Cablegate: Engaging Ecowas On Regional Tip Activities

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. In recent meetings with officials ofthe ECOWAS
Secretariat's Legal Affairs Department, RNLEO presented the

framework of a G/TIP-funded project to strengthen the
Secretariat's capacity to implement the new ECOWAS Plan of

Action Against Trafficking in Persons (TIP). This project,
funded with $350,000 (FY02), will be implemented through the
UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNODCCP).

2. Director of Legal Affairs Roger Laloupo and his deputy,
Henrietta Didigu, responded enthusiastically to the news of
prospective USG funding for the nascent ECOWAS regional
initiative. Laloupo noted the fortuitous timing of the
offer, as the Secretariat feels under pressure to show
tangible progress in implementing the Plan of Action prior to
the December 2002 ECOWAS Summit, when Executive Secretary
Chambas will be required to present a report on the Plan's

3. Laloupo and Didigu noted their desire to first address the
legal and policy demands of the ECOWAS Plan of Action. These
are contained in the "Legal Framework and Policy Development"
section of the Plan, and include the setting up fo permanent
implementation committees or task forces in each member-state
as well as the creation of an anti-TIP desk or unit within
the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja. A full-time anti-TIP
officer at the Secretariat could coordinate member-states'
efforts to set up national task forces and harmonize laws and
policies in line with both the ECOWAS Plan of Action and the
UN Transnational Organized Crime Convention's Protocol to
Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
Especiall Women and Children.

4. The Secretariat also hopes to establish a fund to cover
the costs of short-term protection and the repatriation of
rescued trafficking victims within the ECOWAS region.
Requests for use of these funds would come from
member-states' national anti-TIP task forces or committees
and would be coordinated by the new ECOWAS Secretariat
Coordination Unit. Didigu stated that the Secretariat looks
to the international donor community to assit in setting up
this fund.

5. RNLEO noted that it might be best to let an international
NGO or organization like UNICEF or IOM set up and oversee
such a fund on behalf of ECOWAS, given the extremely limited
capacity at the Secretariat to manage effectively programs
such as this. RNLEO further suggested that USAID's regional
programs might be considered as a possible source of
assistance to help ECOWAS build capacity in this regional
repatriation effort.

6. Didigu and Laloupo disclosed that the Secretariat plans to
organize, and together with UNODCCP, host a regional seminar
in October on coordinating implementation of the Plan of
Action. This two-day seminar would be held back-to-back with
a two-day conference ECOWAS intends to have with
representatives of the Economic Community of Central African
States (ECCAS) to help ECCAS adopt a regional Plan of Action
similar to the one developed by ECOWAS. No venue has yet
been selected for the two events, but Accra is favored.

7. Action for G/TIP: Please provide funding data for this
project and guidance on grant modalities for an agreement
with UNODCCP as soon as possible.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Pope's Visit To Iraq "A Symbol Of Hope"

The visit by Pope Francis to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul at the weekend will be a symbol of hope and an opportunity to join forces for peace and unity, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, said on Thursday, ahead of his touchdown in the capital, Baghdad... More>>

Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Podcast: A UN Top Official’s Inspiring Journey To Leadership

UN Under-Secretary for Global Communications Melissa Fleming speaks to Agnes Kalibata, the Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, about her journey as a woman leader – from growing up as a Rwandan refugee in Uganda to becoming Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and now a top official at the United Nations... More>>

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>