ECOWAS Canvasses Greater Support for Its Conflict Prevention Initiatives

7 June 2013
press release

Lagos-Nigeria — The ECOWAS Commission has called for strong support for the operationalization of its conflict prevention framework, the ECPF, as a major tool for addressing the proximate and structural causes of violent conflicts and the promotion of human security and peace building in the region.

Addressing a Retreat of Focal Persons on Natural Resource Governance and Enabling Mechanism Components of the ECPF in Lagos on Thursday 6th June 2013, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, told participants that the Framework adopted in 2008 “is a product of critical analysis of multifarious perspectives of conflict dynamics in the region, consistent cross-cutting of ideas and wide- ranging consultations among experts, academics, practitioners, civil society and governmental actors within ECOWAS Member States.”

The Commission, with the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has already developed detailed implementation plans for 13 of the 15 Components of the ECPF relating to the key immediate and structural causes of conflicts such as political governance, the security sector and human rights.

The Lagos Retreat of the relevant Directorates of the Commission has been convened therefore, to complete the process by developing the Plans of Action for the Natural Resource Governance and the accompanying Enabling Mechanism, with the help of consultants and civil society experts.

Commissioner Suleiman urged the participants “to analyze the broad areas covered by the ECPF vis-à-vis their mandates, and collectively agree on implementable activities for the next three years.”

They should also reflect on the expected outcomes of the activities and agree on follow-up coordination, in order to deepen ownership of the process within the Commission's Directorates and foster the spirit of cooperation and coordination, to effectively facilitate the implementation in member States.

She urged the Directorates working on the Enabling Mechanism Components to see the components as the“lynchpin, the anchor of the entire implementation process and the enablers, expected to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of implementation.”

The Commissioner disclosed that as a follow-up to the Retreat, a Mapping Exercise with Development Partners is being planned to hold in the next few weeks during which partners are expected to express their concrete support for specific activities within the Priority Matrices.

This exercise, she said, would lead to a “clarification of funding and coordination procedures most appropriate for driving the ECPF process and proactive strategy for extending implementation to Members States and Civil Society levels.”

The Commissioner expressed the hope that the funding for the three-year plan estimated at US$22 million could be mobilized quickly with support from development partners.

She commended DANIDA, which has already indicated its readiness to support the process through the 3rdPhase of its Africa Programme for Peace (APP).

Mrs. Suleiman reaffirmed the commitment of the ECOWAS Commission's management “to productive collaboration and cooperation” in the implementation of the ECPF.

Among its objectives, the three-day Retreat is expected to agree Priority Programmes of the ECPF Components for the period 2013-2015; aggregate data, programmes and activities into the Priority Matrices; finalize and adopt the filled-in Matrices and agree on the coordination mechanism for the implementation of the adopted Matrices, particularly the identification of a lead Directorate for each component.

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