October 2010: 2010 ECOWAS Strategic Level Seminar on Transnational Organized Crime and Human Security

Written by WANEP
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2010 ECOWAS Strategic Level Seminar on Transnational Organized Crime and Human Security

From 10th to 15th October 2010, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding participated in an ECOWAS Strategic Level Seminar organized by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Accra Ghana. The seminar brought together 74 participants from 13 West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo), the United Kingdom and United States as well as other CSOs like Kofi Annan International Training Center and West African Civil Society Forum.

The seminar was anchored on the premise that despite the vast natural and human resources and progress made in the last decade towards the establishment of democratic cultures and governing systems, West African countries continue to occupy the bottom ranks of the UN Human Development Index. In addition, West Africa is affected by a number of illicit commercial activities. Some of these originate in the region, such as those involving oil bunkering and human trafficking. Others are destined for the region, such as toxic waste, firearms, or counterfeit medication. Still others merely transit the region, such as cocaine. In each case these illicit activities feed the growth of local and transnational crime organizations and a culture of fast money that is progressively eroding the foundations of any sustainable and well balanced socio-economic development. This in turn will diminish the credibility of the state as the institution entrusted with guaranteeing security and dispensing justice

The seminar subsequently;