Global Policy Forum

ECOWAS, UN Continue Talks

March 10, 2001

ECOWAS and a 17-man United Nations Inter-Agency Mission to West Africa have met to discuss economic, social, political and security issues affecting the sub-region.

The U.N. delegation led by its Assistant Secretary-General in the Political Affairs Department, Ibrahima Fall, included representatives of the following organisations: ECOWAS, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Development Programme, U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. Development Group Office, World Food Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, U.N. Department of Peace-keeping Operations, U.N. Department of Political Affairs and the U.N. Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament.

This multi-disciplinary approach to the meeting was to provide a better understanding to the issues at hand and enable global solutions to the problems.

The meeting which took place at the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja on 10th March, 2001 considered issues relating to good governance, the absence of genuine national reconciliation in some ECOWAS Member States, the free circulation of arms in the sub-region, the problem of refugees and displaced persons as well as the problem of child soldiers and children of the street.

Also discussed were the relations between ECOWAS Member States and international financial institutions, the malaria and AIDS scourges.

Both teams exchanged views on their vision, perspectives and analysis of the multi-faceted problems facing the region, and how they can work out solutions to the problems as part of both organisations' efforts in ensuring peace and stability in the region.

Of particular interest was the harmonisation of views on the deployment of ECOMOG troops to the common borders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Casamance as well as Sierra Leone where there is the UNAMSIL peace-keeping force.

The meeting also reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security which was signed in December, 1999 in the Togolese capital of Lomé, and the ECOWAS Moratorium on the Importation, Exportation, Manufacture of Light Weapons in West Africa which became effective in November, 1998.

Mr. Fall described the mission as one of stock-taking of the general situation in West Africa, with a view to adopting a global approach, in collaboration with all stake-holders, to solving the many problems in the region. He said the mission was based on partnership between his organisation and ECOWAS.

According to ECOWAS Executive Secretary, Mr. Lansana Kouyaté, at the opening of the meeting, "the result of this and similar missions will strengthen and increase the capacity of the U.N. to discharge its responsibility of ridding the world poverty and ensuring that peace and stability reign supreme". Mr. Kouyaté expressed his gratitude to the U.N. for its continued interest and support to ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS-U.N. cooperation, strengthened over the years, became more vibrant during ECOWAS' intervention in Liberia, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone. Currently, there is a U.N.-ECOWAS-Sierra Leonean Government coordination mechanism to deal with the conflict in Sierra Leone.

More Information on Regional Organizations and UN Peacekeeping
More Information on Sierra Leone and Liberia
More Information on Diamonds in Conflict


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.