Aug 23, 2016, 12:06 PM
(Thursday August 25th, 2016 Issue)
is working beneficially with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to consolidate
conflict prevention and peace building efforts in the region.
Pursuant to this, the ECOWAS Commission organized a two-day workshop which ended on the 17 August 2016 in Dakar, Senegal.
As part of the commitment to advance the cause of peace while evolving a holistic approach to conflict resolution in West Africa, the Commission embarks on an annual CSO sensitization workshop on the implementation of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) in Member States.
The workshop was put together to assess the progress made since the 2015, while introducing and adopting a Terms of Reference that would define the modalities for an ECOWAS-CSO partnership on conflict prevention initiatives.
It also had the objective of providing CSOs with a monitoring tool which can be used to track the progress of national conflict prevention programmes, design strategies that will enhance effective implementation of conflict prevention interventions at local and national levels, and discuss regional and national peace and security issues which are meant to be prioritized.
Declaring the workshop open, the ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa, described the annual convergence as a necessary exercise which should be conducted steadily in order build synergies and strengthen the existing partnership between the Commission and CSOs.
He charged the CSOs to develop concrete strategies to prevent the occurrence and prevalence of conflicts in the region.
Participants harped on the need to strengthen the role of the CSOs as principal actors in conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the sub-region.
More than 40 CSOs intervening in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding from the 15 ECOWAS Member States attended the workshop.
Also on hand were senior officials of the workshop facilitators – the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), and supportive consultants.
The ECPF is one of the legal frameworks of ECOWAS that serves as a practical guide on conflict prevention to which ECOWAS and its Member States can refer in their cooperation and engagements with partners.
The Dakar workshop was a follow-up to a previous CSO workshop that was held in August 2015, in Accra, Ghana.