ECOWAS yet to establish framework for negotiations with B.faso, Mali, Niger, says Touray

Democracy in Nigeria is democracy for sub-region, continent…..President ECOWAS Commission 

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The Economic Community of West African States is yet to establish framework for negotiation with want away member states.

ECOWAS also noted that despite relaxation of sanctions, the three countries remained adamant in their resolve to pull out.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger had official notify ECOWAS of their plans to exit the sub-region.

The three countries were suspended as a result of unconstitutional change of government.

However, the President Bola Tinubu led authorities of Heads of States and Government had given the go ahead for ECOWAS to ensure unity among member state for the sake of the people of the community.

Speaking on the issues at the 92 ordinary session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in Abuja, Touray said the framework for the negotiation was yet to established.

He said: “Regarding our Member States in transition, I regret to report that we are yet to establish a framework for negotiation with the authorities in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger on their decision to withdraw their membership from the Community.

” Despite our entreaties, in the form of softening of sanctions, invitation of the governments to technical meetings, and request for meetings, we have not yet gotten the right signals from these Member States”.

He however said there were positive signs from Guinea

“We have however gotten positive assurance from Guinea on the unity of our Community,” he said.

In climate change, he said “It has become evident that changes in the international system, which is significantly affecting our member states, is playing a role. To this end, we are proposing a Special Summit on the Future of our Community to examine the developments in the world and their impact on our community with a view to re-think our integration in terms of governance, relations with external partners, our Community norms and values, and approach to emerging issues like new technologies, social media and fake news, among others.

“The developmental goal of our integration is increasingly being questioned with the current dire crises of food insecurity, inflation, violent extremism and terrorism, forced displacements, youth bulge and unemployment, geo-political tensions and pressures exerted on our governments and civil society.

” It is becoming increasingly evident that we need to further pool our resources and pursue collective self-reliance for the benefit of our populations. This is only possible if we agree to establish common positions and objectives with minimum points of cooperation to deal with the current challenges and commit strongly to realising them. This is not the time to work at cross purposes. We need to work in unity and solidarity.

” The Summit will, hopefully, lead to a minimum convergence and expectations of the behaviour of each member state of the Community on matters affecting the entire Community.

Touray also revealed that “ECOWAS is rated well in our Continent. We have an opportunity through the current challenges to emerge stronger and better by working together for the shared prosperity we all aspire to attain.

“We have an Action Plan against Terrorism (2021-2024) which should have expired this year. The bold decision to finance this Plan with our own resources has largely not been realised, although, some initial strong commitments were recorded from the bulk contribution of the UEMOA member states, Nigeria and Ghana.

” Some days ago, our Ministers of Finance and Defence met to examine our proposal for raising the funds to finance the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Counter-terrorism Force.

“The outcome of this meeting has turned over the task to each member state to propose ways and means of making mandatory contribution to the Fund.

” We do hope that we can convene the member states experts as soon as possible to conclude on the financing plan for tackling terrorism, which is harming the welfare of our people, distorting our economic stability and development plans. ”

Speaking on ECOWAS will be Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2025, he said, “We hope that all Member State will contribute to this celebration by outlining their contributions to the development of the Community since inception. Although we have many challenges today, there are many reasons for us to celebrate our achievements and chart the way forward.”

Touray expressed concernover the dwindling resources of the community.

Touray stressed that as the increasing challenges confronting the region is taking its toll on the resources of the community.

He said: “As the demands increase, and the challenges become more complex, our financial situation is dwindling.

“Therefore, we will be highlighting some of the challenges associated with the Community Levy mobilisation.

” I must admit that some of these issues are recurring and would require urgent and decisive action to improve the financial situation of the institutions and enable ECOWAS to respond to the diverse demands of the day.

“Excellencies, you will also have various reports relating to the implementation of tasks assigned during your last meeting, the audit committee report, the recommendations of the ECOWAS Judicial Council, report of sectoral ministers, and our proposal for a Special Summit on the Future of the Community.

“There will also be a number of memoranda for information, mainly relating to the Applications for International and Regional Positions by Member States; the State of Implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS); the Single Currency project, as well as Food and Nutrition Security Situation Report for West Africa and the Sahel..

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