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APO International

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) implements an In-Country Facilitation Support and Capacity Building Workshop for the ECOWAS Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordination Mechanisms (ECO-PHSICM) in Liberia

todayJuly 7, 2024 5

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The ECOWAS Commission through the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs organized a 3-day capacity building workshop from 1st to 3rd July 2024 for the ECOWAS Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordination Mechanism (ECO-PHSICM) with the support of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Centre (NCCRM) which is the coordinating Secretariat for the Mechanism (under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia).

The Workshop focused on reviewing progress recorded by Liberia from the establishment of ECOPHSICM in 2022 and the adoption of an Implementation Roadmap. The Workshop also had the objectives of reviewing the Roadmap (in view of new and emerging issues) and developing an Action Plan for its actualization for the period 2024 to 2026. The Mechanism was established to drive a whole of Government and Society approach in strengthening the ‘protection web’ for all persons within the territory of the Republic of Liberia.

Welcoming the participants, the Ag. Director of the NCCRM, Mr. Arthur BESTMAN stated that the workshop was important to Liberia and the sub-region as it seeks to enhance national capacities for preventing, responding to and mitigating threats to human security.  He stressed the need for collaborative efforts by actors in the public and private sectors. Acknowledging collaboration with partners, including WANEP, the Peace Building Office of Liberia, and GIZ-EPSAO, he thanked ECOWAS and the Government of Liberia for their continued commitment to realizing the goals of the mechanism.

Mr. Olatunde OLAYEMI Programme Officer, Trafficking in Persons, on behalf of the ECOWAS Director for Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr SINTIKI Tarfa Ugbe, delivered remarks and presented an overview of the workshop. He highlighted the importance of protection within the wider ambit of a human security approach as reflected in the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS and in the Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security as well as the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. He pointed out the special attention given to the protection of the rights of women and children and other vulnerable groups. He highlighted the essential components of the workshop, including a review of the current Roadmap and the objective of clarifying key actions and indicators for the period 2024 to 2026 and identification of key opportunities to be leveraged by the Mechanism. He mentioned the provision of the sum of 25,000 USD released to the office of the ECOWAS Resident Representative in support of the ECOPHISM and thanked H.E the Resident Representative for actions already being taken, in close coordination with the NCCRM, to implement the grant.

Dr Nathaniel B. Walker who represented the ECOWAS Permanent Representative in Liberia, Amb. Josephine NKRUMAH stated that the workshop, aimed at strengthening national delivery in the area of protection and human security, is based on the identification of human security realties in West Africa. These include weaknesses in the rule of law and observance of fundamental human rights. Cllr. N. Oswald Tweh, Minister of Justice, Republic of Liberia, pledged the unwavering support of his Ministry to the NCCRM in Liberia and ECO-PHSICM and asked all stakeholders to develop strategies and create a synergy that will support and sustain the program in Liberia and the sub-region. He highlighted the need for a general strengthening of the rule of law as being core to human rights and human security.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Prince Menkalo Gbieu, the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Vice President of Liberia, tasked stakeholders to unite and show commitment in advancing and implementing plans for the strategic mitigation of human security risks; towards an overall harmonious society and national and regional security. He charged that, the prosperity of the people and security, stability and peaceful coexistence within the subregion depends on the quality of decisions and actions taken, including during the Workshop. He concluded by expressing gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for its support to the NCCRM in Liberia.

Remarks were also received from representatives of the ECOWAS National Office; Ministry of Labor; Ministry of Gender, Women and Children’s Protection; Ministry of Finance&Development Planning and the Press Union of Liberia on behalf of the partners present at the workshop

The workshop featured sessions on a wide range of thematic focus areas that include baseline risk and preparedness assessment of protection and human security vulnerabilities in Liberia, mapping of operational roles of key stakeholders that are part of the ECO-PHISCM, action Planning for Implementation of the ECOPHISCM Road-map, practical strategies and procedures for community engagement, gender mainstreaming in ECO-PHISCM operations amongst others.

The workshop which was well attended ended with the adoption of a plan of action for the implementation of the Liberian Road map on Protection and Human Security.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

    

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