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ECOWAS accredits five diplomatic missions, pledges greater collaboration
IndonesiaRepublic of Indonesia ICRCInternational committee of the Red Cross FRANCERepublic of France
KoreaRepublic of Korea SenegalRepublic of Senegal

The ECOWAS Commission president H.E. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo has pledged greater cooperation with the diplomatic Missions accredited to the Commission towards the entrenchment of peace, security, stability and economic advancement of the region.

The president gave the pledge while receiving letters of accreditation from five ambassadors who were reciprocally handed the ECOWAS acknowledgement seals on the 2nd of July 2015 in Abuja.

The ambassadors were H.E. Harry Purwanto (Indonesia), H.E. Noh Kyu-duk (Republic of Korea), H.E. Denys Gauer (France), H.E. Baboucar Sambe (Senegal) as well as the Head of Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mr. Karl Anton Mattli.

Conferring separately with the envoys, President Ouédraogo expressed the readiness of the staff of ECOWAS Directorates and Institutions to cooperate with them in order for theirmission to be accomplished.

Expressing the gratitude of the Commission to the countries for their support and for having a set of shared values with ECOWAS, the President said ECOWAS is also willing to share experiences with the respective countries.

“First of all, our goal is to unite our various people and to make sure that we have in place a regional infrastructure that is working. Already we have abolished visas in the region, now we are proposing an ECOWAS Identity Card which would replace all travel documents while everyone is ready and together we can pursue our common goals” He added.

The president who was flanked by the ECOWAS Director of Legal Affairs Mr. Daniel Lago, Acting Director, External Relations Benita Tarr as well as his Diplomatic Adviser Ambassador Obarijima Gomba, told Karl Mattli that ECOWS looks forward to collaborating with the ICRC for the promotion of international law, respect for human rights, and collective security, adjudging these as the “basis for development.

The ICRC chief had called for attention to the need to institute an annual meeting and have progress reports in such a way as to give greater substance to the cooperation in the areas of security challenges, general humanitarian situation, the situation with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and migration issues.

Reacting to Ambassador Purwanto’s goodwill message on the ECOWAS 40th anniversary President Ouedraogo commended the role played by Indonesia towards the independence of some African countries. Indonesia recently marked its 60th Independence anniversary. Ambassador Purwanto is his country’s first envoy to ECOWAS.

President Ouedraogo also thanked the government of the Republic of Korea for expressing the desire to help ECOWAS in building infrastructure as well as the offer of training opportunities for ECOWAS staff and other capacity building initiatives.

The ECOWAS President recently visited Senegal to confer with the current Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Macky Sall. He used the accreditation exercise to commend the leadership of President Sall in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiation process. He also asked Ambassador Sambe to convey to the Head of State and people of Senegal, the deep appreciation of ECOWAS for their contribution to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region. Senegal he said has deployed troops in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

President Ouedraogo while conferring with the accredited French Ambassador Gauer, thanked France for its role in maintaining peace and stability in the ECOWAS region. He cited among others the country’s dispatch of the Barkhane Mission in Sahel as well as the support for Niger and Nigeria in their fight against terrorism.

He sought the support of France in the implementation of the Sahel strategy to prevent the area from becoming the region’s distabilisation zone.

The president said the backing of France in the development dimension of EPA has become the cornerstone of the success of the trans-continental trade arrangement.

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