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ECOWAS and EU together for the Road to Schuman Forum on Security and Defence

The European Union Delegation to Nigeria, in collaboration with the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the Office of the National Security Advisor, co-hosted the Abuja "Road to Schuman Forum on Security and Defence" on May 15, 2024, at the National Counter-Terrorism Centre in Abuja Nigeria. Themed "Reducing vulnerabilities through partnerships". The forum served as a precursor to the main Schuman Forum on Security and Defense, scheduled for May 28-29 in Brussels.

The event brought together representatives from national and regional agencies, civil society organizations, academia, and international development partners. Participants engaged in knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration on pressing security issues in West Africa, with a focus on Nigeria's and the region's perspectives for partnership with the European Union.

The Abuja 'Road to Schuman Forum' was a precursor conversation aimed at reducing vulnerabilities through partnerships. It gathered representatives from national and regional agencies, civil society organizations, academia, and international development partners. The event's agenda focused on preparing discussions for the upcoming Schuman Forum and creating a platform to deliberate on pressing security issues, particularly emphasizing Nigeria's and West Africa's perspectives.

During the opening ceremony two speeches were delivered.

Charlie Stuart EU Representative stated that : The European Union is still examining the right approach to good cooperation between Africa and the EU and Each country's context is different.

Together, we need to rethink what security means.In addition to the usual military and police security actions, we need to focus even more on economic development solutions in the Region.“

Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah PhD, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), highlighted that ECOWAS has established mechanisms such as the Accra Initiative,which aims to prevent the spread of terrorism from the Sahel to the coastal countries of West Africa.

During the event panelists included representatives from ECOWAS Commission , the National Security Advisor's office, EU member states Germany discussed current security challenges in the Sahel region, the spillover of threats to coastal states, and the need for a redefined security architecture.

The Abuja 'Road to Schuman Forum' also highlighted the EU's role as a global convener and strategic partner, emphasizing the importance of international partnerships in combating transnational threats such as terrorism and organized crime.

The discussions at the Abuja "Road to Schuman Forum" are expected to inform the main Schuman Forum in Brussels and contribute to strengthened partnerships between the EU and West Africa in tackling regional security challenges.


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