AFRICA-EU RELATIONS: A mixture of fascination and mistrust, By Robert Dussey

Excerpt from METRO UN N ° 06, THE VIEWS OF VIEWS ON UNITED NATIONS DEBATES magazine

By Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo

On the 5th and 6th of June will take place the Development Days of Europe. As in every edition, this high mass, whose main theme this year will be “Women and girls at the forefront of sustainable development: protecting, empowering, and investing,” will bring together development actors to discuss the key challenges that lie ahead. pose to the world. For obvious reasons, Africa should be on the agenda.

Europe and Africa are, in fact, two continents that geography has brought together, but a painful history has, in a way, moved away. The consequence of this story is that the relationship between the two blocks has always been marked by a mixture of fascination and mistrust. The feeling of a bound destiny but of an impossible alliance predominates. The outcry aroused in part of French-speaking Africa following the inauguration, on May 9, of the “new Place de l’Europe” in Gorée, emblematic place of the transatlantic slave trade, perfectly illustrates the complexity of this relationship.

This project to renovate a historic site, which was originally inaugurated by former European Commission President Romano Prodi in 2003, was largely funded by the European Union. But this gesture, which wanted to be friendly, was considered awkward by some, and scandalous by others. This relationship of distrust can no longer last because the risk it poses on both continents is now too high. Despite flattering nominal growth rates for a decade, poverty remains high in Africa.

Inequalities are widening and population growth continues. In rural areas, extreme weather events are increasing. They cause famine and conflict, and push many young idle into the arms of terrorist groups that are now swarming on the continent and threaten the stability of African states. In the urban areas, thousands of young people, sometimes graduates, but underemployed or unemployed, are hostages of political systems that, for all sorts of reasons, good or bad, are unable to offer them the conditions for a better life. . Not surprisingly, these young Africans are on the road to European exile, often risking their lives. Terrorism, the consequences of climate change, illegal immigration, are major challenges for Africa, and therefore for Europe.

This Europe is all the more concerned by the destiny of Africa as there have always been important interests. These interests, the legitimate pursuit of which leads too often to alliances and supports whose consequences are harmful for the African populations as well as, more and more, for the European citizens. This is why we must renew the software of the Africa-Europe relationship. On the European side, this has historically been limited to institutional links, to the abstract promotion of great democratic principles, and to the sometimes cynical defense of commercial positions. It is now necessary to establish bonds of trust with African youth who are more informed, aware of global issues and willing to take part in world affairs.

The record of 30 years of electoral democracy in Africa is disappointing, as it has been implanted in fragile nation states. Perhaps it is time to work to strengthen these nation states. On the African side, almost five decades after Independence, efforts must be made to establish a relationship of trust with Europe. On this point, African diplomats have an eminent role to play in explaining the African vision of the world to Europe, find points of convergence, defend projects of common interests, and work together for the advent of a world more stable, because more just.

Togo – Norway: Robert Dussey meets his Mrs Eriksen Søreide in Oslo

The Togolese diplomat, Robert Dussey, met his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Eriksen Søreide, on Friday, 09 November in Oslo.

The discussion focused on economic cooperation, security and stability issues in Africa.

Mr Dussey participated yesterday at the Nordic-Africa Summit whose theme was the promotion of the blue economy, maritime activities and new energies. So many topics that interest Togo whose ambition is to become a logistics hub.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs was the guest on the morning of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) for a conference on violent extremism and security challenges in West Africa.

Participants wondered about the role that can play preventive diplomacy.

Mr. Dussey was joined by Øystein H. Rolandsen and Jenny Lorentzen, researchers at PRIO. Founded in 1959, this institute conducts research on conditions conducive to peaceful relations between states. The PRIO analyzes how conflicts break out and how they can be solved, but also how companies deal with crises and crisis threats.

PRIO develops theoretical knowledge and refines research methodologies.

This academic excellence must have a significant impact on societies, say the leaders of the institute.

The Situation in the Middle East And Lessons for Africa

Four axes/blocks in the current Middle East

Currently there are four main political players in the Middle East (excluding Israel).

The first, and until lately the strongest, is the Iranian – Shia axis. This Axis is stretching between Iran (its center) in the east, through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and a proxy in the Gaza strip (Palestinian Islamic Jihad). Short of the last one, in all the other areas Iran is leaning heavily on local Shia communities.

The second is the Sunni moderateblock. This block includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia (those two are considered as the leaders of this block), Jordan, The Palestinian Authority, UAE and the rest of the Gulf States (short of Qatar).

The third is the Sunni radicalblock. This block includes Turkey, Qatar, Sudan and Hamas (in the Gaza Strip). This block identifies itself with the Muslim Brothers (an Egyptian Ideological movement that was established in Cairo in 1929 and is outlawed now in Egypt).

The fourth is the Sunni radicalNon-State Actor – Al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State in Syria and the Levant” (ISIL). This group (not an axis though) is nearly defeated in the Middle East. Against this defeat, you can see their attempts to infiltrate to Africa.

Conflicts between those axes/blocks

There are two main conflicts between those groups that are currently casting a shadow over the Middle East. The first is between the Shia axis and the Sunni moderate block. The second is between the Sunni moderate block and the Sunni radical block.

The conflict between the Shia axis and the Sunni moderate block is taking place in some different places in the Middle East – in Syria (where actually the Sunnis were beaten), in Lebanon, Iraq and the most active front – Yemen.

The conflict between the moderate Sunni group and the Radical Sunni group is taking place in the Persian (Arab) Gulf between Saudi Arabia and the UAE on one end and Qatar on the other. Another front is in the Horn of Africa where Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are competing against Qatar, Turkey and the Sudan in an attempt to reach more influence.

Common denominators between the Middle East and Africa that makes both “Terror Friendly”

Terror is always leaning on an ideological agenda (usually radical Islam). However, some “environments” are more “friendly” to terror. Among the conditions that help terror spread we can find the presence of “Failed states”, weakness of the central government, lack of social cohesiveness between the center and the periphery and the above all – economic frustration. All those elements can be found in both the Middle East and Africa.

So what can be done?

There are some lessons that Africa can draw from the Israeli experience in fighting terror. First,a holistic approach that brings together military sticks and economic carrots. Second is determination (the war on terror is always longer than a conventional war). Third is deterrence (does deterrence actually work against terror?). Fourth is an attempt to build a national unity. The fifth is an attempt to create partnerships in the war against terror (G 5 in the Sahel or Amisom in Somalia).

Armenian and Togo foreign ministers discuss cooperation issues

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met today with Foreign Minister of Togo Robert Dussey, who arrived in Armenia to participate in the 17th summit of La Francophonie.

During the meeting the parties discussed prospects on starting close cooperation in different directions, referred to the necessity of activation trade-economic ties and starting regional partnership.

The two ministers attached significance to the multisided format of partnership and the platform of Francophone Organization in particular for the discussion of different issues of mutual interest.

The ministers also exchanged ideas over the agenda of the 17th summit of the OIF.

ACP-EU negotiations: Taking the road to prosperity together

Talks on a new agreement between the ACP and the EU will only bear fruit if both parties take the road to prosperity together, writes the ACP’s chief negotiator, Robert Dussey, on the post-Cotonou talks.

Prof. Robert Dussey is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo, and the Chief Negotiator of the ACP Group for the post-Cotonou agreement.

The scheduled expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020 is not the end of the ACP-EU partnership. Both parties are currently in discussion and negotiations for a new partnership agreement will begin on 1 October. The novelty of the envisaged agreement lies in its structure. The agreement will have a common basis applicable to all of the partnership members and three regional partnerships specific to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The post-Cotonou agreement has to help to achieve sustainable development in the ACP countries. The right of ACP peoples to development, the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 must be at the heart of the future ACP-EU partnership agreement.

We have reason to hope, but hope for the future of our partnership is only legitimate if it is based on the commitment of both parties to take the road to prosperity together. The ACP-EU partnership can only keep its promises if it does not negate the development efforts of the ACP countries themselves or cause the dismantling of their young industries and economies.

We need more ambition and imagination to understand the new challenges of our cooperation, which we hope and want to be more productive, fairer and more responsible. The ACP countries are less hoping for charity than justice and equity in the terms of the future partnership agreement.

The topics to include on the negotiating agenda are varied and will touch on areas such as the economy and investment, development cooperation, research and technological innovation, climate change, the war on poverty, security, political dialogue and migration. Having met the expectations of both parties on the common basis of the agreement, negotiations on the three regional pillars will be launched. The objective is to reach an agreement which fully takes account of the realities and problems of every geographical area of the ACP Group.

The advantage of this approach is that it offers every region of the ACP countries the opportunity to influence, or, if necessary, to take charge of the technical negotiations on its strategic priorities. This approach is in line with the desire of the various regions, particularly that clearly expressed by Africa to have a completely decomplexed partnership with Europe in a strictly equal relationship.

Migration is likely to be a key point of the EU-Africa pillar of the agreement but it must not circumvent the relevance of the debate or negatively impact the terms of our future cooperation agreement.

Moreover, we remain convinced that the horizon of the ACP-EU partnership remains open. The upcoming negotiations are fast approaching. The challenges are essential ones and the stakes are high. A truly fair and just partnership agreement between Europe and the ACP countries will have, certainly for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, benefits that previous agreements have never had. I would like to finish with a thought by Gaston Berger: “Tomorrow will not be like yesterday. It will be something new and will depend on us.”

Statement by the honorable professor Robert Dussey, Chief negotiator for the ACP group of states

Friday 28 September 2018, 10:00, New York, United States of America

OPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS ON A NEW PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND COUNTRIES OF THE ACP GROUP OF STATES

Your Excellency’s, distinguished guest ladies and gentlemen.
Let me first thank Commissioner Minister for accepting to behave in New York

In less than two years, we are called to renew the terms of ACP-EU cooperation. This ceremony officially launches the process of the negotiations that will lead us to a new agreement. The signing of a new cooperation agreement between our two entities was well worthwhile as the European Union and the ACP still have unexploited opportunities to explore and exploit together. To paraphrase the title of a book by Karl POPPER and Konrad LORENZ the horizon of our cooperation remains open and there is room for hope for the future.

For the future of our cooperation, hope is justified only if it is based on a common commitment to journeying together along the road of prosperity. We must work together to succeed together. ACP-EU cooperation will remain faithful to its original ambition only if it remains a partnership at the service of the fundamental human right to ACP peoples’ development. The key challenge for the ACP remains the war on the lack of development and our partnership must be able to help ACP member States to meet this challenge.

The connection between the ACP Group and the EU was established in Article 1 of Chapter 1 of the Georgetown Agreement, the Constitutive Act of the ACP Group, which states that “The Members of the ACP Group shall be the African, Caribbean and Pacific States which are signatory to the Convention of Lomé and to this Agreement.” The ACP Group underlines that ACP-EU partnership is a valuable and unique achievement that has strengthened bonds between ACP and EU peoples and countries throughout the last 45 years of its existence. The opening of the negotiations today heralds the continuity of trust and confidence cherished by parties to the Partnership.

Difficulties, misunderstandings and pitfalls may arise in the joint venture of negotiations, but we must stand firm, use our “practical wisdom” to overcome them. “Practical wisdom”, the other name of ARISTOTE’s phronesis, says Paul RICOEUR in his work oneself as another, “consists in inventing just behavior suited to the singular nature of the case”. It can help us overcome the aporias, the “reasonable disagreements”, the “objective illusions” and risks of stalemates immanent to any normal process of negotiation.
We must ensure that ACP-EU cooperation really serve the cause of development of ACP countries. ACP-EU cooperation can only lead to the development desired and hoped for by the ACP States if it does not annihilate their endogenous development initiatives, if it does not compromise – to borrow the word from Amartya SEN – the “capabilities” of the ACP countries through deindustrialization and the dismantling of their economies. It is in the economic and strategic interest of Europe that the ACP countries develop. To think otherwise would be a lack of ambition.

We need more ambition and imagination to understand the new challenges of our cooperation that we hope for and wish to be more fruitful, fairer and more responsible. When you are two to journey on a road, you need essential lucidity so as not to step on your fellow traveler’s toes. Lucidity, by its Latin etymology, means “light” and someone who is lucid, says Augustin Kouadio DIBI “is someone that can see clearly, someone that grasps things in the light”. In the light, we will come to a new agreement in the best interest of Europe and the ACP countries.
Many topics will be on the agenda of upcoming negotiations. These topics touch on fields (for illustrative purposes) such as economics and investment, development cooperation, research and technological innovation, climate change, the war on poverty, security, political dialogue and migration. The examination of all these subjects must be done in the near future in broader rationality.

Because I remain convinced that the horizon of ACP-EU cooperation remains open; that the European Union and the ACP countries still have “possible future” to explore and invent together, I would like to end on this thought of the French philosopher of prospection Gaston Berger in his book The Phenomenology of time and Prospective: “Tomorrow will not be like yesterday. It will be new and it will depend on us. It is less to discover than to invent”.

Good luck with future negotiations.
Thank you for your attention

«PREVENT AND FIGHT TERRORISM AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM»

On 30 July 2018, Lomé hosted the joint summit of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] and ECCAS [Economic Community of Central African States]. 
Why this summit?

I believe that this entirely new initiative of President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé answers simultaneously a real need and
universally shared urgency for: “security, stability and the fight against terrorism and violent extremism;” All his fellow ECOWAS and ECCAS heads, particularly President Ali Bongo-Ondimba, understood that the security challenges constitute a danger for our development efforts. It was important to safeguard the great public community good: Peace.

How did the summit go? What were the high points?Why this summit?

All in all, this joint ECOWAS-ECCAS summit on “security, stability and the fight against terrorism and violent extremism” went very well, to everyone’s great satisfaction. Some high points, including the following ones, marked the summit:

– The adoption of the Lomé Declaration on peace, security, stability and the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in the ECOWAS-ECCAS space;

– The commitment to establish and strengthen, at national and regional levels, early warning and rapid crisis-response mechanisms;

– The appeal of the Heads of State and Government for the African Union to seek, together with the United Nations, the ways to lift
the arms embargo imposed on the government of the Central African Republic;

– The reaffirmation of the commitment by all the participating parties of the Agreement of 31 December 2016 to respect the
only framework capable of leading to transparent and peaceful elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

– The establishment of mutual aid and judicial cooperation procedures between the States with a Cooperation Agreement on criminal police matters scheduled to be signed by the designated Ministers before the end of 2018;

– The utter condemnation of the attacks perpetrated by terrorist groups as well as of all kinds of illicit trafficking by terrorist and mercenary groups operating in the Sahel from Southern Libya.

FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE 53rd ORDINARY SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF ECOWAS

July 31, 2018, Lomé, Togolese Republic

1. The fifty-third ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was held on July 31, 2018 in Lome, in the Togolese Republic , under the chairmanship of HE Mr Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic, President in office of the Conference.

2. At this session, Heads of State and Government attended
hereafter, or their duly authorized representatives:
– HE Mr. Roch Marc Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso
– HE Mr. Jorge Carlos de ALMEIDA FONSECA, President of the Republic of Cabo Verde
– HE Mr Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
– HE Mr. Adama BARROW, President of the Republic of The Gambia
– HE Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana
– HE Prof. Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea
– HE Mr. José Mário VAZ, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau
– HE Mr. Issoufou MAHAMADOU, President of the Republic of Niger;
– HE Mr. Muhammadu BUHARI, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
– HE Mr. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
– HE Mr. Julius Maada BIO, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
– Mr. E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic.
– HE Mr. Aurélien A. AGBENONCI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Benin
– HE Mr. Abdramane SYLLA, Minister of Malians Abroad and African Integration of the Republic of Mali
– HE GBEHZOHNGAR Mr. Findley, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia

3. Also present:
– HE Jean Claude Kassi BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission
– HE Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS);
– Mr. Abdallah Boureima, President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union Commission (UEMOA);
– Mr. EL-Ghassim WANE, Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union.

4. The Heads of State and Government took note of the Interim Report 2018 of the President of the ECOWAS Commission as well as reports from the 80th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and the 40th Meeting of the Council of Ministers. Mediation and Security.

5. They commended the quality of the reports submitted as well as the relevance of the recommendations that are conducive to the achievement of ECOWAS objectives for growth and stability in the region.

6. At the end of its deliberations, the Conference endorsed the main recommendations contained in the various reports and then examined the following specific issues:

ON THE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION OF REGIONAL INTEGRATION PROGRAMS

7. The Conference welcomed the good prospects for economic growth in the region with a rate of 3.2% in 2018 against achievements of 2.3% and 0.2% in 2017 and 2016 respectively. This positive trend is due, among other things, to the rise in world prices for raw materials, particularly oil, minerals (gold, bauxite, iron), cocoa, cotton, as well as economic reforms and investments in the field. infrastructures.

8. In order to improve the resilience of the Member States and to make the sources of regional growth more stable and less fragile, the Conference urged them to continue the efforts to diversify economies and to set up specific policies in favor of vulnerable layers for more inclusive growth.

On the creation of the monetary union

9. The Conference took note of the reports of the meetings of the Presidential Task Force for the ECOWAS Single Currency Program whose conclusions and recommendations mark important progress towards the objective of providing the region with a monetary union.

10. She congratulated the Heads of State members of the Task Force for the progress made in implementing the activities of the ECOWAS Single Currency Roadmap for the results achieved.

11. Under Macroeconomic Convergence for 2017, the Conference noted the progress made by countries in all the criteria, particularly the key criterion of the budget deficit as compared to 2016. She urged member states to pursue the implementation of virtuous economic policies in order to meet the convergence criteria.

12. Under the exchange rate regime, the Conference instructed the Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission to hold consultations and meetings with the Working Group, composed of the BCEAO, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria. WAMA to submit proposals, before the end of 2018. On this occasion, the harmonization of the monetary policy framework and the future central bank model will also be examined.

13. It also instructed the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with WAMA and the Central Banks of the Community, to submit to it at its next session proposals for the name of the future common currency.

14. The Conference instructs the Commission to make all the arrangements for the effective involvement of all Central Bank Governors in the process of creating the single currency of ECOWAS.

15. The Conference also took note of the Revised Road Map for the Single Currency Program and the establishment of a Special Fund to cover its financing needs. In this regard, it requests that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and the Bank of Ghana take the necessary measures for the payment of their share.

16. It took note of the conclusions of the ECOWAS Single Currency Study carried out by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) which specifies the optimal conditions for the creation of the future single currency of ECOWAS.

17. The Summit called for greater involvement of the Member States in the debate and instructed the Commission to ensure that all countries are informed of progress.

With regard to the free movement of persons and goods

18. The Heads of State welcomed the continuation of actions for the effective implementation of the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment through the Development of a Follow-up Mechanism to facilitate the regular evaluation of the application of that Protocol. They urged the Commission to take any initiative aimed at reducing the obstacles to free movement and to report to the political authorities of the Member States concerned.

19. With regard to the Customs Union, the Conference congratulated the Commission on the arrangements made for the extension and application of the Customs Code following its adoption in December 2017, in particular the training of customs officers and the continuation of its support to the two Member States which have not yet implemented the Common External Tariff.

Economic Partnership Agreements between the West Africa Region and the European Union

20. The Conference notes that the non-signature of the regional EPA by all member states and the implementation of interim EPAs poses significant challenges to the regional integration process. In order to strengthen the coordination of regional policies and cooperation with the European Union, the Summit calls on European partners to increase flexibility on the EPA issue in particular, on the timetable for the implementation of interim EPAs .

Continental African Free Trade Area (CAFTA)

21. The Conference welcomed the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) during the Extraordinary Summit of the AU Conference held on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. It took note of the signing of the Agreement by several African countries, and to this end invites the member states that have not yet signed to accelerate the process of their accession.

22. The Conference instructs the ECOWAS Commission to assist Member States to develop a regional position on outstanding issues including tariff concessions, the schedule of specific commitments on services and rules of origin.

Relative to Human Development

23. With regard to education, the Conference congratulated the Commission for putting in place mechanisms to promote regional ideals in schools. She invited her to move towards incorporating educational modules on regional integration into curricula.

24. In the humanitarian and social field, the Conference reiterated its concern about the situation of African migrants in detention centers. She called on the Commission to become more involved in coordinating Member States’ positions in the Global Compact process for safe, orderly and regular migration.

Regarding agricultural development and food security

25. The Conference was concerned about the sharp deterioration of the food security situation in some Member States with significant decreases in production compared to the 2016/2017 crop year observed.

26. She welcomed the urgent mobilization measures of the Regional Reserve for Food Security which concretizes the appeal she made at its Extraordinary Summit held on 14 April 2018 in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It called on beneficiary member states to confirm and honor their commitment to rebuild the mobilized stock, with a view to ensuring the sustainability of this regional solidarity instrument for vulnerable populations. The Conference instructed the ECOWAS Commission to take the necessary steps to make food available to the affected countries as soon as possible.

FOR PEACE, SECURITY AND DEMOCRACY

27. The Conference reaffirms the importance of peace, security and stability in the ECOWAS region. It reiterates its condemnation of the terrorist attacks in the region and expresses its solidarity with the affected countries.

28. It reaffirms its determination to fight relentlessly against terrorism and violent extremism. To this end, the Conference welcomes the convincing results achieved in the fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram.

29. The Conference commends the commitment of the member countries of the Multinational Joint Force of the Lake Chad Basin and the G5 Sahel Joint Force in the fight against terrorism. To this end, it appeals to all Member States of the Community, in a spirit of community solidarity, to provide material, financial and technical support to the armed forces of the Member States engaged in the fight against terrorism in the Basin Lake Chad and the Sahel. The Conference calls upon the United Nations Security Council to place the G5 Sahel Force under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter with a view to ensuring sustainable and multilateral funding.

30. The Conference urges member states to implement holistic measures to prevent radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism. She reiterated her appeal to Member States for a better sharing of information and intelligence.

31. The Conference welcomes the holding of the Joint Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and ECCAS on 30 July 2018 in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It urges the Member States and the Commission to implement diligently the decisions contained in the Lomé Declaration on peace, security, stability and combating violent extremism adopted by the Joint Summit.

ON THE SITUATION IN GUINEA-BISSAU

32. The Conference welcomes the significant progress made in resolving the political crisis in Guinea Bissau since the measures adopted at its Special Session on Guinea Bissau held on 14 April 2018 in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It encourages all Bissau-Guinean political actors and civil society to maintain its commitment to the road map, in particular to respect the date of 18 November 2018 for the holding of legislative elections.

33. The Conference expresses its concern about the slowness in the implementation of the parliamentary election calendar. To this end, it calls on Member States and the international community to support Guinea Bissau. It notes with satisfaction the financial contribution of one (1) million US dollars from the WAEMU for the preparation of the legislative elections and decides to contribute for an amount of two (2) million US dollars.

34. Welcoming the progress made since the Summit of 14 April 2018, the Conference decided to lift the sanctions imposed on certain political actors in Guinea-Bissau.

ON THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATION IN TOGO

35. The Conference considered the report presented by the two Facilitators, Their Excellencies Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana and Professor Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea, in the framework of their mandate. entrusted by the Conference on 14 April 2018.

36. The Summit commended the two facilitators and noted with satisfaction the progress and achievements that have been made. The Conference welcomes the commitment of stakeholders to maintain the spirit of consultation and dialogue with a view to promoting a lasting resolution of the crisis.

37. At the end of the exchanges, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government agreed as follows:

38. It encourages the Togolese Government to continue the confidence-building and appeasement measures by speeding up the judicial procedures for those arrested during political demonstrations and to study the possibility of additional measures for those persons.

39. The Conference of Heads of State condemns all recourse to violence, including the use of weapons reserved for the public forces and calls on the citizens who stole them during the demonstrations to return them to the competent authorities.

40. At the same time, it calls on political actors and civil society to abstain, in all circumstances, from acts and remarks that may fuel new tensions and jeopardize ongoing efforts. It urges the security forces to be professional in their mission of maintaining order, preserving the security of property and people.

41. The Conference of Heads of State urges the Government to proceed with the complete revision of the electoral register with a view to the organization, on 20 December 2018, of the Parliamentary Elections.

42. The Conference invites the Government and political actors to work towards the adoption of constitutional reforms, taking into account, inter alia, the following points:

– The two-round voting system for the election of the President of the Republic; 
– The limitation to two, the number of presidential terms; 
– Reconstitution of the Constitutional Court to review its composition and limit the number of terms of office of its members 
– Strengthening the electoral process.

43. The Conference of Heads of State recommends the adoption of these reforms through the parliamentary process with a view to speeding up the process of their implementation. If necessary, these reforms will be submitted to the electoral consultations.

44. The Conference welcomes the measures envisaged by the Togolese Government in the preparation, organization and conduct of transparent, credible and inclusive elections through, inter alia:

– The acceleration and finalization of the electoral census to establish reliable electoral lists; 
– The possibility for Togolese living abroad to vote in their places of residence during national elections; 
– The deployment of election observers

45. The Conference commends the opposition for its openness and sense of responsibility, and for its dialogue on the satisfaction of its demands.

46. ​​It invites all parties to comply with the Togolese Constitution.

47. The Conference of Heads of State commends the will of opening and permanent dialogue of the President of the Togolese Republic, and notes with interest its willingness to work with all the vital forces of the nation.

48. She also asked the ECOWAS Commission to provide support and technical expertise in the organization and conduct of the forthcoming elections.

49. The Conference renews its support to the two Facilitators of the Inter-Togolese Dialogue and requests them to continue their efforts for a rapid and lasting resolution of the socio-political situation in Togo and to report to it at its next session.

50. The Conference of Heads of State decides to set up a monitoring committee composed of the representatives of the facilitators, the ruling majority, the coalition of 14 opposition parties and the ECOWAS Commission to follow up the implementation of these decisions.

51. She instructed the ECOWAS Commission to continue supporting the facilitators.

ON THE SITUATION IN THE GAMBIA

52. The Conference welcomes the positive development of the political situation in the country marked by the successful holding of local elections on 12 May 2018. It also welcomes the launch of the National Development Plan (2018 – 2021). and calls on development partners to confirm their pledges of support for this Plan, made at the donors’ conference held on 22 May 2018 in Brussels.

53. The Conference encourages the Government to accelerate the effective and coordinated implementation of the Defense and Security Sector Reform Program.

REGIONAL ELECTIONS

Elections in Mali

54. The Conference commends all the political parties for the peaceful conduct of the electoral process of 29 July 2018. It calls on all political actors to continue to observe a republican attitude and respect for the results of these elections.

FOR TRANSHUMANCE

55. The Conference expresses its deep concern at the increasing number of violent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers as a result of transhumance and strongly condemns the many losses in human life related to these conflicts and the stigmatization of specific categories of the population. It instructs the various actors to implement the measures identified at the Abuja meeting held on April 26, 2018 to prevent and peacefully manage these conflicts.

IN THE MATTER OF INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

Oath of the President of the ECOWAS Commission and other Statutory Officials within the Institutions of the Community

56. The Conference took note of the oath taken by the new President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, and congratulated him on his appointment.

57. The Conference took note of the swearing-in of five (5) new judges at the Court of Community Justice during its opening session.

58. She also congratulated all other statutory officials and encouraged them to pursue the cause of integration and regional development within their respective institutions.

59. The Conference urged the President of the Commission to accelerate the implementation of regional integration programs and projects.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

60. The Conference expresses its gratitude to all ECOWAS development partners for their support for the consolidation of peace, security and regional integration in West Africa.

INSTITUTIONAL REFORM 

61. The Conference took note of the progress made in the institutional reform process of ECOWAS, in particular with regard to the reorganization of Community institutions and agencies, to increase their effectiveness as well as measures implemented. to strengthen internal control mechanisms within all institutions.

62. The Conference instructed the President of the Commission to accelerate institutional reform measures, with a focus on improving the performance and modernizing the Community institutions.

ELECTION OF THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE CONFERENCE

63. The Heads of State and Government elected His Excellency Muhammadu BUHARI, as President-in-Office of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, for a term of one year. They congratulate President BUHARI and wish him every success in his mission.

DATE AND PLACE OF THE NEXT SUMMIT

64. The next regular session of the Conference will be held on … December 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria. The Conference expresses its sincere congratulations to HE Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Togolese Republic, for his unwavering commitment to regional integration and for the exemplary leadership he has shown in the conduct of the affairs of the Community. 

Done at Lomé on 31 July 2018.
THE CONFERENCE

SUMMARY OF THE FINAL REPORT – 53rd SUMMIT OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF ECOWAS

Lomé, 31 July 2018
I. INTRODUCTION

1. The 40th regular meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council at Ministerial level was held on 7 July 2018, in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It was devoted to examining the political and security situation in the region, with particular emphasis on Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Togo. The deliberations also covered a number of topics including the political and security situation in the region, the status of the establishment of Maritime Zones F and G, the operationalization of the ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Centers (MMCCs). , the report of the ministerial meeting on transhumance and the establishment of early warning and response centers.

2. The meeting was chaired by HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of the Togolese Republic, with the participation of all members of the Mediation and Security Council.

3. The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) also participated in this meeting as observers.
II. CONDUCT OF WORK

4. The Council listened to the report of the 28th meeting of the Mediation and Security Council at the level of Ambassadors held on 20 June 2018 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria and presented by Her Excellency Lena DIMBAN, Permanent Representative of the Togolese Republic with ECOWAS. It took note of the report and the conclusions and recommendations contained therein.

5. The Council deliberated on the following points:

at. Memorandum on the political and security situation in the region

6. The Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission presented to the Council the Memorandum on the security situation in the region, emphasizing the following points:

7. With regard to The Gambia, it appears that the political climate in The Gambia remained relatively calm during the period under review. However, The Gambia still faces serious and serious security problems with far-reaching consequences. However, the implementation of the defense and security sector reforms (RSDS) is still pending, although it was discussed at the donors’ conference on The Gambia held in Brussels on 22 May 2018. The promises made by international partners at the donor conference amounted to € 1.45 billion.

8. Following discussions on this point, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. Extend the mandate of MICEGA to its scheduled expiry at the end of July 2018.
ii. Urge the Gambian authorities to develop a national security architecture and policy, mainly through the Defense and Security Sector Reform (RSDS);
iii. Encourage the Gambian authorities to ensure effective and efficient coordination of activities taking into account the multiplicity of international partners willing to support The Gambia, and in particular the reform of its Defense and Security Sector (RSDS).
iv. Instruct the ECOWAS Commission to help the country to put in place the necessary framework and mechanism for national dialogue and national reconciliation;
v. Also instruct the ECOWAS Commission to support joint operations between ECOMIG and the Gambian security agencies;

9. With regard to Guinea Bissau, a point of the political situation has been made by the ECOWAS Commission since the Extraordinary Summit on the situation in Guinea-Bissau held on 14 April 2018 in Lomé (Togo), during which the authorities adopted a new timetable as follows:

– The appointment of Mr. Aristides Gomes as Prime Minister by consensus. A Presidential Decree officially ratified this appointment on April 17, 2018
– The holding of the parliamentary elections on November 18, 2018.

10. The Council welcomed the progress achieved in overcoming the political stalemate and took note of the reopening of the National Assembly on 19 April 2018, the vote of the Government’s program and budget by the Parliament, the appointment of the members of the National Electoral Commission and the extension of the mandate of the current legislature. The Council noted that, in accordance with the timetable, an inclusive government has been formed and that the members of the National Electoral Commission have been appointed to prepare for the parliamentary elections scheduled for 18 November 2018. While noting the progress that has been made So far, the Council has expressed its concern about the slow pace of the implementation of the electoral calendar and the difficulties encountered in financing the elections.

11. At the end of the discussions, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. Urge the stakeholders of Guinea-Bissau to remain faithful to their commitments to the Roadmap adopted on April 14, 2018 in Lomé and to create the conducive political environment and put in place the necessary logistics for the smooth conduct of the November 2018 legislative elections .
ii. Call on all member states to support, to the extent of their capacity, the electoral process underway in Guinea-Bissau;
iii. Extend ECOMIB’s mandate to maintain the progress that has been made in the field of security in the country;
iv. Urge the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to continue preparations for the parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2018;

12. With regard to the political situation in Togo, the Council took note of the nomination by the Conference of Heads of State and Government of their Excellencies Messrs. Nana Addo Dankwa Ako-Addo, President of Ghana and Alpha Condé, President the Republic of Guinea as ECOWAS Facilitators to assist the Togolese Government and political actors in finalizing constitutional and political reforms in accordance with legal deadlines, democratic standards and principles.

13. The Council took note of the various consultations conducted within the framework of the facilitation, in particular the consultative meeting on the socio-political situation in Togo, held on 20 May 2018 in Lomé under the chairmanship of Mr. Albert Kan-DAPAAH (Minister National Security Council of the Republic of Ghana, representing Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO). The Council was informed that this meeting, to which the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Jean-Claude KASSI BROU also participated, renewed the call to all Togolese political parties and stakeholders of the society. to abstain from any act of violence.

14. At the end of the discussions, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. Encourage an inclusive political dialogue with all stakeholders to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome;
ii. Continue to support the mediation processes of the Presidents of Ghana and Guinea;
i. Instruct the ECOWAS Commission to accompany the mediation process led by the Presidents of Ghana and Guinea by providing technical support;

11. At the end of the discussions, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. Urge the stakeholders of Guinea-Bissau to remain faithful to their commitments to the Roadmap adopted on April 14, 2018 in Lomé and to create the conducive political environment and put in place the necessary logistics for the smooth conduct of the November 2018 legislative elections .
ii. Call on all member states to support, to the extent of their capacity, the electoral process underway in Guinea-Bissau;
iii. Extend ECOMIB’s mandate to maintain the progress that has been made in the field of security in the country;
iv. Urge the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to continue preparations for the parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2018;

12. With regard to the political situation in Togo, the Council took note of the nomination by the Conference of Heads of State and Government of their Excellencies Messrs. Nana Addo Dankwa Ako-Addo, President of Ghana and Alpha Condé, President the Republic of Guinea as ECOWAS Facilitators to assist the Togolese Government and political actors in finalizing constitutional and political reforms in accordance with legal deadlines, democratic standards and principles.

13. The Council took note of the various consultations conducted within the framework of the facilitation, in particular the consultative meeting on the socio-political situation in Togo, held on 20 May 2018 in Lomé under the chairmanship of Mr. Albert Kan-DAPAAH (Minister National Security Council of the Republic of Ghana, representing Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO). The Council was informed that this meeting, to which the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Jean-Claude KASSI BROU also participated, renewed the call to all Togolese political parties and stakeholders of the society. to abstain from any act of violence.

14. At the end of the discussions, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. Encourage an inclusive political dialogue with all stakeholders to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome;
ii. Continue to support the mediation processes of the Presidents of Ghana and Guinea;
i. Instruct the ECOWAS Commission to accompany the mediation process led by the Presidents of Ghana and Guinea by providing technical support;

15. With regard to terrorism in the region and in the Lake Chad Basin, the Council noted that the situation in the region remains fragile due to the continuing activities of violent extremism and terrorism.

16. The Council noted the outstanding achievements of Nigeria and the Multinational Joint Task Force in the eradication of Boko Haram. The Council noted that despite the fact that Boko Haram has been greatly weakened and no longer controls any part of Nigerian territory, suicidal attacks against vulnerable targets are still relevant. It was also noted that the threat persists despite the decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, due to various initiatives by the Nigerian Federal Government and the Joint Multinational Force.

17. With regard to Mali, the Council noted that the security situation deteriorated over the months with an increase in asymmetric attacks against civilians, the international defense and security forces and MINUSMA. The absence of local authorities also increases the vulnerability of the population and the risk of radicalization of young people.

18. However, the Council took note of recent progress in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, resulting from the Algiers Process, including:

– The establishment of interim authorities in the five northern regions;
– A budget of more than 8 billion CFA francs is available for the year 2018 for investment and technical support to these authorities;
– The operationalization of the OMC (Operational Coordination Mechanism) of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu;
– The start of the DDR process with the start of the pre-registration phase of ex-combatants;
– The absence of belligerence between the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA) and the Signatory Movements, on the one hand, and the effectiveness, since August 2017, of the truce concluded between the signatory movements (CMA and Platform) on the other hand;
– The arrival of the Carter Center as an Independent Observer and the production of its first report on the implementation of the Agreement.

19. The Council welcomes these encouraging developments and urges the Government of Mali to continue efforts to implement the Agreement with a view to stabilizing the country.

20. With regard to Burkina Faso, the Council was informed of the security situation in the country, which is generally characterized by terrorist attacks, mainly in its northern part. In response to this situation, and in addition to measures of military response, Burkina Faso has developed the emergency program for the Sahel (PUS) of about 500 billion CFA francs to accelerate the development of this region. In addition, as a member of the G5 Sahel, Burkina Faso has requested ECOWAS support for this organization as part of the operationalization of the Joint Force.

21. While welcoming the successful results recorded in the military field, the Council nevertheless considered that it was necessary for other appropriate measures to be taken to contain terrorist activities. To this end, it promotes the exchange of information and intelligence among member states, as well as long-term durable solutions to prevent violent extremism and radicalization.

22. At the end of the discussions, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. Reiterate the firm condemnation of all terrorist acts and reaffirm the determination of the Member States and the ECOWAS Commission to put an end to this scourge;

ii. Instruct the ECOWAS Commission to effectively implement the decisions adopted by the Mediation and Security Council at its last sessions;

iii. Welcome the initiative for the forthcoming ECOWAS-ECCAS Joint Summit on “Peace, Security, Radicalization and Violent Extremism in the ECOWAS-ECCAS Area” in Lomé on July 30, 2018, and call on the Commission to take diligent action to successfully organize this Summit.

23. With regard to the latest developments on elections in the region, the Council noted with satisfaction that the general elections held on 31 March 2018 in Sierra Leone were conducted in a professional manner with the support of ECOWAS, the ECOWAS Parliamentarians and other international partners.

24. On Mali, the Council took note of the preparations for holding the presidential election scheduled for 29 July 2018 in a fragile political and security context. He noted the deployment of the ECOWAS Pre-Election Assessment Mission and the mission deployed by the ECOWAS Commission to assess the security environment before the elections. The Council was informed that the election campaign began on 7 July 2018 and the availability of biometric voter cards.

25. It should be emphasized that a specific Memorandum on Elections in Mali will be submitted to the consideration of this Conference during its in-camera session.

b) Memorandum on the establishment of maritime zones F and G and the operationalization of the Multinational Maritime Centers of Coordination of ECOWAS (CMMC)

26. The Council has reviewed the above-mentioned Memorandum and noted the need to speed up the signing of the various Multilateral Agreements at ministerial level in order to establish Maritime Zones F and G and the Additional Protocols to the Multilateral Agreements on Establishment , the organization and operation of the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centers of E, F and G Zones.

27. At the end of the discussions, the Council submits to the Conference of Heads of State and Government the following main recommendations:

i. To authorize the signing of the Multilateral Agreements with a view to the establishment of Maritime Zones F and G to eradicate illegal activities in the maritime area of ​​West Africa and Legal Instruments on the establishment, organization and operation of the Multinational Maritime Coordinating Centers (MCMCs) of Maritime Zones E, F and G.

c) Presentation of the report of the ministerial meeting on transhumance

28. The Council listened to the report of the meeting of Ministers for Security and Agriculture / Livestock on the transhumance of ECOWAS held on 26 April 2018 in Abuja, presented by the Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Division General (retired) Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali. The Council took note of the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report and called on the ECOWAS Commission to take diligent action for their implementation.

d) Briefing on National Early Warning Centers

29. The Council was informed of the status of implementation of the early warning and response mechanism in the remaining ten (10) Member States. The Council also welcomed the forthcoming operationalization of the Early Warning Center in Guinea Bissau, while stressing the urgent need to put in place the same mechanisms in the other 10 remaining Member States.

III. CLOSING WORD

30. In his closing remarks, HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of the Togolese Republic and President of the Mediation and Security Council, expressed his gratitude to the members of the Council for the quality of the deliberations and declared the meeting closed.

DATED AT LOME, JULY 31, 2018
………………………………………………………………………
HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY
PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

Cooperation : Visa exemption between Togo and the Centrafrican Republic

African integration is becoming more concrete. Togolese will go to the Central African Republic without a visa and vice versa. Togolese wishing to visit Central African Republic will no longer need visas. The foreign ministers of Togo and Central African Republic, respectively Robert Dussey and Charles Armel Doubane, signed an exemption agreement on Sunday in Lome.

This measure applies to all passports: ordinary, service and diplomatic passports.

Welcome speech from Prof. Robert DUSSEY at the interministerial meeting of the ECCAS-ECOWAS Joint Summit

Ladies and gentlemen, Ministers of ECOWAS,
Ladies and gentlemen Ministers of ECCAS,
Mr. President of the ECOWAS Commission,
Mr. Secretary General of ECCAS,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Togo feels honored every time it hosts an event of this level. I would like, on behalf of the President of the Togolese Republic and President-in-Office of ECOWAS, Mr. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, to welcome you to our cosmopolitan city where no visitor is foreign.

You are at home and I invite you to feel at ease. The Latin poet and playwright Terence, to whom some people of African origins, said in a very Togolese accent: “I am a man, and I do not consider anything human as foreign to me.” Anyone who visits Togo sees and lives his regime humanist of hospitality. For Togo, the reception of the other, whoever he may be, wherever he comes from, is more than a duty. The human being wherever it happens, said the philosopher Kant in his book Project of perpetual peace, has the right to hospitality. Moreover, the value of hospitality is one of the values ​​that our African societies still have to teach in the world. You will not deny me!

Ministers, dear colleagues,

Your presence in Lome responds to an imperative of the day: that of interregional cooperation to better face some of the crucial common challenges facing our two regions. It reflects the empowering or empowering option of ECCAS and ECOWAS for working in cooperation. I welcome this spirit between our two regional communities and remain convinced that the integration project at the African level requires strengthening regional and interregional cooperation. The joint organization of this summit is an example of successful intra-African cooperation.

We need to intensify cooperation between our communities. The joint organization of this ECCAS and ECOWAS summit on peace, security, stability and the fight against violent extremism and terrorism is proof that interregional cooperation is under way in Africa. Cooperation, by its Latin etymology, means working together on a common work. ECCAS and ECOWAS have understood that together we must take responsibility for the security of our interregional space and the Summit of Heads of State and Government of 30 July which will be sanctioned by a joint declaration is a very important one. beautiful illustration.
Violent extremism and terrorism, wherever they may be, threaten peace and stability wherever they may be. By coming together to face the extremist and terrorist dangers together, our two communities have taken the measure of danger and realized that synergistic action is a guarantee of effectiveness. By taking the initiative of this summit, the two Presidents-in-Office of ECCAS and ECOWAS as well as the two Community Institutions have understood that the form taken today by the security challenges and the uncertainties they induce in terms of development and human security makes synergistic action indispensable. The challenge being collective, the response or the action must be too.
Security is a vital human need, a community and interregional public good that we must defend at all costs. “There are just wars,” says André MALRAUX in one of his books whose title is L’espoir. The war against terrorism and for regional and interregional security and stability is a just war. No progress and human development without peace and security.

The military response is needed against the danger of extremism and terrorism, but it is not a sufficient remedy. Our two regions are destined to win the war against ignorance, radicalization, fundamentalism and extremism. It is a question of weaning the terrorism of its favorable grounds by the prevention which implies the education with lucidity. It is through lucid education that we will be right about the indoctrination, radicalism and extremism that feeds terrorism. To overcome terrorism, we must win the fight of education, here understood in the holistic sense of the term.
By reiterating my fraternal welcome to our capital, in your capital, I wish you a pleasant and pleasant stay in Lome.

Thank you.

ECOWAS / ECCAS Summit: “Everything is ready”, According to Minister Robert Dussey

Lome will be in the limelight in a few days. And for good reason, the Togolese capital houses the joint summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and those of ECCAS and the meeting of ECOWAS Heads of State respectively on July 30th and 31st. In an interview given to our colleagues from the Agence Savoir News, the head of the Togolese diplomacy, Prof. Robert Dussey returned mainly to the organization of the ECOWAS / ECCAS summit. The Minister of Foreign Affairs for African Cooperation and Integration insists that everything is ready for this high-level meeting.

Read below the entire interview.

Savoir News: Minister, everything is ready for this great meeting? If not, what are the last settings?

Robert Dussey: Lome, the Togolese capital is historically known to all, to be the crossroads of major international conferences. This year, we hosted about ten sub-regional and international meetings, including those of the ACP-EU, the 79
of the ACP and the 28 of the EU, and those of two important bodies of ECOWAS, namely the Council of Europe. Mediation and Security, and the Council of Foreign Ministers. The President of the Republic Faure Gnassingbé and his government work to ensure a perfect organization of all major meetings that Lome hosts, and to the satisfaction of all Togolese. At the time I am speaking to you, we are totally ready, and on all levels.

Two meetings took place in recent days in Lomé as a prelude to this summit? Can you come back to these two meetings for our readers? And what did the participants discuss?

As elsewhere, all summits of Heads of State and Government are preceded by several preparatory sessions, including those of experts and ministers. This was the case a few days ago, that is to say on July 10, 11, 2018 in Lomé, where experts from ECOWAS and ECCAS discussed peace, security, stability, the fight against against terrorism and violent extremism, the theme that will be at the heart of the unprecedented Summit of Heads of State and Government of the two Community spaces. Of course, the reflection on this theme has made it possible to scrutinize the security situation in the two Community spaces, but also the national strategies for the fight against terrorism, as well as the legal instruments in this area and the final declaration.

Approximately how many Heads of State and Government are expected at this Summit, as Togo has a strong tradition of mobilizing Heads of State for these major meetings .

A small calculation of the member countries of ECOWAS and ECCAS, and you will know it (laughter)! We are expecting about twenty heads of state and government.

An ECOWAS-ECCAS Summit …. What will be the main topics on the menu?

As I said, debates will focus on peace, security, stability, the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. It will be for ECOWAS and ECCAS to have a strong involvement in securing the two spaces, pledge of all growth prospects or development of our nations. END

Interview by Junior AUREL (Savoir News)

Final preparations before the Nouakchott summit

African Union (AU) leaders meet on Sunday in Nouakchott for a summit focused on strengthening continental integration.

This 31st Ordinary Summit of the AU focuses on the fight against corruption. The participants will talk integration and reforms of the organization, implementation of the Free Trade Area, single market for air transport, stability, fight against terrorism, migration crisis …

The Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Dussey, has been involved since the beginning of the week in the preparatory meetings.

President Faure Gnassingbe, in charge of the Open Sky file, will make the trip to Nouakchott.

[Interview] Robert Dussey : “Togo and Israel have very good bilateral cooperation”

Most Israelis would have trouble finding Togo on a map or name one significant fact about it. It’s a tiny country that rarely features in the Israeli headlines. And yet, it is one of the most pro-Israel places in the African continent. It is no wonder then that Togolese Foreign Minister Professor Robert Dussey begins his interview with the declaration that “I came here to reassure [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that Togo will support Israel. Our support for Israel is constant.”

Officially the minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, Dussey is one of the strongest political figures in his country (and the entire continent). He thinks of Israel as his second home, both spiritually and politically. So much so, in fact, that he can’t even remember how many times he has visited Israel.

The reason for this deep connection with the people of Zion may lie in the fact that before he was appointed minister, for 10 years, Dussey served in a number of different roles in the Community of the Beatitudes. For this Catholic group, the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people is a top priority. Ever since he was a Catholic monk and to this day, Dussey recites daily prayers in Hebrew, maintaining a strong spiritual bond with Israel.

Dussey is 46 years old. He began his career in the academic world (he still works as a professor of political philosophy). During our interview, he spontaneously begins to sing the Shema Yisrael prayer in his community’s special tune. At another point during the interview, he mentioned Psalms 137:5: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.”

“I have a personal link with Israel,” he says. “I was a monk and I was a member of Community of Beatitudes that prays every day for the Jewish people. Every day we pray for peace for Israel and particularly peace in Jerusalem. On the weekend we celebrate Shabbat together, and after the prayer we share the Shabbat bread and sing Shabbat songs in Hebrew. If you have this spiritual link with the Jewish people and with Israel and you have to protect the Israeli people.”

“For me, the Israeli people and the Jewish people are, first and foremost, the people of God. It is a personal decision, it is my own conviction, and I will do everything for this conviction. I spent more than 10 years of my life praying for peace in Jerusalem, praying for the Jewish people and for Israel. For me, Israel is very important and I need to defend Israel and the people of Israel.”

The timing of Israel Hayom’s interview with Dussey was particularly relevant in underscoring Togo’s uncompromising support for Israel – it took place a day before the U.N. General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning Israel, but not Hamas, for Gaza border clashes. Dussey made it clear that the Togolese representative at the U.N. would go against the grain and, once again, be among the only envoys to vote against the resolution with the U.S. and Israel.

“I know in Togo we are courageous,” he says. “Everybody knows that Togo supports Israel every time. It is not the first time that we voted for Israel in international forums. In Geneva for example, at the Human Rights Council, Togo votes for Israel, it defends Israel’s position. It is our position, we defend it.”

Q: Where does this deep connection to Israel come from?

“Togo and Israel have very good bilateral cooperation and of course, it is growing stronger and stronger. Last year, we were supposed to host a summit, the first Israeli-African summit. Unfortunately, the summit was postponed. Togo received a lot of pressure from a lot of Arabic countries, and some African countries too. But I hope we will do it in the future.”

Togo was the only African country to vote with Israel and the U.S. to block a U.N. resolution condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. Generally speaking, despite the fact that Togo has no embassy in Jerusalem, the country’s pro-Israel stance has significantly intensified in recent years.

But at the same time, Togo wants to retain its status in Africa (Togo heads the important regional body ECOWAS, which comprises 15 African countries, for example), so it makes sure to maintain good relations with its neighbors.

Q: Was there a strong backlash in Africa when Togo voted with Israel on Jerusalem at the U.N.?

“Of course, you know we received a lot of calls from different capitals in the world. They condemned our decision, but we this was the decision we made.”

Q: Do you think Togo has the power to influence other countries to support Israel in the same way?

“I think it is possible, but our vision is dialogue with all African countries, to know exactly what is happening in this region. What we need is peace in the Middle East and in Israel and everywhere in the world.

“Some African countries don’t know what is happening really in this region, but we are talking with them, we are trying to explain to our interlocutors and let them make their own decisions. We believe we will find peace when God decides.”

Q: Other countries often want to make use of Israeli expertise in defense, in the war on terror and in agriculture. Does Togo share that desire?

“Of course, we share a lot of things with Israel. We have good cooperation in our health sector and our agriculture sector. For example, just for our health sector, we inaugurated three weeks ago the first trauma center in Togo, one of the best in the West African region. … Our bilateral cooperation is very good.

“In Africa, and in Togo, we have enormous resources, but unfortunately we don’t have the expertise to exploit our resources. Israel has expertise, we have a lot of engineers and we need your expertise to come to Africa to help us with our resources.”

Q: The president of Togo has said that you want Israel to return to Africa and that African returns to Israel. What does he mean by that?

“I support my president. If I am here it is because he is one of the best friends of Israel. His vision about the cooperation between Israel and Africa is very good. For him it is very simple, we need the Israeli people to come back to Africa. Before 1980, Israel was in Africa, Israel had a lot of embassies in Africa, in Togo … but we need Israel to come back to Africa, Israeli businessman have to come back to Africa, Israeli business people have to invest there.”

Q: So how is it that despite the close bilateral relations, most Israelis don’t really know Togo all that well?

“Togo is a West African country; it is just one country among 54 African countries. We want to present Togo to everyone in the world, particularly in Israel. Maybe you can come, if you want to know Africa, it is a door to West Africa.”

Q: You are probably the only professor who is also a minister in the government. Does that put you in a better position to solve the problems, considering that you are a political theorist? Have you ever tried to implement academic theories in politics?

“I try to do my best. When you are in politics you need to shift from theory to practice. It is not easy when you have to work or take a position to defend Israel. But that is our decision.”

Q: Do you have an example of a theory you tried to implement?

“You know, my favorite philosopher is Emmanuel Kant – I did my Ph.D. on him, I teach him. One of the best books he wrote was ‘Perpetual Peace.'”

Q: Is it applicable here in this region?

“I think it is possible if you have the will to do something…”

———-

Source : http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/06/24/i-will-do-everything-for-israel-togolese-foreign-minister-says/

Press Release : Official visit of Minister Robert DUSSEY to Jerusalem

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration

Jerusalem on June 12, 2018.

1- At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Israel, HE Mr. Benyamin NETANYAHOU, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY paid an official visit to Jerusalem on June 11 and 12, 2018;

2- This visit follows the visit by HE Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic, President-in-Office of ECOWAS from 7 to 11 August 2016 in Israel;

3- It should be recalled that during this visit, the Togolese Head of State and the Prime Minister of Israel agreed, in accordance with the so-called principle of “privileged relations”, to increase their mutual trust and to broaden their cooperation in other areas;

4- The exchanges between the Minister DUSSEY and the Prime Minister NETANYAHOU focused on issues of common interest of a bilateral and multilateral nature;

5- Addressing bilateral issues, Minister DUSSEY and Prime Minister NETANYAHOU welcomed the dynamism of the cooperation between their two countries and reviewed the great achievements of the decisions of the first major joint commission of cooperation;

6- In this regard, they welcomed the concrete and fruitful actions of the Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) in the development process of Togo, particularly in the health and agriculture sectors, and agreed to continue its efforts;

With Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, Rabbi of the Wailing Wall and Holy Places

7- They also noted the need to relaunch the work of the second major joint commission for cooperation between the two countries and to support the actions of the two governments in the fields of rural development, education, science and technology, community development, social protection and promotion, and the integration of women in the development process;

8- During this visit, HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY and his delegation had working sessions with the Director General of the Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV);

9- At the end of the exchanges, the two parties agreed on the upcoming visit to Lome of a delegation of Israeli experts for discussions with the technical ministries to better take into account the priorities of the Togolese government in accordance with the axes the National Development Program (PND);

10- Talking about the situation at the multilateral level, the Togolese Foreign Minister and the Israeli Prime Minister addressed issues related to the Syrian and Middle East crises, deploring the situations in this part of the world and calling on all stakeholders dialogue and restraint to preserve peace;

11. Concerning the resurgence of terrorism and acts of maritime piracy, they reaffirmed their strong condemnation and called for the pooling of efforts as well as the continuation of international cooperation with a view to their eradication;

12- At the end of his visit, the Head of Togolese diplomacy reassured the Israeli government that Togo is at its side and will always support it in the international bodies to which their two countries are members.

Togo is appointed Chairman of the Central Group of ACP negotiations (Post Cotonou 2020)

Press release

The work of the 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers ended this afternoon in Lomé on the eve of the opening of the 43rd Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers with the adoption of the Post-Cotonou Negotiations Mandate .

Togo, which has been designated to chair the Central Negotiating Group, has been formally handed over the Post-Cotonou negotiating mandate. This is the Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, who received on behalf of the Head of State HE Mr. Faure ESSOZIMNA GNASSINGBÉ, President of the Togolese Republic, President-in-Office of ECOWAS, from the hands of Mrs. Kamina JOHNSON SMITH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica, President of the ACP Council of Ministers, said mandate.

It should be recalled that the Central Negotiating Group (NPG) is composed as follows:

1.TOGO (presidency), represented by Professor Robert DUSSEY
2. GUYANA, represented by Honorable Carl GREENIDGE
3. JAMAICA, represented by Honorable Senator Kamina JOHNSON SMITH
4. PAPUA NEW GUINEA, represented by Honorable Pato RIMBINK
5. SAMOA, represented by Honorable Fiame NOAMI MATAAFA
6. CAMEROON, represented by Honorable Alamine OUSMANE
7. CHAD, represented by Honorable Dr. Issa DOUBRAGNE
8. ETHIOPIA, represented by Honorable Dr. Abraham TEKETSE
9. KENYA, represented by Dr. Julius MUIA
10. NAMIBIA, represented by Honorable Tweya TJEKERO
11. LESOTHO, represented by Honorable Majoro MOEKETSI
12. NIGERIA, represented by Mr Ogudanya ADEKUNLE.

In the process, the central bargaining group chaired by the negotiator Chief Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and of African Integration of Togo, held a first consultation meeting in Lomé on the conduct of negotiations with the European Union, main partner of the ACP Group. Negotiations for Post-Cotonou begin
the month of August 2018.