Abidjan - Cote d'Ivoire — The draft ECOWAS counter-terrorism strategy and implementation plan are among the documents to be considered during an extraordinary meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs and defence in Abidjan on Monday, 25th February 2013.
The meeting being held under the aegis of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council will also consider the regional draft political declaration and common position against terrorism. The strategy will facilitate the implementation of regional, continental and international instruments in combating terrorism and provide a common operational framework for community-wide action to prevent and eradicate terrorism and related acts. Specifically, it would enhance coordination among Member States; strengthen national and regional capacities to detect, deter, intercept and prevent terrorism; promote criminal justice approach; prevent and combat violent religious extremism; harmonise responses and promote regional and international cooperation on terrorism.
Similarly, the complementary political declaration enumerates actions to be undertaken by member states in confronting the menace of terrorism in the region in collaboration with partners and in the spirit of the relevant continental and international instruments. The one-day meeting will also be briefed on the ongoing military operations in Mali by the French and African-led international support mission in Mali (AFISMA) and the modalities for holding Presidential and legislative elections scheduled for July 2013.
The meeting will also review progress of the parliamentary process in Guinea Bissau to adopt a new transitional road map leading to the holding of free and fair elections this year and also an update on the implementation of the Defence and Security Sector Reform programme. The report of the meeting will be considered by regional leaders during their two-day 42nd summit scheduled for Yamoussoukro from 27th February 2013.