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We can surmount terrorism, other challenges, Buhari tells ECOWAS leaders

Source: pointblanknews.com
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President Muhammadu Buhari has told sub regional leaders that terrorism,

climate change and other challenges confronting West Africa were not

insurmountable.
The President made the remark at the 48th Ordinary Session of the Economic

Community of West African States  (ECOWAS) Summit of Heads of State and

Government, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the sub regional

body, in Abuja,
“In spite of the significant achievements, our Community still faces

numerous challenges. While some militate against the integration drive,

others continue to pose risks to peace and security, as well as political

stability in the region. There are also structural and administrative

challenges in running the Commission that equally require serious

attention.
“Security challenges persist in our region as we continue to be confronted

with the daunting scourge of transnational organised crime including arms

trafficking, drug trafficking, as well as piracy and criminality at sea.

Equally worrying is the rising scourge of violent extremism and terrorism.

All this constitute serious threats to peace and security in the region,

and therefore require our urgent and concerted actions.

“Regional and indeed global solidarity is vital in our efforts to counter

these threats. To this end, we must continue to enhance our system of

governance and, working with our partners, accelerate the implementation

of our joint initiatives and mechanisms created to address these daunting

but not insurmountable risks. As we do so, we should not relent in our

effort to engage with member states coming out of crises, in order to help

them to consolidate on the achievements made,” he said.

President Buhari acknowledged that the problems associated with climate

change may require huge investment of resources far beyond the regional

capabilities.
He therefore urged ECOWAS leaders to continue to press for international

assistance and to work with the rest of the world towards protecting the

environment.
“We should do so without losing focus on our industrial development

objectives. Our efforts to fast track regional integration should also be

informed by the requirement for clean source of energy. In this regard, I

welcome the agreed outcome of the just concluded COP21 in Paris, which

aims at reducing global warming and providing for financial support to

developing nations,” he said.
Also speaking, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire

Ouedraogo, said to live up to our commitments, “we shall spare no effort

in fixing the shortcomings of our action and tackling the numerous

challenges ahead.”
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Nkosazana

Dlamini Zuma, said to solve the myriad of problems facing the continent,

every leader must, therefore, “create peace and security, good governance

and stability, build decentralised governance and ensure that young

people, boys and girls are in school and remain in school, create good

jobs by industrialising, provide conditions for innovation, and ensure

that all African citizens, irrespective of their religion, language,

gender can participate in the economic, social, political and cultural

development of the continent.”
On his part, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head

of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mohammed Ibn

Chambas, said the UNOWA is committed to further solidifying its

partnership with ECOWAS in addressing threats to peace and security in the

region and in mobilising international attention and support to combat

these threats.
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