ECOWAS 78th Council of Ministers’ Meeting Opens Today

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Flashback: Marcel Alain de Souza, president of ECOWAS Commission gives a symbolic check to VP Boakai

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain de Souza, has promised to ask the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and others to give a “standing ovation” for the Chair of ECOWAS Authority, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and her government for the splendid job she has done for the sub-region and her country.

According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry release, Mr. de Souza made the assertion during his remarks at the opening of the 38th Ordinary Ministerial Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council taking place at the Farmington Hotel in Lower Margibi County.

Mr. de Souza, while providing updates on the sub-region, specifically on the democratic front, said Liberia is the only country that is set to go to the presidential and legislative elections in October this year.

He praised the Liberian government for handling its electoral process.

Marjon V. Kamara, Foreign Affairs Minister and chairperson of the Ministerial Council, who formally opened the meeting, welcomed her colleagues and guests and told them how honored the government and people of Liberia are by their presence.

“Our President, the government and people of Liberia are greatly honored by your presence,” she said, adding that the decision to convene these mid-year statutory meetings in Liberia is a very reassuring statement of confidence in the progress which the country has made in consolidating peace over the past 13 years that bears testimony to the strong and visionary leadership of President Sirleaf, who, with support of partners, has kept Liberia on a peaceful course.

“ECOWAS, the United Nations and many friendly governments have been indispensable partners in this respect,” Minister Kamara said.

She said ECOWAS has continued to develop and sharpen the elements of its peace and security architecture since its first deployment to Liberia in August 1990, stressing, “Today our organization is held in high esteem for the decisive and determined posture of ECOWAS leaders and the strategic use of its military assets in the interest of peace, stability and security of ECOWAS citizens.”

Minister Kamara paid tribute to the President and staff of the ECOWAS Commission for the positive results of their hard work which continues to bring credit to the regional body.

She also extended her appreciation to the Chair of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the ambassadorial level and the ECOWAS Ambassadors for their informed contributions to enhancing coordination and policy coherence between the Commission and Member States on regional peace and security matters.

Minister Kamara, among other things, expressed her expectation that the 38th MSC Meeting will further enhance their collective initiatives to strengthen the peace and security architecture of the sub-region.

Meanwhile, the two-day meeting of the 78th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers takes place today, Thursday, June 1 and Friday, June 2, at the Farmington Hotel in lower Margibi County.

Minister Kamara will welcome her colleagues from the sub-region to Liberia and will chair proceedings, while Mr. de Souza will make a statement setting the stage for the closed-door deliberations.

Agenda items include those for decisions, adoption and information as they prepare the 51st Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government scheduled for Sunday, June 4th. All Heads of State and Government are expected to be in attendance.

Other important dignitaries expected to attend the 51st Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority include the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, a high-level delegation from the Moroccan government, European Union, United Nations, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki.

On the margins of the 51st Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, Mano River Union States (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) will launch the West Africa Power Pool Project, which will provide electricity to the countries of the MRU basin.

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