Abuja, Nigeria

17 December 2015

Secretary-General's message on occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) [delivered by Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West

I am pleased to extend my best wishes and congratulations as you mark the 40th anniversary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  Over the last four decades, ECOWAS members have made important progress in promoting economic growth and development, and advancing peace and prosperity for the people of West Africa.
With dedication and a common sense of purpose, ECOWAS members continue to build a strong community to help realize your ambitions.  Of course, formidable challenges lie ahead across our shared agenda of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.  We must work together to expand opportunity and hope – including through quality education for children, wider horizons for women and girls, and safe and secure communities for all.
Our recent joint involvement in the transition in Burkina Faso is one of many recent examples.  Looking forward, the United Nations Office for West Africa and the broader United Nations system are committed to working with you to strengthen our collaboration, leverage our respective comparative advantages, and mobilize international attention and support to the challenges and needs of the West Africa sub-region.  You can be sure that the United Nations will remain your trusted partner every step of the way.
I also want to recognize and thank the members of ECOWAS for making 2015 a year for global action.  I commend your crucial support for a number of landmark initiatives, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for development finance, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and this month’s historic Paris Climate Change Agreement. 
Once again, I wish ECOWAS a happy 40th anniversary and great success in meeting your noble and worthy goals for the people of West Africa.