MRU, UNOWAS Convenes Top Sub-Regional Meeting -As Ministers, Defense Chiefs Converge In Monrovia

The Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), are expected to organize a two-day high-level meeting of Ministers of Defense and Chiefs of Defense Staff of the military and security in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia, from 24 to 25 May 2021.

An MRU, UNOWAS press release says the objective of the meeting is to enhance cross border cooperation of Member States in the MRU region and ensure a common approach to addressing terrorism and other growing security threats at the frontiers, especially in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic.

The meeting is to also review the gaps in the revised 15th protocol on Peace, Security, and Defense of the MRU region so as to properly situate the regional security architecture within the framework of current realities in the sub region.

According to the release, local and foreign dignitaries including Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, Dee Maxwell-Saah Kemanya, Ambassador Medina A. Wesseh, Secretary-General of the MRU, Ambassador Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for West Africa and the Sahel are expected to be in attendance.

Also to be present at the gathering are representatives of ECOWAS, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular corps in Liberia as well as, Representatives from the UN System in the sub region, the Ministers of Defense and Chiefs of Defense Staff of MRU Member States will be in attendance,

The rest that are expected at the meeting are the Speaker of the House of Representative, the President Pro Tempore of the Honorable House of Senate and Senators and Representatives related to the subject matter are expected to attend.

Expected to last for two days, the release said all UN Resident Coordinators in all four member states of the sub region will be in attendance virtually, while the others who are named above will be present in persons at high level meeting in the Liberian Capital, Monrovia.

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of a robust sub-regional plan of action to address the growing threats of terrorism and other security related issues in the MRU space with a formidable road map for peace, security, economic and regional integration are high on the agenda of the meeting, the release said.

The release further disclosed that participants are nevertheless expected to review the threat assessment pose by the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant constraint to the region’s economic growth and development.

The participants will further review  the joint approach involving UNOWAS, MRU, ECOWAS, development partners and the United Nations especially WHO on response to the pandemic so as to ease tensions between and amongst  Member States of the MRU on the deployment of the coronavirus vaccines and the need for more support  to the sub-region.

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