It has been 38 years since Liberia paid host to a major international conference, and records have shown that the 51st Ordinary Session, held in Liberia on June 4 is the first time since the establishment of the 15 member sub regional organization on May 28, 1975 (42 years ago).
Held at the newly constructed state of the art Farmington Hotel in Margibi County, the summit witnessed floods of distinct personalities and guests including the President of ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain de Souza; the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas; and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki.
Others present at the historic occasion were, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Ms. Federica Mogherini and the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, who was an official guest of the ECOWAS Commission.
The summit had as side events the signing of the Dakar-Abidjan Highway Treaty, Declaration by the Liberian Political Parties contesting the forthcoming Presidential Elections, and an ECOWAS-Israel Joint Declaration, as well as the groundbreaking ceremony of the Regional Electric Energy Project that comprises Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
With application for ECOWAS Membership by the Kingdom of Morocco, request by Tunisia for observer status, and the Memorandum on the Association Agreement between ECOWAS and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania high on the agenda, the conference also considered the ECOWAS mid-year statutory meetings, reports of the Ad-Hoc Ministerial Committee on Institutional Reforms and End of Tenure of Statutory Appointees.
At the end of the Meeting, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government have elected a new Chair of the Authority and decided on a date and venue of the 52nd Ordinary Session of Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.
For us at the Capitol Times, and with every fiber of our being, we salute the government of Liberia for successfully hosting this event in the spirit of unity, peace and sustained economic development.
Indeed, as a nation once plagued with civil war, this summit has confirmed and rebranded our country as a new bastion of peace and stability in the region.
Considering the stretch of almost 38 years since we last hosted an international conference, the summit recognizes amongst others, progress made in sustaining peace and democratic development and will greatly assist ongoing development efforts.
We share the believe that this conference will boost Liberia ongoing development drive as well as consolidate our democracy, strengthen peace and security, as well as improve financial stability.