ECOWAS is strongly committed to the pursuit of regional peace and security within the context of promotion of regional integration, the Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Toga McIntosh has assured.
Receiving a joint delegation of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), on Friday, 28th September, 2012, in his office, His Excellency the Vice-President of ECOWAS Commission explained that the region required adequate resources to effectively prosecute its peace and security programmes.
He also noted that combating Gender-based Violence (GBV) was central to peace negotiations and agreements, and commended WANEP and CMI for their efforts in promoting professional practices and peace mediation.
Dr. McIntosh promised that the Commission would critically examine the recommendations of the on-going research on Gender Based Violence and Mediation in West Africa of which the preliminary findings was presented at a one-day meeting held between the delegation and the Commission’s departments of Gender and Early Warning, with a view to incorporating them into its work programme.
In their response, the leadership of the delegation, from CMI and WANEP; Minister of State and Senior Adviser of CMI, Ms. Elizabeth Rehn and Chukwuemeka B Eze; Program Director of WANEP, commended the Commission’s management, saying: “we have no doubt in our mind that under your leadership, the Commission will record tremendous progress in its quest for regional peace, security, integration and accelerated development.”
Specifically Minister Rehn said that GBV issues in West Africa following series of violent conflicts and intra- state wars “have continued to undermine the potentials of women and indeed, hamper the holistic development of the region.”
She reaffirmed WANEP and CMI’s commitment to collaborate with the Commission towards promoting peace and security in West Africa.
Also present at the meeting were Dr. Sintiki Ugbe, ECOWAS Director for Gender, Youth and Sports, and Mrs. Florence Iheme, Acting Director of the Early Warning Directorate.
Also on WANEP and CMI delegation were the WANEP CMI Adviser, Ms. Elisa Tarnala, as well as Ms. Bridget Osakwe, Programme Manager for WANEP in Nigeria, Ms. Kesia-Onam Bijoue Togoh Birch, Program Officer for WANEP Regional Office, Ghana, and Ms. Eemeli Isohaho, CMI Project Officer.
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