The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday began its Second Extraordinary Session of the fifth Legislature in Winneba, Ghana. The session is dedicated to the consideration and adoption of the 2024 Draft Budget of the Parliament.
Speaker of the parliament, Sidie Tunis, said key components of the 2024 budget will be directed towards supporting women and youth development. He also announced that the parliament will host a Second Global Summit for Women and Youths in December.
In addition, Tunis expressed hope in the establishment of an ECOWAS Youth Parliament, which he said would bring about more youth involvement and participation in political institutions in the sub-region.
Tunis also challenged all members of the parliament to pay close attention to the context in which they find themselves as a region by protecting the dividends of democracy.
“We have the moral obligation, like never before, to work towards protecting the dividends of democracy, including freedom and justice, peace and security, accountability and economic prosperity,” Tunis said.
Tunis also advocated for democratically elected governments which must respect the rule of law and ensure that the dividends get to the people.
“Leaders in the sub-region must respect the rule of law and constitutionalism by strengthening the democratic institutions and agencies that facilitate these; promote, and protect the inalienable human rights of the people, educate the masses on the importance of democracy, and ensure that the strong democratic institutions hold the military accountable to civilian rule,” Tunis said.
The parliament also considered and adopted the draft agenda and draft work programme of the 2023 Second Extraordinary Session, and the draft Report of the 2023 First Virtual Extraordinary Session.