Sidie Mohammed Tunis, speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament, says the inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups in governance is key to mitigating the crisis in the sub-region.
Mr Tunis said this on Tuesday at the opening of the delocalized meeting of the Joint Committees of the ECOWAS Parliament on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and the African Peer Review Mechanism, Judicial Affairs and Human Rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment in Monrovia, Liberia.
According to him, inequality has been identified as one of the major factors leading to military coups and insecurity in West Africa. He, however, noted that supporting the participation of people from vulnerable and marginalised groups in the decision-making and democratic processes of societies is key to continued peace, security and sustainable development.
Mr Tunis acknowledged that every meeting of the parliament is an opportunity to analyze and make proposals to understand better and control political, economic, and social developments in West Africa.
“As we all know, inequality has been one of the bases or causes of subversive acts in our region. The marginalisation of vulnerable groups from important decision-making processes, particularly ethnic or religious minorities, women and young people, provides fertile ground for conflict of violent extremism,” stated the ECOWAS speaker.
He added, “We must convince ourselves that supporting the participation of people from vulnerable and marginalised groups in the decision-making and democratic processes of our societies is imperative for peace, security and sustainable development.”
Mr Tunis noted that political inclusivity “has the advantage of enabling all points of view to be expressed and taken into consideration and of enhancing the representation of every segment of the population, including women and young people.”