His Excellency Marcel Alain De Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission has said that the unique partnership between the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP and the ECOWAS Commission was informed by the understanding of the integral role civil society can play in complimenting government efforts at building peace and sustainable development.
He made this observation at the launch of the WANEP Book; Strides and Strains of Civil Society in West Africa: The WANEP Story and the official opening of its Regional Secretariat. H. E. De Souza who chaired the event, said governments everywhere have come to acknowledge the complimentary roles of civil society in conflict prevention and peacebuilding adding; “As evident with WANEP, there is wide range of knowledge, experience and expertise that CSOs possess and therefore constitute an essential part of the proper functioning of the state,”.
He described the acquisition of the WANEP permanent office and launch of the book as a “commendable African success story worthy of emulation!”
WANEP is the civil society partner of ECOWAS in the operationalization of the ECOWAS early warning network (ECOWARN). H. E. De Souza further expressed appreciation and satisfaction to the impressive achievements WANEP and ECOWAS has made over the past 15 years in the implementation of ECOWARN which has inspired the signing of the memorandum of understanding between WANEP and the African Union. He described the WANEP/AU partnership as “a global brand which must be guarded jealously!”
His Excellency expressed regret over the fact that the great strides made over the years in promoting peace and stability in the region is still challenged by the increasing wave of terrorism and violent extremism, organized crime, climate change and illegal immigration. He noted that in the face of these challenges, there is need to continually strengthen the WANEP/ECOWAS partnership in order to overcome the threats. He therefore pledged ECOWAS continued collaboration with WANEP for regional peace and security.
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