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Analysis and adoption, by the National Assembly, of the draft law for the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the revised treaty establishing ECCAS

This Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation His Excellency Albert SHINGIRO was invited to the National Assembly of Burundi to present the bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the revised Treaty establishing the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

In his Statement of Reason, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation indicated that the Treaty establishing the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was signed on October 18, 1983, in Libreville in the Gabonese Republic and entered into force in December 1984. The latter was revised and signed on December 18, 2019, in Libreville, Gabon, and entered into force on August 28, 2020.

He said that the Community now has eleven countries and the main objective of the Community set at the creation was to ensure “effective economic integration in order to improve the well-being of the population of Central Africa”. He pointed out that this objective having not been achieved for years due to political, financial and human reasons, it was necessary to think about revitalizing the Community through an institutional reform.

He indicated that on the occasion of the XVI Ordinary Session of the Conference of the Heads of State and Government of ECCAS held on May 25, 2015 at N’Djamena in Chad, the Heads of State and Government decided to launch an institutional reform of ECCAS. HE Mr. Ali Bongo ONDIMBA, President of the Gabonese Republic and President in office of ECCAS was entrusted to lead this process to its conclusion. He added that this institutional reform initiated since 2015 had the objective of “Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of ECCAS with the aim of achieving a major qualitative step in the governance of the Organization to make it a viable and strong Regional Economic Community, with an Executive having a renovated architecture adapted to the challenges of the present”.

His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO thus presented the innovations made to the new revised ECCAS Treaty compared to the old one, which are in particular:

– The transformation of the General Secretariat of ECCAS into a Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) endowed with enhanced skills and comprising seven Commissioners including a President, a Vice-President and five Commissioners Head of Departments.

– Creation of a Community Parliament, a Court of Auditors and a Court of Justice.

– Complete and definitive insertion of the peace and security architecture of Central Africa, including the Peace and Security Council (COPAX), within the institutional framework of ECCAS and its linkage to the peace architecture and security of the African Union.

– The establishment of a Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREP) composed of Ambassadors, Permanent Representatives or other plenipotentiaries of Member States, responsible for studying or instructing during the intersession under the responsibility of the Council of Ministers, questions and projects submitted to it by the Council of Ministers or any other institution of the Community.

– The modernization of the fundamental principles of the Community, and in particular the introduction of the principle of variable geometry with a view to accelerate the implementation of the regional integration agenda with the Member States which are ready and the possibility for those who are not to join later.

After analysis and debate, the bill on ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the revised Treaty establishing the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly.

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