ECOWAS: ECOWAS Court delegation for confab on statelessness

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS Community Court of Justice President Maria Do Céu Monteiro will lead a delegation of the court to the inaugural ministerial conference on statelessness in West Africa, due to start in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, on Monday, the court has announced.

It said Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is expected to deliver an opening statement, while introductory statements are expected from the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the chair of ECOWAS, the African Union Commission, the UN Office for West Africa, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the President of the ECOWAS Court.

The three-day conference, which is jointly organised by the UNHCR and the ECOWAS Commission, will discuss how to improve the identification and protection of stateless persons; ways of preventing and reducing statelessness, and the development of implementable strategies towards ending statelessness in the region.

The UNHCR estimates that children represent 60 per cent of the global stateless population, with the victims denied many basic civil, economic and social rights.

Hon. Justice Chijioke Friday Nwoke, a law professor and Vice President of the Court, the principal legal organ of the community with the mandate to interpret and apply its texts, will make a presentation on the right to nationality and ECOWAS citizenship during one of the technical sessions on the second day of the conference.

The ECOWAS Protocol on Citizenship, adopted in 1982 by Heads of State and Government of the Community, establishes the basis for community citizenship and requires the nationality of a member state as precondition for enjoying such citizenship.

Expected at the ministerial conference, to be preceded by a meeting of experts, are high political and administrative authorities from Africa, ECOWAS member states, national human rights organisations and civil society organisations.

The conference is expected to make proposals for improving data collection on statelessness in the region, where only five per cent of member states can provide data on statelessness.
-0- PANA SEG/AR 22Feb2015

22 february 2015 09:13:54




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