Twitter Facebook Youtube


ECPF History :: Aims :: Objectives

The purpose of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) is to serve as a reference for the ECOWAS system and Member States in their efforts to strengthen human security in the region. Achieving this objective requires effective and durable cooperative interventions to prevent violent conflicts within and between States, and to support peace-building in post-conflict environments.

The overall aim of the ECPF is to strengthen the human security architecture in West Africa. The intermediate purpose is to create space within the ECOWAS system and in Member States for cooperative interaction within the region and with external partners to push conflict prevention and peace-building up the political agenda of Member States in a manner that will trigger timely and targeted multi-actor and multi-dimensional action to defuse or eliminate potential and real threats to human security in a predictable and institutional manner.

By Regulation MSC/REG.1/01/08, the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework is hereby adopted as set forth in the following paragraphs.

  1. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has, over the years, proven its capacity to undertake successful conflict prevention, peace-making and conflict resolution under the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security of 10th December 1999 (hereafter referred to as the Mechanism). The Institution has achieved remarkable success in fulfilling its mandate by containing violent conflicts in the region and carrying out conflict prevention interventions through preventive diplomacy initiatives – fact-finding missions, quiet diplomacy, diplomatic pressure and mediation.
  1. The institution has also established several promising conflict prevention organs to underpin its mandate, including the Early Warning System, the Mediation and Security Council, Offices of the Special Representative, the Council of the Wise and Special Mediators. However, the implementation of the preventive aspects of the Mechanism has at times, lacked a strategic approach. It has been characterized by weak internal coordination, underutilization and misdirection of existing human capacities as well as the deployment of limited instruments.
  1. In particular, the distribution of roles and responsibilities between ECOWAS and Member States, between ECOWAS and civil society, as well as between ECOWAS and external partners is weak, resulting in the utilization of limited instruments, piecemeal interventions and late response to crises. The development of a strategic framework to underpin the preventive aspects of the Mechanism has, therefore, become imperative.
  1. ECOWAS Member States bear primary responsibility for peace and security. However, as steps are taken under the new ECOWAS Strategic Vision to transform the region from an “ECOWAS of States” into an “ECOWAS of the Peoples”, the tensions between sovereignty and supra-nationality, and between regime security and human security, shall be progressively resolved in favour of supra-nationality and human security respectively. Consequently, civil society shall play an increasingly critical role alongside Member States in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. In this order of things, the principal role of ECOWAS shall be to facilitate creative conflict transformation interventions by Member States and civil society.
  1. To this end, the purpose of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) is to serve as a reference for the ECOWAS system and Member States in their efforts to strengthen human security in the region. Achieving this objective requires effective and durable cooperative interventions to prevent violent conflicts within and between States, and to support peace-building in post-conflict environments.
  1. For the purposes of the ECPF, human security refers to the creation of conditions to eliminate pervasive threats to people’s and individual rights, livelihoods, safety and life; the protection of human and democratic rights and the promotion of human development to ensure freedom from fear and freedom from want.
  1. The ECPF is intended as follows:
  • A comprehensive operational conflict prevention and peace-building strategy that enables the ECOWAS system and Member States to draw upon human and financial resources at the regional (including civil society and the private sector) and international levels in their efforts to creatively transform conflict.
  • A guide for enhancing cohesion and synergy between relevant ECOWAS departments on conflict prevention initiatives in order to maximize outcomes and ensure a more active and operational posture on conflict prevention and sustained post-conflict reconstruction from the ECOWAS system and its Member States. Within the ECOWAS Commission, it is primarily the Office of the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) that bears primary responsibility for operational conflict prevention policy and initiatives. However, the cross-cutting nature of conflict issues means that PAPS has to work in close collaboration with other departments, such as Human Development and Gender, Communication and Legal.
  • A reference for developing process-based cooperation with regional and international stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, African RECs, the AU and UN systems, as well as development partners, on conflict prevention and peace-building around concrete interventions.

Share on :

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Youtube Instgram