ECOWAS Moves To Fight Illicit Maritime Activities In W'Africa

Experts from ECOWAS member states held a meeting in Lomé, Togo, precisely between May 6 and 8, 2024, to examine in detail, the draft supplementary Act relating to cooperation in suppressing illicit maritime activities in the ECOWAS region.

In order to guarantee that comprehensive, accurate, and trustworthy records of the operations of ECOWAS institutions and specialised agencies are made, received, retained, accessed, and disposed of in a standard and authorised manner, a framework for accountability is to be established by the draft supplemental Act.

At the meeting, participants gained a better understanding of the records management policy and manual, increased awareness of the asset management policy and its application, and prepared themselves for management approval of the validated asset management policy and manual.

At the event, participants discussed and presented the details of the draft Supplementary Act to government experts from ECOWAS member states, with a view to clarifying its objectives and obtaining feedback and technical input for its more effective implementation.

This meeting, organised by ECOWAS in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) via the support of the EU-funded SWAIMS project, is regarded as an important step towards enhanced cooperation in the repression of illicit maritime activities in the ECOWAS region, thus, contributing to the region’s security and stability.

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Delivering his keynote address at the event, the Chief of Staff of the Togolese Navy, Babate Atatoum stated that the current security challenges require urgent action while expressing his gratitude to all the partners involved in making the event a success.

Similarly, the representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Francis Omiunu reaffirmed UNODC’s commitment to the fight against illicit activities in the maritime domain, even as he thanked the European Union(EU) for its financial support, and ECOWAS for its efforts in this crucial area for security in West Africa.

Moreover, representative of the European Union Delegation in Togo, Paolo Salvia underlined the importance of this meeting, pointing out that maritime safety concerns all States require a shared commitment.

The head of Division, Regional Security, Dr. Dieng Abdourahmane, on his part, stressed the importance of this meeting in clarifying the objectives of the draft supplementary Act relating to cooperation in suppressing illicit maritime activities in the ECOWAS region., and obtaining technical feedback for effective implementation of the recommendations made.

Meanwhile, the minister counsellor for the Sea, Stanislas Baba recalled the harmful effects of maritime acts in ECOWAS regional waters, thus, underlining the crucial importance of proper shaping and implementation of this supplementary Act.

This workshop brought together participants from various departments of the ECOWAS Commission, its institutions and agencies, and was organised with the support of GIZ.

Africa Today News, New York

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