The Chairperson of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council and Ghana’s
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Honorable Hannah Tetteh
has called for a “re-look” at the region’s security architecture in response to
new security challenges facing the region exemplified by the “dramatic “
increase in piracy and the growing activities of terrorists and religious
“Indeed, we need to place equal, if not more, emphasis on efforts at identifying
threats to regional and national peace and security and nipping them in the
bud,” the minister said while opening a one-day meeting of the Council in Accra
on Tuesday 8th July 2014.
She told the meeting, being attended by ministers of foreign affairs and
defence, that the gale of conflicts that has swept through the region for some
years has not only been “undermining the forward march of our Community (but)
also sapped our energies and scarce resources.”
The minister said that conflicts and instability do not augur well for economic
and political development and manifest in economic disruptions, collapsed public
infrastructures, attrition of state governing institutions, the proliferation of
small arms and light weapons, pervasive poverty, among others.
She underscored the importance of the proposal by the ECOWAS Commission for the
establishment of early warning mechanisms in Member States to the success of
this new orientation and urged the security services not to see the mechanisms
as threats to their traditional roles but rather avail themselves of the
information to be generated through them for efficiency.
“Maintaining peace and security in our region is a collective task and the
earlier we cooperate with each other in all matters of security, particularly in
the intelligence and information gathering arena, the better it would be for us
all,” the minister affirmed.
In an earlier speech, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency
Kadré Desire Ouédraogo cited the restoration of democratic governance in
Guinea-Bissau following successful legislative and presidential elections and
the readiness of the Commission to work with Member States in addressing the
recent security challenges, especially as they relate to the activities of
terrorists and pirates.
The president will present a Memorandum on the security and political situations
in Mali to the meeting which will also be updated on the mediation efforts in
that country and recent developments in Guinea Bissau including the
The ministers will during this 42nd session also consider the report of Member
States Experts for the establishment of National Early Warning mechanisms at the
national levels that will dovetail into the existing regional mechanism for a
more holistic monitoring of crises and the promotion of regional peace and security.
The recommendations of the ministers will be considered by Heads of State and
Government during their 45th ordinary summit which opens in Accra on 10th July 2014.