By Lizzy Okoji
President Jose Neves of Cape Verde has urged leaders of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to fashion out sustainable solution to the crises in the region.
Neves said this on Monday in Praia, while declaring open a four-day International Conference of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice being hosted by the country.
He said that the International Conference of the ECOWAS Court was apt as it would provide the platform for discussions on the challenges confronting ECOWAS regional integration agenda with possible solutions.
He acknowledged the enormous importance of the court in the protection of human rights within the Community, stressing the need for the creation of a legal-institutional framework.
Nerves added that it is important to create a legal-institutional framework that ensures the principle of complementarities between National Jurisdictions and the Court.
“Sadly, some of our countries are facing some situations of political instability, or even the dysfunction of normal functioning of institutions, and this aspect constitutes a disturbance to the development of our sub-region.
“And, also an obstacle to the regional integration process that you want to be inclusive.
“We have to reinforce our efforts to trying to find sustainable solution to the crises that aims to affect our region. And this is applying to all institutions.
“Cape Verde is happy with all initiatives to the reinforcement of democracy and good governments.
“Our regional integration in spite of normal difficulties have made significant progress that have been managed,” Neves said.
Neves also underlined the effect of recent global events which has added to the complexity of the international environment.
He said that ECOWAS should not only be aware of this trend but provide the inspiration for resort to dialogue and negotiation towards the resolution of misunderstandings, differences and disputes.
Neves also advised that ECOWAS take positive lessons from other regions like the European Union, learn from the challenges and improve on it for the betterment of the community.
“Regional integration is always a process and we can learn from the positives in other international experience like in the case of the European integration, the example that we can try to avoid same mistakes.
“The more recent is trying ECWOAS must be attentive to challenge and also fight by dialogue and negotiations so that they can resolve all disputes,” Neves said.
The Cape Verde’s Minister of Justice, Dr Joana Rosa, said that in hosting the conference, Cape Verde had further demonstrated its commitment to deepen its integration into ECOWAS.
Rosa said that as a full member of ECOWAS since its creation in 1976, the country’s true integration into the region has not always been satisfactory.
She said that more efforts needed to be made to ensure the profitable integration of Cape Verde with the other countries of the Community.
She maintained that Cape Verde desired regional integration which should take into consideration the country’s territorial, demographic, economic, and cultural specificities.
Rosa added that the conference provided an opportunity to discuss the model of integration that best suits the region against the background of its political history and legal diversities.
Justice, Benfeito Ramos, a former Vice President of the ECOWAS Court described the International Conference of the ECOWAS Court as historic, being the first time the Court had hosted such a large forum in the country.
Ramos said that the event would provide an opportunity to reflect on the best model of regional integration while sharing knowledge that contributes to improving the lives of ECOWAS citizens.
He noted that the Court had delivered landmark decisions which underscored its importance to the Community such that ECOWAS can no longer be contemplated without the Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the international conference themed “ECOWAS Integration Model: The Legal Implications of Regionalism, Sovereignty and Supra-nationalism aims at strengthening regional integration through an effective judicial system.
Participants in the conference included academia, jurists and lawyers, Judges and representatives from the 15 Member States, ECOWAS institutions, developing partners amongst others. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola