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UNOWAS Magazine N17 - July 2022

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Committed to Reinforcing Peace, Democracy And Good Governance

The support expressed by the Member States of the Security Council during my presentation of the Secretary-General’s report on the activities of UNOWAS on 7 July leads us, on the one hand, to redouble our efforts with our partners to safeguard the achievements of peace, democracy and good governance. On the other hand, we must also intensify our commitment to help the countries of the subregion to stem the harmful consequences of the numerous challenges, that they continue to face.

The global context, marked by the slow recovery of national economies following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequences of the war in Ukraine add to the challenges faced by the subregion. The deterioration of the regional security situation, marked by three military transitions in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, as well as an attempted coup in Guinea Bissau, undoubtedly requires increased mobilization of all partners, national, regional and international.

The continuing efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the crises in these three countries and work for a rapid return to constitutional order is testimony to the will of its member States. Member states are continually working to ease political tensions and anchor democratic governance as a mode of management of political and public affairs in the countries of the subregion. In this regard, the decision taken by ECOWAS to continue the examination of its 2001 Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, as well as related legal instruments, with a view to strengthening democracy, freedom and good governance in the subregion is an important step that we support.

The elections scheduled for 2023 in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, as well as in Senegal in 2024, are an opportunity to further strengthen democratic governance in these countries and in the sub-region.

My recent visit to Nigeria, a major country in West Africa, gives me cause for optimism. Despite the challenges facing the country, the determination and commitment of all political actors, and those of civil society, to organize free and transparent elections, illustrate the commitment of Nigerians and their institutions to peace and development.

On August 30, in Dakar, UNOWAS and the CNMC, that I have the honour to chair, will mark their 20 years of commitment to peace and conflict prevention in West Africa and the Sahel. Together with our regional and international partners, and more specifically, with the contribution of women and youth, we will continue our commitment to a better future in West Africa and the Sahel.