In partnership with UNOWAS, the Annual Conference of the West African Bar Association concludes its work In Cotonou

28 Jun 2024

In partnership with UNOWAS, the Annual Conference of the West African Bar Association concludes its work In Cotonou

Dakar, 28 June 2024 - The annual conference of the West African Bar Association (WABA) concluded yesterday in Cotonou, Benin. Organized from June 25 to 27 in partnership with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the objective of the conference was to adopt the statutes and elect the members of WABA's governing bodies.

Thirty-seven participants, including nine women, representing the various bar associations in the sub-region, as well as the WABA Secretariat, UNOWAS and partners from the United Nations system, took part in the annual conference. Over three days, bar associations and legal practitioners exchanged views on a variety of subjects, including the role of the lawyer and of an organization such as WABA in ensuring a democratic, peaceful society, free from tension and conflict. They also addressed the outstanding issues raised at the last annual conference held in Accra, in August 2023, notably the question of the organization's statutes, and the renewal of the structure's governing bodies.

At the end of the proceedings, the participants adopted the new WABA statutes and elected the new Executive Committee, composed of five people including two women, representing the three language groups of the sub-region, notably the bars of Mali for the Presidency, Liberia for the Vice-Presidency, Nigeria for the General Secretariat, Guinea Bissau for the Deputy General Secretariat, and Sierra Leone for the Treasury.

The newly elected President of the WABA, President of the Malian Bar, Maître Ousmane Bouba Traoré, called on his fellow members of the Executive Committee to redouble their efforts and commitment to realize the expectations placed in them.

The West African Bar Association (hereafter the Association), which brings together the leading members of bar councils and lawyers in the sub-region, was created in response to the human rights and rule of law challenges that undermine efforts to promote democratic consolidation, good governance, sustainable peace, and development in the region. Since its inception, the Association's primary role has been to mobilize bar associations and legal practitioners to play a proactive role in the development of legal systems and institutions in the region, and to contribute significantly to efforts to deepen democratic governance through respect for the rule of law and human rights.