President George Manneh Weah has thrown his weight behind the recommendations put forward before the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for sweeping reforms to take place in the organization aimed at providing fair and equitable platforms for jobs to be given to nationals of ECOWAS so as to promote and enhance transparency, accountability, efficiency and gender equality in the selection of the best candidates that can provide value for money.
The President made the statement yesterday during the virtual meeting of the extraordinary session of the Heads of states and governments of ECOWAS held to review recommendations and trending issues affecting the sub-regional organization. The meeting was chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana who is the current Chairman of ECOWAS.
“On the reform of ECOWAS Institutions, Liberia believes that the principle of equity and fairness in the distribution of ECOWAS posts should be sustained; consistent with the appropriate recommendations of the recent reform process, and the relevant Protocols of ECOWAS; including Decisions taken by the Authority”.
President Weah’s statement is coming on the heels of several complaints from a number of countries constituting the regional body that the distribution of jobs over the years have been done to the disadvantage of others especially so when the merit system and equitable access to such opportunities have been compromised which he believes is inconsistent to the principle of unity and justice ECOWAS stands for.
Touching on the security which was high on the agenda of the meeting, President Weah expressed concern on the recent quantum rise of terrorism, insurgencies, and maritime insecurity which he described as existential threats to the economic development and peace of the Member States and called on his colleagues to place greater priority on issues of peace, security, and political affairs. To this end, the Liberian leader recommended that the post of Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security be prioritized at this time to address the threat of terrorism, the menace of insurgency, and the increasing level of maritime instability in the region; the Gulf of Guinea being a case in point.
On further promoting greater togetherness among leaders of ECOWAS, the President call for continuous discussion and building consensus to avoid unnecessary confrontation and disunity among them, making specific reference on the pending contest for the Chairmanship of the African Union (AU) in which two ECOWAS leaders are eyeing the position and suggested that the leaders be mindful of the enduring values of the African unity, and customary reliance on sound reasoning, accommodation, and compromise, to arrive at practical and equitable consensus.
“As we are aware, there are two countries which have expressed interest in the Chairmanship. As the leader of one of those countries is already ably pre-occupied with the burden and responsibility of serving as Chairman of this august body, I believe that consideration should be given to the other country to have an opportunity to lead the Continental Body at this time. I believe that this would provide the opportunity for enhanced cooperation and seamless coordination between the two organizations”. Mr. Weah told his colleagues.
President Weah left a parting note for his colleagues that when all is said and done they should always come out of their deliberations more united and stronger and not lose sight of what he called the time-honored principle in negotiation and managing differences in their option for in unity there is success.
Since the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic all gatherings and meetings of Heads of States and Governments have virtually been held for some time now.