24 February 2013 [Abidjan - Cote d’Ivoire]
Regional peace and security issues including the situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau will dominate the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government scheduled for 27 and 28 February 2013 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The leaders will consider a Memorandum to be presented by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo on developments in Mali, in the wake of on-going military offensive against armed terrorist groups in the North of the country.
President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, the regional Mediator on the Mali crisis, will also make a presentation to the summit, which will be preceded by an Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, scheduled for 25th February 2013 also in the Ivorian capital.
In addition, the summit will consider a memorandum by the ECOWAS Commission President, a presentation by the Chairman of the Regional Contact Group, and report of the Mediation and Security Council meeting.
The regional leaders will also consider the report of the 69th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held in December 2012 in Abidjan, which took important decisions notably on the mechanism for enlarging the Commission from nine to twelve Commissioners.
By this decision, the Council seeks to ensure that ECOWAS reflects the concerns of the community. The Authority of Heads of State and Government, is expected to decide the nature and content of the departments to be created.
According to Ivorian Minister of African Integration and Chairman of the Council of the Ministers, Honourable Ally Coulibaly “the idea behind this increase is to provide an opportunity to use our integration instrument as an operational tool in the service of our community for the realization of our common ideal of a people-centred ECOWAS.”
The opening ceremony of the Abidjan summit will feature among others, a welcome address by President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, current Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, followed by statements by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa, and the President of the African Union Commission.
Some 25 non ECOWAS Member States from Africa, Europe and America as well as international institutions are expected to attend the summit.