ECOWAS Commission President Calls for Unity in Preserving Regional Stability

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar A. Touray, has called for unity in the preservation of regional stability and the harmonious political and socio-economic development of the community. 

Dr. Touray made the above statement during the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the ECOWAS Commission. 

Dr. Touray expressed the conviction that in unity, ‘‘we will preserve peace and strengthen our actions for the security of our member states and our people’’; that through Unity, the Commission will be able to preserve regional stability and a harmonious political and socio-economic development of the community.” 

He said precisely 49 years ago, the founding fathers of the Economic bloc signed a treaty that created the Economic Community of West African States, and since then, the Commission has served and continues to serve and unite ‘our’ people around the common ideals of shared prosperity.

“As we celebrate ECOWAS’ 49th Anniversary, let us recall some of the tangible and positive results the community has to its credit,” Dr. Touray outlined, adding that these achievements can be seen in many areas including the free movement of the people of the Region, intra-community trade, regional energy and transport infrastructure, governance as well as peace and security. 

“We remain convinced that together we can build on these achievements and attain the objectives of Vision 2050, for a fully integrated community of people in a peaceful and prosperous region, with a strong institution that respects fundamental freedoms, and will work towards inclusive and sustainable development,” he said. 

He said ECOWAS may have realized many achievements, but the community continues to face a number of challenges “as we celebrate our 49th anniversary due to insecurity’’, which he said continues to threaten the region.

He recounts some of the ECOWAS member states that continue to battle terrorist groups on a daily basis and the large number of the population who faces displacement and food insecurity.

“It is clear that we must stay united if we want to be successful in the fight against insecurity but it is our very unity, which now stands threatened. We must do everything to preserve our unity, because one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS in the person of the late former Nigerian president, Major General Yakubu Gowon, neither the generation of our founding fathers nor the present or future generations can understand or will be forgiving us for the breakup of our community,” he said.

President Touray asserted that strengthening regional unity, peace and security, is the theme they have chosen to celebrate the 49th anniversary, which theme he said was chosen to reflect on their current challenges, and as a reminder for all member states to work to preserve regional unity and peace, in order to cherish the objectives, set for them by the founding fathers.

“These are the goals that the ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments work on every day to safeguard through their efforts, to ensure the security of our people and to protect the integrity of our territories,” Dr. Touray said.

He commended the ECOWAS leaders both past and present, members of the community, as well as the staff of all ECOWAS institutions and agencies, for their daily sacrifices to promote the community’s objectives. He also extended gratitude to all national and international partners for their consistent support in the implementation of the various community projects and programs.

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