The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has reiterated its commitment to promote regional security coordination and cooperation, to effectively tackle new and emerging security challenges in the region.
Gen. Francis Behanzin, Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission, made the pledge at the inauguration of the ECOWAS Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform and Governance (SSRG), on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner was represented by Dr Isaac Armstrong, Programme Officer, Regional Security Division, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission.
Behanzin, said the event was an important milestone in its mandate to promote regional peace, security and stability, through supporting governance and reform of the security sector in all ECOWAS member states.
He recalled that the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) which was adopted in 2008, mandated the commission to develop a Security Governance Framework and an Action Plan that take into account peculiarities of the region in improving security delivery.
” In fulfilment of this mandate, our Authority of Heads of States and Government adopted the ECOWAS Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform and Governance in Dakar, Senegal, on 4th June, 2016.
”I must reiterate the objectives of the ECOWAS SSRG policy Framework, which are to promote common security standards in the region, complementing nationally led initiatives.
”And promoting regional security coordination and cooperation, so as to effectively tackle new and emerging security challenges,” he added.
He, however, said that the policy was not intended to replace a National Security Policy, Strategy or nationally led initiatives to promote governance and reform of the security sector, but to complement it.
The unique value of the SSRG policy framework lies in its comprehensive approach to “connected security” in the ECOWAS region.
”This means that improving efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and responsiveness of security service provision will have a domino effect by also enhancing efforts in conflict prevention, preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.
”It will also improve maritime security governance, combat transnational organised crime, as well as controlling small arms and light weapons proliferation,” he said.
Earlier, Ms Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union (EU) Delegation and Governance (SSRG) Policy Framework, assured that the EU would continue to be part of the dialogue and a strong advocate for building the momentum in fostering both regional and national capacities for policy implementation.
Also, the First Secretary, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, Abuja, Mr Bernt-Michael Gelpke, declared the support of the Government of Germany to the successful implementation of the policy.
NAN reports that the highpoint of the event was the unveiling of the SSRG policy framework, which was being supported by the EU, German embassy and development partners, and published in three languages – English, French and Portuguese. (NAN)