Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration designate, has held a meeting on Thursday February 18, 2021 with Five ECOWAS member committee in Accra.
The committee purpose of the gathering was to explore issues on the accession of the third states to the ECOWAS treaty.
This is full statement of Hon Ayorkor Botchwey during the meeting.
Colleague Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Justice,
ECOWAS Resident Representative in Ghana,
Directors of the ECOWAS Commission,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you for this meeting, which will afford us the platform to deliberate on the conclusions of the study on the accession of third states to the ECOWAS Treaty. From the onset, let me warmly welcome you and to wish you a pleasant stay in Ghana.
It will be recalled that following accession requests from Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at its 52nd Ordinary Session, held in Abuja, Nigeria on 16th December, 2017 directed the ECOWAS Commission to undertake a study and constitute a High-Level Committee, comprising the Presidents of the Republic of Togo, La Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Nigeria, to address the legal and institutional requirements for third country accession to the ECOWAS Treaty.
Over the last three days, a multi-sectoral meeting of experts was held here in Accra, to consider the conclusions of the study, which will be submitted to us for our comments and hopefully endorsement before they are referred to the Heads of State for decision.
The duty entrusted to us by the Heads of State is a solemn one. Indeed, we cannot purport to effectively carryout the duty without deeply reflecting on the reasons behind the growing interest of third states in our Community. We should also be minded by the geopolitical considerations, and its underpinnings.
To the keen observer of developments in our region, the single market that our region offers and its attractiveness for trade and investment, including the fact that our population is youthful and increasingly educated are certainly some of the reasons for the high interest in ECOWAS.
We should and must seize the opportunity, guided by the principles of complementarity, and our shared values to leverage these interests for the benefit of the citizens of the Community.
Colleague Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I conclude, I wish to commend the ECOWAS Commission, the team of legal experts and officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice for the preparatory work, which will undoubtedly enrich our deliberations today. I am hopeful that the outcome of our discussions will bring finality to the unresolved question of third country accession to the ECOWAS Treaty.
On this note, I wish us all fruitful discussions. I thank you for your attention.