Term Paper, 2009, 20 Pages
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was founded on 28 May 1975 by fifteen West African states with the purpose of promoting cooperation and accelerating economic and social development in West Africa.
Within the Treaty of 1975 the following institutions were established to govern the ECOWAS:
- the Authority of Heads of State and Government (short “the Authority”), as the principal governing institution of the Community (Treaty of ECOWAS 1975: Article 5);
- the Council of Ministers, responsible for the functioning and the development of the Community (Treaty of ECOWAS 1975: Article 6);
- the Executive Secretariat as the principal executive officer of the Community (Treaty of ECOWAS 1975: Article 8);
- the Tribunal of the Community responsible for disputes regarding the interpretation or application of the Treaty (Treaty of ECOWAS 1975: 56), and
- four Technical and Specialised Commissions namely in the fields of trade, customs, monetary issues, industry, agriculture, transport, telecommunications, energy and also social and cultural affairs (Treaty of ECOWAS 1975: Article 4). As the purpose of the Community was purely economic there is no mentioning of peace and security issues in the Treaty of 1975. Such issues were first taken up three years later, in 1978, in the Protocol on Non-Aggression. Underlining the importance of an atmosphere of peace and harmonious understanding among the member states for the achievement of the aimed goals, the Community agreed upon to “refrain from the threat or use of force or aggression (…) against the territorial integrity of political independence of other Member States“ (Protocol on Non-Aggression 1978: Article 1).
In 1981 ECOWAS adopted the Protocol relating to Mutual Assistance of Defence (PMAD) constituting that “any armed threat or aggression directed against any Member State shall constitute a threat or aggression against the entire Community” (PMAD 1981: Article 2). Member states should hence give mutual aid and assistance for defence.
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