PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2013 Selected
En Français
N°: 053/2013
28 February 2013 [Yamoussoukro - Côte d’Ivoire]

FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE FORTY SECOND ORDINARY SESSION OF THE ECOWAS AUTHORITY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT

							
	1. The Forty-Second Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and
Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) took 
place in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, on 27 and 28 February 2012 under the 
chairmanship of H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte 
d’Ivoire and Chairman of the Authority.

2. The following Heads of State and Government or their duly mandated 
representatives were present at the meeting:
- H. E. Blaise COMPAORE, President of Burkina Faso
- H. E. Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
- H. E. Sheikh Prof. Alhaji Dr.Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, President of The Gambia
- H. E. John Dramani MAHAMA, President of the Republic of Ghana
- H. E. Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea
- H. E. Manuel Serifo NHAMAJO, Interim President of the Republic of Guinea 
Bissau
- H. E. Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, President of the Republic of Liberia
- H. E. Dioncounda TRAORE, Interim President of the Republic of Mali
- H. E. Mahamadou ISSOUFOU, President of the Republic of Niger
- H. E. Goodluck Ebele JONATHAN, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- H. E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
- H. E. Ernest Bai KOROM A, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
- H. E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic
- H.E. Nassirou BAKO-ARIFARI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of 
Benin.
- H.E. Francisco PEREIRA DA VEIGA, Ambassador of the Republic of Cape Verde to
Senegal
3. The following Heads of State and Government also participated at the Summit 
as
special guests:
- H. E. Idriss Deby ITNO, President of the Republic of Chad
- H.E. Pierre NKURUNZIZA, President of the Republic of Burundi
- H. E. Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
- H. E. Abdel-Ilah BENKIRAN, Prime Minister of Morocco

4. The President of the UEMOA Commission, the Special Representative of the UN 
Secretary-General for West Africa, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-
General in Guinea Bissau, the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU 
Commission, the Secretary-General of the CPLP, and the AU High Representative 
to Mali and the Sahel and Head of AFISMA, the Force Commanders of AFISMA and 
ECOMIB, as well as the President of the African Development Bank also 
participated in the Summit as observers.

5. The representatives of the following invited countries and Organizations 
also observed proceedings at the Summit: Algeria, Canada, Egypt, Equatorial 
Guinea, France, Italy, Libya, Spain, UK, USA, and the EU.

6. The Heads of State and Government observed a minute’s silence in memory of 
the heroes of the allied forces in Mali who lost their lives in the line of 
duty, while implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2085 (2012) on Mali, 
and also for General Kelefa Diallo, Chief of Defence Staff of Guinea, and ten 
others who died in a helicopter crash on 11 February 2013.

7. The Heads of State and Government took note of the 2012 Annual Report of 
the President of the ECOWAS Commission and the Report of the Chairman of the 
Council of Ministers of its 69th Ordinary Session. They also took note of the 
Memoranda of the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the situations in Mali 
and Guinea Bissau and the Report of the Extra-Ordinary Session of the 
Mediation and Security Council of 25 February 2013 by the Chairman of the 
Council. They also noted the briefings by H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of 
Burkina Faso and Mediator in Mali, and H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President 
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Associate Mediator in Mali and Chairman of 
the Regional Contact Group on Guinea Bissau.

8. The Heads of State and Government reiterated their firm commitment to the
development of the Region through the acceleration of the integration process, 
including the implementation of sectoral programmes and the consolidation of 
the common market within the framework of respect for fundamental principles 
as contained in the founding Act, Protocols and other relevant texts of 
ECOWAS, including those relating to the promotion and consolidation of 
democracy and good governance.

9. Authority commended the quality of the reports and the pertinence of the 
recommendations contained therein. To this end, the Heads of State and 
Government endorsed the main recommendations in the relevant reports and 
briefings, and made the following conclusions and specific Decisions:

I.	The Regional Economic Performance and Consolidation of the Common 
Market

10. Authority judges as encouraging the economic performance recorded by the 
Region in 2012. In order to consolidate the performance and sustain growth 
capable of reducing poverty, the Heads of State and Government undertake 
targeted measures towards sanitizing the macroeconomic framework, deepening 
structural reforms, diversifying the productive base of the economy, and 
improving social services.

11. In that regard, Authority directs the President of the Commission to take 
additional measures to reinforce the achievements of the different integration 
projects, particularly those aimed at consolidating the common market, 
enhancing convergence programmes, promoting the private sector and boosting 
the resilience of the region through the implementation of appropriate 
sectoral policies.

12. The Heads of State and Government welcome the progress made in the 
finalization of the CET and direct the President of the ECOWAS Commission to 
continue, in collaboration with the UEMOA Commission, the coordination work 
needed for the creation of the Customs Union. Authority stresses in this 
regard, the need for the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on 
Free Movement of Persons and Goods and therefore, calls for greater 
appropriation of the Protocol by Member States.

13. The Heads of State and Government reaffirm their commitment to the 
conclusion of a fair and development-oriented regional Economic Partnership 
Agreement (EPA) with the European Union. They welcome the efforts undertaken 
by the West African Region in finetuning the market access offer and direct 
the President of the Commission to finalize, as soon as possible, proposals to 
that effect in line with the on-going work on the CET and the development 
objectives of the Region.

14. Authority welcomes the 14 December 2012 Sipopo Declaration of ACP Heads of 
State and Government on EPA. It calls on the Chief Negotiators of the two 
parties to intensify consultations with greater flexibility, in order to 
conclude negotiations on the pending issues.
The Heads of State and Government, therefore, call for a meeting of the Chief 
Negotiators as soon as possible with a view to reaching agreement on the 
different areas of divergence.

II. Sectoral Policies
15. The Heads of State and Government welcome the on-going efforts to 
formulate and implement infrastructure, in particular energy and rail 
programmes. In this regard, Authority endorses the Priority Action Plan for 
West Africa and the Infrastructural Development Programme for Africa, and 
directs the Commission to expedite their implementation.

16. Authority directs the President of the ECOWAS Commission to take all the 
necessary measures to support Member States in the implementation of emergency 
energy programmes. In particular, Authority instructs the President of the 
Commission to pursue the efforts aimed at extending and improving the 
efficiency of interconnectivity projects in all the countries of the Region, 
including the West African Gas Pipeline. It also instructs the President to 
facilitate the coordination of priority projects preparation in Member States. 
In
that regard, Authority requests the President of the Commission to convene a 
meeting of Ministers responsible for Energy to consider the requests from 
Member States and make the appropriate recommendations.

17. Authority reaffirms its commitment to combat food insecurity in West 
Africa. While stressing the importance of the ECOWAS Common Agricultural 
Policy, the Heads of State and Government request the Commission to expedite 
action on the implementation of the ‘Rice Offensive’, the regional programmes 
to develop small-scale livestock farming, and the hydraulic programmes. In 
particular, Summit directs the President of the Commission, in particular, to 
take all necessary measures to ensure the effective takeoff of the regional 
food
reserve, and to address the environmental challenges more effectively by 
pursuing efforts to find appropriate solutions to pollution.

18. Summit reaffirms its determination to make malaria eradication a major 
component of Members states’ agenda to achieve the Millennium Development 
Goals. In this regard, Authority emphasizes the importance of a multi-sectoral 
strategy focused particularly on the vector control component and 
sensitization. Summit calls on Member States to promote this component in 
their national programmes and directs the Commission to facilitate efforts in 
this regard. In this context, the Chairman of Authority laid the foundation 
stone for the construction of the first bio-larvicide factory in Côte 
d’Ivoire, out of the three envisaged for West Africa, at a ceremony in the 
margins of the Summit.

II.	Democracy and Good Governance

19. The Heads of State and Government welcome the increasing acceptance of the 
Community’s constitutional convergence principles and the gradual deepening of 
democratic culture in the Region.

20. Authority commends the Governments and people of Senegal, Sierra Leone, 
and Ghana for conducting peaceful Presidential and Legislative elections in 
the course of 2012, which were adjudged by ECOWAS, as well as local and 
international observers as free, fair, and transparent. It also commends 
Burkina Faso for conducting successful legislative and municipal elections in 
December 2012.

21. Authority warmly congratulates H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma on his re-election 
as President of Sierra Leone, and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, on his elevation 
to the highest office in Ghana.

22. Authority expresses expectation that the legislative elections in Guinea 
and Togo, as well as the general elections in Mali and Guinea Bissau 
anticipated in 2013, will similarly be peaceful, consensual, inclusive, and 
credible.

23. Authority however expresses concern about the incidents of political 
violence, non-acceptance of election results, and military interference that 
mar the advances made in the democracy agenda, and instructs the ECOWAS 
Commission to deepen its electoral assistance to Member States.

IV. The Security and Political Situation in Mali
24. Authority strongly condemns the on-going suicide bombings and guerilla 
attacks by terrorist and extremist groups in the north of Mali and urges the 
allied forces to take all necessary steps within the framework of the counter-
insurgency operation to neutralize them and ensure the prosecution of 
collaborators.

25. Authority expresses its profound gratitude to Government of France for its 
decisive action. Authority also expresses its deepest gratitude to the 
Government and People of Chad for their exemplary demonstration of concrete 
solidarity with the people of Mali and their commitment to the ideals of the 
African Union. Authority pays special tribute to the gallant heroes of this 
great nation who paid the ultimate price helping Mali to assert its 
territorial integrity.

26. Authority endorses the revised Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for AFISMA 
and urges both the political leadership and Commanders of the allied forces to 
ensure improved coordination among themselves for a harmonious and effective 
operation. 

27. Authority endorses the recommendations of the Meeting of the Chiefs of 
Defence Staff regarding the urgent and other identified needs of AFISMA. In 
this regard, Authority directs the ECOWAS Commission, in close collaboration 
with the AU Commission, to ensure that these needs are met without further 
delay, in particular the deployment of troops and the provision of additional 
logistics.

28. The Heads of State and Government welcome the disposition of Burundi to 
deploy troops in Mali within the framework of AFISMA, and call on the AFISMA 
Force Commander to ensure follow-up with a view to integrating the Burundi 
troops into the on-going operations.

29. Authority welcomes the constructive cooperation of Algeria, Mauritania and 
Morocco in the efforts to resolve the crisis in Mali.

30. Authority exhorts the allied forces to scrupulously uphold human rights 
and international humanitarian laws in their operations. To that end, it 
welcomes the on-going initiatives by ECOWAS, the AU and other partners to 
quickly deploy human rights observers to the conflict zone and inculcate human 
rights values in service personnel through induction courses.

31. Summit reiterates its call on international humanitarian actors to 
continue to provide assistance to the affected populations. It directs the 
ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with humanitarian partners, to monitor and 
coordinate the relief efforts to ensure effectiveness.

32. Authority directs the ECOWAS Commission, in close consultations with the 
AU Commission, to address a request to the United Nations in support of the 
formal request by Mali to the UN to take steps towards the transformation of 
AFISMA into a UN peacekeeping operation under an appropriate mandate, as soon 
as conditions permit.

33. Authority reiterates its firm support to the on-going transition and to 
the transitional authorities led by President Dioncounda Traoré, and expresses 
its continued commitment to defend the transition against all spoilers, 
civilian or military. 

34. Summit welcomes the adoption of the transitional roadmap by the National 
Assembly and exhorts the Malian authorities and all other stakeholders to 
ensure its expeditious implementation.

35. The Heads of State and Government, taking note of the decision of the 
Malian authorities to hold Presidential and legislative elections by 31st July 
2013, decide to extend the mandate of the transitional organs till the end of 
the transition in line with the opinion of the Constitutional Court. They 
exhort the competent authorities in Mali to initiate the necessary 
constitutional process to that end.

36. The Heads of State and Government urge the transitional authorities to 
create the necessary conditions for convening a forum for comprehensive 
dialogue on the issues of governance among the people of the northern regions 
involving in particular, the representatives of the different communities, 
elected officials, and civil society organizations. 

In this context, the Heads of State also urge the transitional authorities to 
expedite action on the establishment of the National Commission on 
Reconciliation and Dialogue in order to promote, through the broadest possible 
representation, national reconciliation and the restoration of sustainable 
peace.

37. Authority recalls its commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of 
Mali, which requires in particular, the deployment of the national army 
throughout the country. To this end, Authority demands the disarmament of all 
armed groups, including the MNLA. It further stresses that the renunciation by 
the MNLA of violence and its declared secessionist intentions is the minimum 
condition to be fulfilled before being accepted into any dialogue.

38. Authority expresses deep appreciation to H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President 
of Burkina Faso and ECOWAS Mediator in the Malian crisis, and H.E. Goodluck 
Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Associate 
Mediator, for their unrelenting efforts in Mali. It encourages them to 
persevere in their role by facilitating the accomplishment of the tasks 
outlined in the transitional roadmap.

V. The Political and Security situation in Guinea Bissau

39. Authority reiterates its unflinching support to the transition in Guinea 
Bissau. Authority welcomes the signing of the Transitional Pact by all the 
major political parties as well as the spirit of consensus and inclusiveness 
that is building around the process.

40. Authority encourages President Manuel Serifo Nhamajo to propose a 
technically feasible Draft Revised Transitional Roadmap to the People’s 
National Assembly for the preparation and conduct of free, fair, and 
transparent general elections before the end of 2013. Authority exhorts the 
National Assembly to adopt, as soon as possible, the said draft roadmap, and 
requests the Regional Contact Group on Guinea Bissau to ensure follow up.

41. Summit decides to extend the transitional period in Guinea Bissau till 31 
December 2013, taking into account the on-going process in the People’s 
National Assembly. 

42. Summit welcomes the imminent commencement of the implementation of the 
Defence and Security Sector Reform Programme (DSSRP) in Guinea Bissau within 
the framework of the memorandum of understanding between the country and 
ECOWAS. It directs the President of the ECOWAS Commission to take all 
appropriate measures to facilitate and sustain its implementation.

43. Authority commends the officers, men and women of the ECOWAS Mission in 
Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) for their laudable efforts in assisting to ensure the 
security of institutions and the population. It directs the ECOWAS Commission 
to ensure the effective operations of the Mission. To that end, Authority 
adopts the recommendations of the Committee of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff 
(CCDS) regarding ECOMIB.

44. Summit calls on the AU Commission to produce, as soon as practicable, an 
accurate consolidated report of the Joint Assessment Mission undertaken by 
ECOWAS, AU, CPLP, UN and the EU to Guinea Bissau in December 2012. Summit 
expresses the expectation that the report will constitute another tool to 
strengthen the efforts to build consensus among the international partners on 
the situation in Guinea Bissau.

45. Authority reiterates its repeated calls so the AU to recognize the on-
going transition and to lift the sanctions imposed on Guinea Bissau. Authority 
also calls on its international partners to urgently consider the resumption 
of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in order to further encourage 
reforms in the country.

46. The Heads of State and Government express deep appreciation to H.E. 
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and 
Chairman of the Regional Contact Group on Guinea Bissau (RCG-GB), and members 
of the Group, and to H.E. Alpha Condé, the Mediator in Guinea Bissau, for 
their assistance to Guinea Bissau and their commitment to ensuring a 
successful inclusive transition.

VI. Other Security Threats

47. Authority reaffirms its commitment to the fight against terrorism in the 
Region. In this regard, it endorses the ECOWAS Counter-Terrorism Strategy and 
Implementation Plan as well as the Political Declaration on a Common Position 
against Terrorism.

48. Authority declares its determination to combat piracy, illegal and 
irregular fishing, drug trafficking, and other forms of transnational 
organized crime in the Gulf of Guinea. To this end, Authority welcomes the 
planned ministerial meeting and Summit of ECOWAS and ECCAS scheduled to hold 
in 2013 to adopt a broader Regional Strategy and Plan of Action on the fight 
against Maritime Insecurity.

49. Authority reaffirms its political commitment to the Praia Declaration and 
the Regional Plan of Action against Drug Trafficking. Authority decides to 
extend the period of the Plan by two years, in order to sustain the fight 
against the scourge and to consolidate the financial support base for its 
effective implementation.

VII. Institutional Matters
50. To achieve enhanced effectiveness of the ECOWAS Commission, the Heads of 
State and Government decide to increase the number of the members of the 
Commission from 12 to 15. It tasks the President of the Commission to propose 
the new delimitation of Departments to the Council of Ministers for the 
consideration of Authority at its earliest meeting.

51. With regard to the criteria for allocating statutory positions, Authority 
decides to confer the task on the President of the ECOWAS Commission to submit 
proposals to the Council of Ministers for the consideration of Authority at 
its earliest meeting.

52. Authority invites Ghana to nominate a candidate to complete the term of 
the outgoing Secretary-General of the ACP Group, a position allocated to West 
Africa. Authority further endorses the candidature of Ghana for the post of 
Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Authority also 
endorses the candidature of Nigeria for a seat of Non-Permanent Member at the 
UN Security Council.

53. The Heads of State and Government reiterate their call on all Member 
States to respect the provisions of the Protocol on the Community Levy. In 
particular, Member States are encouraged to pay their arrears based on a 
timetable whose compliance the Commission is instructed to monitor.

54. Authority underscores the importance of concessional resources in funding 
the development projects of the Region. Consequently, the Authority urges 
Member States to promptly release the totality of the first and second 
tranches of the EBID called up capital. It instructs the Presidents of the 
Commission and the Bank to ensure the establishment of a systematic strategy 
for resource mobilization to shore up the financial capacities of the Bank.

55. The Heads of State and Government pay glowing tribute to H.E. Alassane 
Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of Authority 
for the constant commitment he has demonstrated throughout the year, in 
guiding the affairs of the community. Authority warmly congratulates him for 
his positive contribution to the consolidation of the regional integration 
process and the management of the crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

56. Authority decides to renew the mandate of H.E. Alassane Ouattara, as 
Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government for another 
year.

57. The Heads of State and Government decide that their next Ordinary Summit 
will hold in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on a date to be determined 
after consultations by the Chairman of Authority.


VOTE OF THANKS

We, Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African 
States, meeting at our 42nd Ordinary Session Yamoussoukro from 27 to 28th 
February 2013 to deliberate on the challenges of regional integration, peace 
and security in West Africa, express our deepest appreciation to H.E. Alassane 
Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of 
Authority, and to the Government and people of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, 
for the excellent welcome and authentic African hospitality extended to us and 
our delegations, which made us feel so much at home in this great and 
beautiful country.

Given the seriousness of the issues under discussion, we are equally most 
appreciative of the relaxed atmosphere created, as well as the magnificent 
facilities put at our disposal, which ensured stress-free interactions and 
productive outcomes.

We, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, further express our highest 
regard and appreciation to the Chairman of Authority for the masterful and 
efficient manner in which he guided proceedings, which greatly facilitated 
deliberations and ensured the successful formulation of critical Decisions.

DONE AT YAMOUSSOUKRO THIS 28TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2013


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