The European Union (EU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are partnering the Media to promote Regional Peace, Security and Stability in West African sub region.
In furtherance of the synergy, the ECOWAS-EU Peace, Security and Stability intervention has organised a 3-day workshop (June 25-27) for the Media, on “The Role of the Media in Promoting Peace and Security in the ECOWAS Region.”
The aim of the workshop, according to ECOWAS, is to equip West African journalists, among others, with appropriate information on the Peace and Security efforts of the ECOWAS Commission.
While declaring the workshop opened on behalf of ECOWAS President, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, General Francis Behanzin, expressed ECOWAS sincere appreciation to the EU for steadfast support for ECOWAS activities.
He emphasised that the role Media in the achievement of ECOWAS vision 2020 cannot be overemphasized. “The Media is the history, the memory, the culture of the people, of the citizens, the voice of the voiceless, the active actors, opinion makers and indirectly, the real decision makers, etc. The Media constitutes the fourth power.
“You are the ears, the eyes, the tongue, the feet of the nations. You are the salt, the light of our societies. You are endowed with the power to articulate and formulate the aspirations of peoples, institutions.”
In a keynote address delivered by Ms Stefania Marrone, Head of the Regional Cooperation Section, on behalf of Mr Kurt Cornelis, Head of Operations, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, the EU asserted that the underlying reason for the EU’s support to the ECOWAS Commission remains very urgent.
She noted that, in recent times, the region has made tremendous progress in democracy, with successful elections as well as the resolution of impending conflict in countries such as the Gambia.
Terrorism and radicalisation remains present threat in the subregion, Ms Marrone opined, “There is the serious threat of radicalisation leading to terrorism, instability and insurgency in the Sahel, as well as here in Nigeria with the menace of Boko Haram. Climate change and its resultant effects have further heightened farmers-herders conflicts.”
Speaking on the activities of ECOWAS PEACE FUND Office, the manager, Dieudonne Nikiema explained that the role of the office was primarily to provide support for anything that will enhance peace and security, meaning, we are supporting both the governments of the sub region and all stakeholders that will contribute to peace and security.