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ECOWAS To Suppress Illicit Maritime Activities In West Africa

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

The draft supplementary Act is to establish a framework and assign responsibilities to ensure that complete, accurate and reliable records of the activities of ECOWAS institutions and specialised agencies are created, received, retained, accessed and disposed of in a standard and approved manner.

The meeting raised awareness of the use of the asset management policy and manual, improved understanding of the records management policy and manual, prepared for management approval of the validated asset management policy, and prepared for management approval of the validated asset management policy and manual.

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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.

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.


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