By John Okeke
The ECOWAS Parliament will commence its Second Ordinary Session for the year, today Thursday, 15th November to Friday, 14th December 2018, at the seat of the Parliament in Abuja, Nigeria.
The convening of the 2018 Second Ordinary Session is in line with the provisions of Article 27 of the Supplementary Act of the Parliament which provides that the ‘Parliament shall meet twice a year in Ordinary Session and must not exceed a period of one (1) month’.
Part of the activities lined up for the Session include the presentation of the Report on the ‘Status of the Community’ by the President of the ECOWAS Commission His Excellency, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
Other guests to attend the opening ceremony include the President of the Community Court of Justice, Hon. Justice Edward Asante, President of the Pan-African Parliament, Rt. Hon. Roger Nkolo Dang, President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Dr. Bukola Abubakar Saraki.
Also, other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion is the Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Godsfrey Onyeama, Speaker of the National Assembly of Liberia, Rt. Hon. Bhofal Chambers and the President of the National Assembly of Niger, Rt. Hon. Ousseini Tinni, amongst others.
The presentations of Country Reports by each delegation of Member States form part of the agenda for the up-coming 30-day Session of the Parliament.
This enables the Members of Parliament to be up to date with the progress made in the implementation of the Community integration and development agenda.
Furthermore, the Parliament in collaboration with development partners such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF and a host of others, would be organizing series of seminars and interactive Sessions on the following theme: Strengthening mobilization against child trafficking and labour: Parliament’s efforts”,
Legal framework of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL): in providing health care and safety within the framework of the fight against terrorism;
Parliamentary network for promotion of gender equality in the areas of agricultural investment and food security.
Others includes Objectives and missions of the Centre for learning on evaluation and results, and;
The ECOWAS Agriculture Budget.
Additionally, the ECOWAS Parliament and the National Assembly of Burkina Faso, in partnership with the West African Health Organization (WAHO), will jointly organize a seminar in the course of the Session under the theme “Demographic dividend” among other seminars to come up during the Session.