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Ellen on ECOWAS’ security

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Ellen on ECOWASNewly elected ECOWAS chairperson Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says she will support the region’s Peace and Security Council, while staying in consultation with her presidential counterparts to ensure interconnectivity, particularly, for the peace and security and infrastructure of the 15 member states.

“Well, ECOWAS has a Peace and Security Council – that Council has the agenda for ECOWAS. As chairman, I will support the President of the Commission. There’s a new President of [the] Commission – [Mr. Marcel
Alain de Souza] who is from Benin; there’s a Deputy President of the Commission who comes from Gambia. I met with both of them,” she told reporters last Friday evening 10 June at the Roberts International Airport.

According to the President, the Council has an agenda that comes from the authority which is the group of Presidents in the Union that she now chairs, noting that her role is simply to work with the Commission, Presidents and their staff to carry out that agenda.

“We have the agenda. That agenda is approved by all of us in summits that are held like the one in Dakar recently. My role is simply to work with the Commission, Presidents and their staff to carry out that
agenda,” she said further, expressing her preparedness to stay in consultation with her colleagues to take their advice and counsel and make sure that while steering the affairs of ECOWAS, the regional body will collectively carry out what has been set as its goal.

“Liberia stands to continue to benefit like it’s been benefiting all along under so many other chairmen. We will be able to work with our colleagues to promote the ECOWAS agenda to ensure that all of our countries are able to carry out their development objectives,” she added.

President Sirleaf expressed commitment to ensuring that regional leaders will begin to work together to have interconnectivity in all of the things that ECOWAS wants to do. She wants such team work across countries “in all our regions,” making particular emphasis on peace and security and infrastructure “to work together collectively for the good of all of our peoples in all of the 15 countries of ECOWAS.”

While in Israel, she said she asked her counterpart to bring some technical people in the agriculture sector to help Liberian farmers “to improve our technique in agriculture.”   

By Winston W. Parley

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