• Advances ways to succeed

Madam Mawine Diggs, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, has offered solutions for members of the ECOWAS parliament to pursue the execution of the 2050 framework document in order to avoid the mistakes that resulted in the vision 2020’s poor performance.

On behalf of H. E. President George Manneh Weah, the eloquent female Minister addressed the 1st Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in 2022 on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at the opening ceremony.

The ceremony which was graced by members of the diplomatic corps and top governments officials including Speaker Bhofal Chambers, was held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.    

Minister Diggs warned the parliament not to make the same mistakes as before, pointing out faults in the regional body’s Vision 2020 framework paper and highlighting the necessity of incorporating all stakeholders, particularly women, youth, and disadvantaged populations, in decision-making.

“The failure to incorporate all stakeholders for proper planning as well as the lack of strategy to communicate the vision to the grass rooters in a simple and clear ways were notable lapses that led to the minimum results we recorded,” the President’s proxy said.

The body’s inability to silence the gun and restore calm in the West African Region was one conspicuous failure of Vision 2020, which many have referred to, among other reasons. Rather than putting a stop to the gun, the region has been plagued by military coups and violent battles.

Apart from the continued terrorist assaults in Nigeria and elsewhere in the region, coups d’état took place in Mali on August 18, 2020, Guinea on September 5, 2021, Burkina Faso on January 23, 2022, and Guinea Bissau on February 1, 2022.

Despite their previous endorsement prior to ratification by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, the female Honorable Minister remarked that the ECOWAS seminar gave an opportunity for lawmakers to reconsider and better educate themselves with the regional framework.

Madam Diggs expressed her joy at Liberia hosting the 1st ECOWAS Seminar and Extraordinary Sessions, saying it demonstrates Liberia’s commitment to regional and international peace and security.

“I want to express our profound happiness over the choice of Liberia as the venue for your first seminar and the first extraordinary sessions of the 5th Legislature in 2022. As a country, we are delighted to host the ceremony of the ECOWAS parliament in Monrovia. This is a testament to your resolve to make an impact in every part of the region and our government’s commitment to good governance and the promotion of regional and international peace and security,” she said

However, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, stated that a larger dialogue was conducted before the framework document was prepared. Youth and women’s organizations, as well as the religious community and city mayors, were contacted and shared in the preparation of the framework paper, according to him. The Hon. Sidie M. Tunis is a Sierra Leonean legislator with a Liberian mother.

Speaking early on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister Deweh Gray expressed optimism that the ECOWAS’ Extraordinary Session would add to efforts that could contribute to transforming the organization from an ECOWAS of State to an ECOWAS of People. She, on behalf of the Minister, welcomed the delegation to Liberia.

For his part, the Speaker of the 54th National Legislature of Liberia, Representative Bhofal Chambers, expressed concern about the frequent coups in the West African Region and the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. He said peace and security were the necessary tools that were needed for any government to serve humanity. The Liberian lawmaker called on Russia to exercise restraint and give peace a chance.  

According to information from the legislative bureau in Monrovia, the main objective of the Extraordinary Session is to evaluate the current challenges of democratic retrogression and the socio-political and security situation in the region.

The Parliamentary body intends to review political actions and decisions that have influenced the disruption of the rule of law and the unconstitutional change of Government in the region, the bureau said, informing that the law maker will at the same time evaluate the deteriorating state of security and terrorism and the influence of terrorist actions in the ECOWAS region and the possible intervention by the ECOWAS Standby Force.

It is expected that the regional body will review the sanctions regime on unconstitutional change of government and make recommendations on the management of political and security institutions in the region.

The Parliamentary body will also examine and re-evaluate the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, in response to how it impacts on political governance, early warning mechanisms and institutional management in the region and will adopt resolutions from the parliamentary proceedings of the Extraordinary Session.

The gathering is expected to last up March 8, 2022.

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