Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The ECOWAS Council of Ministers has recommended an increase in the number of Commissioners for the ECOWAS Commission to give Community Member States a sense of belonging.
The recommendation was the highlight of the Council's 68th session which rounded off in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Tuesday, the Commission said in a statement made available to PANA here Wednesday.
ECOWAS was transformed from an Executive Secretariat to a Commission in 2007 with the creation of the positions of a President, Vice-President and seven Commissioners.
Council agreed to reconvene at a date to be decided to consider the allocation of Statutory positions in line with the recommendation by the Authority of Heads of State of State and Government taking into account the possibility for the expansion of the Commission.
The Ministers also adopted the recommendation of the Administration and Finance Committee on the partial lifting of the freeze on staff recruitment to enable the new management of the Commission to fill some critical positions that would underpin the achievement of its mandate.
Council noted that the performance of community institutions varied from 73% to 100%, with the programme to administration expenditure ratio of 62.38 % for the financial year under review.
Council welcomed the efforts of the Commission and partners for the resolution of the crises in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, following the coups d’état in the two Member States, and reiterated the need for greater solidarity towards the realisation of common regional objectives.
On the status of ratification of ECOWAS Conventions and Protocols, Council noted that of the 53 legal instruments adopted since the establishment of ECOWAS 37 years ago, 38 had entered into force as at 30 April 2012, with 15 still awaiting ratification.
Consequently, Council urged Member States to direct the relevant national authorities to take immediate measures for the ratification of the pending Conventions and Protocols.
In his mid-year Report to Council, ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo called for the sustained support of ECOWAS programmes by the political leadership with a view to establishing a credible, viable and conducive regional economic space for the realisation of the regional integration agenda.
Opening the session on Monday, the Chairman of Council, Ivorian Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, urged the Ministers to guide the regional organisation towards greater modernisation and strengthening of its management procedures.
The Council’s recommendations will feed into the summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State, which is expected to take in place in Cote d’Ivoire at the end of June.
-0- PANA SEG 13June2012