Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS - The Special Representative assures UN’s unflinching support
Dakar, 24 April 2020- The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, participated on Thursday 24 April 2020 in the virtual Extraordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government on the Situation and Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in West Africa.
“This pandemic contributes to the pressure on our health and governance systems with serious consequences for the economy, peace and security in the sub-region” said Mr. Ibn Chambas in his statement. Commending the togetherness by all actors at the national level to fight the threats posed by this pandemic, SRSG Ibn Chambas expressed his hope that “in the same spirit, we shall be able to address other prevailing challenges to our respective states such as sustainable development, insecurity and democratic consolidation which may be exacerbated by this pandemic.”
The Special Representative reiterated UN’s unflinching support to West African countries. He highlighted actions undertaken by the Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, especially the launch of a $2 billion global humanitarian response plan to support the world’s poorest countries fight against COVID-19 and the call for an immediate ceasefire in conflict areas to ease the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Mr. Ibn Chambas also called for more inclusivity in the decision making and implementation of measures against the spread of the disease. “Even though necessary under the circumstances, the measures that have been instituted are having a toll on our populations, particularly the most vulnerable including women and youth, which is why we should take all necessary steps to put them at the centre of our decision making and ensure their meaningful participation in the process”, he said.