ECOWAS Parliament recommits to women’s issues
By Bridgett Milton
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis says here that the regional Parliament remains committed to women’s issues, and calls on peoples of the Community, irrespective of gender, age, location, occupation, religion or background to take any action towards breaking bias in homes, places of work, schools, universities and local communities.
As a demonstration of his commitment and the entire ECOWAS Parliament to building a society where men and women are treated equally, Speaker Tunis presented a cake and flowers to the women of Liberia to mark the celebration of International Women’s Day in Monrovia on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
He says being cognizant of the global theme of this year’s campaign, which is “Break the Bias”, he believes that establishing a diverse, equal and inclusive society is not just the job of one individual or organization, but a responsibility that all should live up to.
Speaking at the opening of the 2022 First in-person Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, convening in Monrovia, Speaker Tunis expresses gratitude to the Government of Liberia for welcoming the Parliament here.
He says in five days, precisely on 13 March, they will be celebrating the completion of two successful years of the lifespan of the Fifth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament and he expresses joy they can do that in Monrovia.
Speaker Tunis notes that they have gathered as a Committee of the Whole to deliberate on perhaps the most important regional agenda at the moment – the Political and Security situations in the ECOWAS Region; Retrogression of Democracy and the Resurgence of unconstitutional Change of Government, with key emphasis on Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.
“We take due cognizance of the fact that the ECOWAS Parliament, being the representative body of the ECOWAS Region, must fully participate in the development of the region, through the promotion of peace and security, human rights and the development of a democratic culture. In order to perform these inviolable responsibilities, we must take ownership of the situations we are confronted with and exhibit leadership to the fullest”, he underscores.
Speaker Tunis continues that the situations in the Republics of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, exacerbated by the failed coup in the Republic of Guinea Bissau, are threatening issues that require Body’s urgent attention.
“Constitutional abuse and deficit in good governance principles, the lack of transparency in the electioneering processes, corruption, as well as civil unrest resulting from an unplanned change in the constitution, are factors to which coups d’etats have been hinged. As a result, our democratic processes appear weakened, thereby impacting negatively the image of ECOWAS. In addition to the above, the policy of isolation, as a result of imposed sanctions, seriously undermines regional integration. Its impact appears to have consequences, mostly characterized by debates by ordinary citizens in some Member States, on the desirability or otherwise of their continued ECOWAS membership.”
For his part, President George M. Weah welcomed the ECOWAS Parliament to Liberia and for choosing Liberia as host for the session.
President Weah is optimistic the session in Liberia will lead to positive response for the betterment of the ECOWAS community. Editing by Jonathan Browne