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Advancing Women's Leadership in Peace and Security In West Africa: Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Inaugurates First Annual Regional Steering Group Meeting in Abuja

The First Annual Meeting of the ECOWAS Women Peace and Security Regional Steering Group for 2024 was formally launched by the ECOWAS Commission. The focus of this important event, which takes place in Abuja from April 22nd to 24th, is themed "Sustaining the Momentum Towards Monitoring and Reporting on the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in West Africa Using the Continental Results Framework (CRF)."

Nigeria's leadership and dedication to the Women, Peace, and Security agenda was demonstrated by the presence of the H.E. Mrs. Barr. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development at the opening ceremony of the workshop. The Minister declared that "With robust national action plans and localized security resolutions, Nigeria is spearheading efforts to ensure that women are not only participants but leaders in our peace and security framework,".

In her opening remarks, H.E. Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, emphasized that consistency in action and advocacy is crucial to the inclusivity of women in peace processes across the African continent. As we convene under the theme of sustaining momentum, our focus is clear: to fortify the mechanisms for monitoring and reporting that underpin our agenda, ensuring that peace and security are unshakeable pillars in our region," said Professor Sow Sarr.

The representative of the German Embassy, H.E. Mrs. Susanne Schroeder conveyed Germany's unwavering dedication to accompanying ECOWAS' endeavors. She stated that the European Union through our ongoing collaboration are committed to strengthening the involvement of women in peace and security throughout West Africa. We aim to create an atmosphere where their valuable contributions to peacebuilding are acknowledged and indispensable," stated Schroeder.

The European Union Delegation's representative, H.E. Mrs. Eno Moma, highlighted the importance of the EU's efforts in fostering stability and inclusivity. The European Union is dedicated to fostering a strong partnership with ECOWAS, with the goal of recognizing the crucial role of women as key participants in promoting the stability and security of the region, Mrs. Moma emphasized.

The meeting will address important discussions regarding the successes and obstacles in the implementation of the Women Peace Security agenda. The focus will be on utilizing the Continental Results Framework to ensure thorough monitoring and reporting. The discussions aim to strengthen regional cooperation, identify successful practices, and improve strategies to support the involvement of women in peace and security initiatives throughout West Africa.

This inaugural meeting is a crucial milestone in the ECOWAS' ongoing dedication to the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. It provides a vibrant platform for revitalizing regional and global endeavors to foster a peaceful and inclusive West African region.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
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