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ECOWAS Moves To Implement International Humaniterian Law In The Region
ECOWAS Director of Gender, Dr. Sintiki Ugbe..

Abuja, 3rd November 2017. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have resolved to extend the ECOWAS International Humanitarian Law (IHL) plan of action which is anchored within its Humanitarian policy to 2018.

This would enable ECOWAS and the ICRC initiate and complete a review of the implementation of the current plan with a view to validate it within 2018 in order for it to be adopted by the ECOWAS Statutory bodies.

This was determined during the 14th annual meeting to review the implementation of IHL in West Africa which ended on 3rd November 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.

A cross section of participants

Speaking at the close of the meeting, the ECOWAS Commission Director of Gender, Youth and Sports, Dr.Sintiki Ugbe who represented the Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, stated that, the goal of securing our societies while upholding the cherished human values expressed within the human rights and IHL provisions are very important.

The Director highlighted key issues such as internal displacement and the protection of vulnerable migrants as topical and relevant to attaining appropriate levels of human security as they are important to the ratification and domestication of various IHL treaties.

Hence the Head of the ICRC delegation to ECOWAS, Mr.Eloi Fillion, in his remarks said “the ICRC welcomes the Member States’ pledge to continue exchanging best practices between them, as new IHL committees are formed, and those in existence strengthened to increase their effectiveness”.

“By coming together under the umbrella of the ECOWAS region, and expressing commitments to vital IHL principles and treaties, you put the region on the global stage as a powerful proponent of IHL”, He said.

The Togolese Ambassador to ECOWAS, Mr. Lene Dimban, who represented the chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, also stated that the extension of the ECOWAS IHL Plan of Action for one more reaffirms the strong commitment of both organizations towards its implementation.

The 2017 Annual Review Meeting on the Implementation of IHL in West Africa amongst others, focused on terrorism, migration, IHL compliance and the measures undertaken by Member States since the 2016 meeting on implementing IHL treaties, and the various tools available to assist them in its implementation.

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