Monrovia — The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ended its 2013 first Session, in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with a call on parliaments and governments in the region to ratify, domesticate, and operationalize various community protocols and conventions to which their respective countries have already signed up.
The 2013 session of the ECOWAS Parliament was preceded by a two-day meeting of the speakers of parliaments and senate leaders from the West African region, according to press statement issued by the Office of Sinoe County Senior Senator, Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan. Sen. Nyenpan is Liberian representative to the ECOWAS Parliament (EP).
Speaking to the press upon arrival, October 7, 2013, from the regional parliamentary session in Abuja, Senator Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan, a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, disclosed that the three-week long session was very interactive.
He said it focused on issues of regional integration, enhancement of the powers of the ECO WAS Parliament, regional trade, telecommunications and electricity, security and politics, climate charge, democracy and elections in the region as well as the state of the ECOWAS Commission itself.
Senator Nyenpan revealed that during the meeting, parliamentarians were also urged to focus on seeking the interest of the peoples of West Africa whom they represent instead of serving as regime spokespersons in the face of human rights violations by any government.
Also during the Session, the President of the ECO WAS COMMISSION and former prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Kadre besiree Ouedraogo, presented the State of the Commission to the Parliamentarians.
He disclosed that the ECOWAS region will experience a higher economic growth of 7% in 2013 compared to 6.6% in 2012 and that regional peace and security had gained solid roots in the region with minor exceptions which are being addressed.
He also intimated that calm had returned to Mali and that the recent Presidential Elections in that Country were peaceful and marked place and elections are expected by end of the year. The Republic of Guinea which currently has no representation at the ECOWAS Parliament is expected to send a delegation soon pending the conclusion of its parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who is also Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate has lauded regional leaders for their support to the regional parliament in ensuring that the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS parliament becomes a reality. He paid tribute to great regional leaders whom he said are dedicated to the virtues of good governance and democracy in West Africa.
In a related development, Senator Nyenpan, who is also Chairman of the Sinoe Legislative Caucus, has again called on Liberians to take interest in the workings of ECOWAS as the Country and peoples have benefitted and still stand to benefit immensely from the programs of ECO WAS. Currently, the Vice Chairman of the ECO WAS Commission, Dr. Togar Gaywech McIntosh is a Liberian serving on the ECOWAS COMMISSION while nominations ore being solicited for another qualified Liberian to serve as judge for the ECO WAS Court of Justice.
It can be recalled that ECOWAS was very instrumental in bringing an end to the civil crises in Liberia and has since remained engaged with the consolidation of peace in the Country.