The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) promotes the signing and ratification of the African Union Protocol on Persons with Disabilities by all of its member states in order to include people with disabilities in West Africa

Date:

The Economic Community of West African States

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil, the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Ghana, lamented that only three of the fifteen (15) ECOWAS countries had ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights relating to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during his speech at the beginning of the meeting (known as the AfChHPR-PWDs).

  • The main goal of this meeting of experts on regional coordination and training on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in West Africa is to popularise the Protocol (Af-ChHPR-PWDs) in all ECOWAS Member States so that they can have a better understanding of this continental legal document and its accompanying policy instructions.

  • Ambassador Cessouma Minata Samaté reaffirmed her Department’s commitment to assisting ECOWAS in the signing, ratification, implementation, and reporting processes of the AU Disability Architecture in her remarks to the audience (AUDA).

  • She expressed the opinion that the regional meeting of experts would serve as a melting point for all Member States to work together to stop violations of the fundamental rights of people with disabilities and reverse the trend toward their full inclusion.

  • The Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Council on Disability, Barrister Esther Akua Gyamfi, informed attendees during her keynote speech during the opening session that the Ghanaian government had given the National Council on Disability the responsibility to coordinate and work with organisations of people with disabilities and other pertinent stakeholders to sign and ratify the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil, the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Ghana, lamented that only three of the fifteen (15) ECOWAS countries had ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights relating to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during his speech at the beginning of the meeting (known as the AfChHPR-PWDs). These are Togo, Burkina Faso, and Mali. Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil stated, “We must all work together to reverse this trend in order to contribute to the realisation of a fully integrated community of people in a peaceful and prosperous region, with strong institutions that respect fundamental freedoms and work toward inclusive and sustainable development.

“To reiterate the call for action made by Mr. António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, all countries are urged to fully implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, increase accessibility, and dismantle economic, and other barriers to the active participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations,” the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Ghana said as he wrapped up his speech.

The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development, Ambassador Cessouma Minata Samaté, takes the floor. The main goal of this meeting of experts on regional coordination and training on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in West Africa is to popularise the Protocol (Af-ChHPR-PWDs) in all ECOWAS Member States so that they can have a better understanding of this continental legal document and its accompanying policy instructions.

Ambassador Cessouma Minata Samaté reaffirmed her Department’s commitment to assisting ECOWAS in the signing, ratification, implementation, and reporting processes of the AU Disability Architecture in her remarks to the audience (AUDA). She also emphasised that ratification is merely one crucial step toward a noble objective. The African Union Commissioner continued, “What counts most is the development and implementation of legal and legislative texts and applicable policies for the benefit of individuals living with disabilities.”

His Excellency General Umaro Sissoko Embalo, the current Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, was represented by Mrs. Paula Saad, Director General of Social Inclusion of Guinea-Bissau. She expressed the opinion that the regional meeting of experts would serve as a melting point for all Member States to work together to stop violations of the fundamental rights of people with disabilities and reverse the trend toward their full inclusion.

The Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Council on Disability, Barrister Esther Akua Gyamfi, informed attendees during her keynote speech during the opening session that the Ghanaian government had given the National Council on Disability the responsibility to coordinate and work with organisations of people with disabilities and other pertinent stakeholders to sign and ratify the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

Esther Akua GYAMFI praised the ECOWAS Commission for organising this capacity-building activity for experts and educating the Member States, along with the representative of the United Nations Regional Office for West Africa in charge of Human Rights. She also expressed her gratitude to the group for its efforts to mobilise disabled residents of the area.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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