The Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Mediation Guidelines (EMG) and the Dialogue and Meditation Curriculum (DMC) were launched in Abuja, on Thursday, 24th May 2018.
In a remark during the launch ceremony of the Two policy documents, the Commissioner of Finance of the ECOWAS Commission, Mrs. Halima Ahmed told the Diplomatic Community that the organization developed the “ECOWAS Mediation Guidelines to inform and impact on effective mediation processes in the ECOWAS Region and West Africa”.
The Mediation Guidelines, Mrs. Ahmed said, were conceived as tools to guide the ECOWAS Commission’s efforts in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in the ECOWAS region taking into consideration the lessons learnt from past efforts and best practices from successful mediation processes.
Consequently, Mrs. Ahmed called on stakeholders including ECOWAS-appointed mediators, special envoys and the ECOWAS Council of the Wise to utilize, publicize as well as promote the strategic and informative handbooks for the benefit of the region.
The Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, Gen. Francis Awagbè Behanzin, whose remarks were read by the Director of Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethom, said the Mediation Guiltiness will contribute to the professionalization of mediation practice in the ECOWAS Region.
He stressed the importance of the documents to help stakeholders “get in-depth appreciation of the ECOWAS legal and normative frameworks, the decision-making process for the deployment of preventive diplomacy and mediation processes, as well as the guiding principles underpinning these processes”.
Both Mrs. Ahmed and Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethom expressed their gratitude for the technical support of the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), the funding from the Finnish and Australian Governments, the German Development Agency (GIZ) as well as the partnerships of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Human Development (HD) Center and the African Union, which were critical interventions for the successful publication of the mediation guidelines.
The Head of Mediation Facilitation Division of the Directorate of Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Ebenezer Asielu, while explaining the rationale, unique features and principles of the EMG said it was developed through an inclusive consultative process that consist of interviews and focus group discussions with key ECOWAS Commission Management staff, Special envoys and Resident Representatives, the academia as well as development partners.
Mr. Asielu said that eleven principles were considered in the formulation of the EMG, and the DMC is a regionally contextualized training guide for training diverse range of mediation actors at various levels of diplomacy.
The Ambassador of Togo to Nigeria, Mr. Lene Dimban, on behalf of the Diplomatic Corps commended the ECOWAS Commission for the publication of the critical policy documents and consequently reiterated the need for Member States to utilize and promote them.