The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis, has called for increased political inclusivity in order to promote peace and security in the region.
Mr. Tunis made the call in a speech at the opening of a meeting of the Joint Committee of the ECOWAS Parliament in Monrovia, Liberia.
The meeting is focusing on the theme of “Enhancing Political Inclusivity in the Participatory Governance Process: A Mechanism for Promoting Peace and Security.”
Speaker Tunis said that inequality is one of the root causes of conflict in the region, and that marginalized groups, such as women and young people, need to be more involved in decision-making processes.
“We must convince ourselves that supporting the participation of people from vulnerable and marginalized groups in the decision-making and democratic processes of our societies is imperative for peace, security and sustainable development,” Tunis said.
He also stressed the importance of strengthening democratic institutions, both national and regional.
“It is our duty to ensure that democratic processes and institutions, both national and regional, are strengthened,” Tunis said. “In this respect, I would like to insist on respect for the decisions of the ECOWAS Court of Justice and the need to give the ECOWAS Parliament full legislative powers.”
His speech was delivered on the eve of the 176th anniversary of the independence of Liberia. He said that Liberia is a symbol of a “daring Africa” and that he is confident that the meeting in Monrovia will produce “relevant analyses and strong recommendations” to help the region achieve peace and security.