past several issues affecting critical areas of the community through reports and memoranda that have been placed on our agenda.”

He added that the meeting “is also expected to adopt guidelines, protocols and revised draft supplementary act on the community levy, customs union,” among other critical issues.

The minister urged the council to discuss the issues with an open mind towards finding sustainable solutions to the numerous challenges bedevilling the region, “especially the new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian services, climate change and youth unemployment.”

Mr Dada urged the ECOWAS management to continue to work toward implementing policies, guidelines, projects, and programmes meant to improve the organisation’s effectiveness.

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He also urged institutions of ECOWAS to be prudent in managing the community’s resources to achieve the fundamental objectives of the regional body.

Shirley Botchwey, the ECOWAS Council of Ministers’ chairwoman, called on member states to build resilience against terrorism, health crises, and climate change to build regional integration in West Africa.

Ms Botchwey, also Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said 2021 had been a particularly busy year at the regional level, with several extraordinary councils of ministers and summits.

She said this indicated that the region was faced with challenges that all organs and institutions of the community are working assiduously to address.

 

 

 

(NAN)

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