ECOWAS states must unite to solve common problems —Buhari

Posted by News Express | 17 December 2015 | 5,816 times

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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has stressed the need for a regional and indeed global solidarity in efforts to counter threats of terrorism and climate change facing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

At the opening of the 48th Ordinary Session of the Summit of ECOWAS holding in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, President Buhari urged the member states to continue to enhance their individual country’s system of governance.

He also asked them to maintain a stronger relationship with partners to accelerate the implementation of joint initiatives and mechanisms created to address the daunting but not insurmountable risks.

“As we do so, we should not relent in our effort to engage with member states coming out of crises, in order to help them to consolidate on the achievements made.

“Security challenges persist in our region as we continue to be confronted with the daunting scourge of transnational organised crime including arms trafficking, drug trafficking, as well as piracy and criminality at sea.

“Equally worrying is the rising scourge of violent extremism and terrorism. All this constitute serious threats to peace and security in the region, and therefore require our urgent and concerted actions.”

The Nigerian leader further pointed out that the catastrophic consequences of climate change were manifest in the West African region.

He said: “A number of fragilities, conflicts and environmental degradation that affect our countries today with serious negative impact on peace, security, economy and livelihoods are either directly or indirectly triggered by climate change. Alone, we will not be able to reverse or stop some of these consequences, as it requires huge investment of resources far beyond our capabilities.

“We should therefore continue to press for international assistance and to work with the rest of the world to protect the environment.

“We should do so without losing focus on our industrial development objectives.

“Our efforts to fast track regional integration should also be informed by the requirement for clean source of energy.”

He further expressed his support for the agreement reached at the just concluded COP21 in Paris, which aims at reducing global warming and providing financial support to developing nations.

Calling for further cooperation between West African nations and their development partners, he urged member states of ECOWAS to take advantage of their willingness to support West Africa’s initiatives to address all the challenges in the most appropriate and beneficial ways to the region and to global peace and security.

President Buhari also told the ECOWAS member states that Nigeria would like to see that on-going reforms in ECOWAS institutions were concluded and firmly entrenched to ensure greater effectiveness in leading the integration process.

“We would like to see that the resources of the Community are devoted to the implementation of economic programs that would enable us build a prosperous region.”

He expressed strong belief in the vast potentialities of the West African region and said he remained confident that under the leadership of the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, “our Community will continue to make steady progress towards achieving the goals for which it was founded; a community that gives hope to the present and future generations.” (Channels TV)


Source: News Express

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