Abuja -The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has renewed its commitment to strengthening sub-regional partnerships to address major challenges to sustainable development.
The President of ECOWAS Commission, Amb. Kadré Ouedraogo, stated this after the two-day11th ECOWAS-Development Partners’ Meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.
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“Throughout the deliberations, we renewed our commitment to the implementation of ECOWAS priorities looking at the region’s prospects and challenges in the upcoming decades.
“As a matter of the way forward, we recognised the need to strengthen our partnerships in order to meet major sustainability development challenges that are taken into account in ECOWAS regional policies.
“We also recognised the need to ensure greater efficiency in the functioning of our coordination mechanisms at all levels.
“We took note particularly of the fact that necessary arrangements need to be made by all of us in terms of human and time to be deployed to fully operationalise the coordination mechanism.’’
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Ouedraogo also assured development partners that the commission would take into consideration suggestions made at the meeting to improve its programmes, processes, and procedures.
He expressed gratitude to all development partners and expressed optimism in continued relations with them.
In her remarks, Ms. Jean Gough, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Abuja, commended ECOWAS for progress made in the sub-region in spite of the challenges.
Gough stressed the need for development partners and ECOWAS to show more commitment to promoting cooperation.
“This meeting has provided an important opportunity for discussions around the financial and administrative challenges facing ECOWAS, while it has served as a platform for partners to express our own perspectives.
“Some of these financial issues are extensions of the global financial crisis likely to impact on other regional economic commissions across the continent.
“They call for creativity, commitment and a proactive approach both from ECOWAS and development partner perspective, as we work together to advance partnerships for stronger coordination for development.”
She also restated the UN’s continued support towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals on food security as well as maternal and child mortality by the end of 2015.
“Progress on these goals is critical if we are to get an early start on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
The representatives of ECOWAS Commission, UN, the European Union, international organisations and cooperation agencies were among the participants in the meeting. (NAN)