African First Ladies Urged to Synergize for Peace

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Abuja-Nigeria — The wife of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mrs. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, has called for synergy, complementarity, strong partnership and collaboration between the African First Ladies Peace Mission and the Commission for the promotion of continental peace and development. In a goodwill message to the 7th Summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, which opened in Abuja, Nigeria on 24th July 2012, Mrs. Ouedraogo enumerated efforts by the Commission in effective engagement for sustainable democracy, good governance and peace in the region, and reiterate its commitment to support and participate in all peace processes within "our nations and beyond."

She said the ECOWAS Commission has already set up a network for peace and security to promote strategic partnership for women empowerment and gender equality in peace and security in West Africa, adding that since women and children are the major victims of wars and conflicts, they should be given key roles in conflict prevention and resolution. Mrs. Ouedraogo disclosed that some 35 women had been trained in peace negotiations within the framework of the ECOWAS network, with the support of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the United Nations (UN) Women. She expressed appreciation to Nigeria's First Lady, her Excellency Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan and her colleagues, for their prominent roles in promoting peace, and contributions to the development of their countries, the region and the African continent.

The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government adopted the Protocol on the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security in 1999 and the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance in 2001, as part of the legal instruments for the deepening of democracy and advancement of peace and security in the region.

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