The ECOWAS is guided by its fundamental Principles in all its dealings with member states, citezens and other external bodies. These principles are enshrined in the Treaty of the Community, which is also the fundamental document bringing the members together.
The ECOWAS fundamental Principles states that:
THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES
In pursuit of the objectives stated in Article 3 of the ECOWAS Treaty, solemnly affirm and declare their adherence to the following principles:
- equality and inter-dependence of Member States;
- solidarity and collective self-reliance;
- inter-State co-operation, harmonisation of policies and integration of programmes;
- non-aggression between Member States;
- maintenance of regional peace, stability and security through the promotion and strengthening of good neighbourliness;
- peaceful settlement of disputes among Member States, active Co-operation between neighbouring countries and promotion of a peaceful environment as a prerequisite for economic development;
- recognition promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- accountability, economic and social justice and popular participation in development;
- recognition and observance of the rules and principles of the Community;
- promotion and consolidation of a democratic system of governance in each Member State as envisaged by the Declaration of Political Principles adopted in Abuja on 6 July, 1991;
- equitable and just distribution of the costs and benefits of economic co-operation and integration.