We, the Ministers and Designated Representative of ECOWAS Member States, assembled in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 25 February 2015, for the first Ministerial Conference on Statelessness in ECOWAS Member States, facilitated by UNHCR and ECOWAS from 23-25 February 2015, in collaboration with the United nations and IOM, in the context of UNHCR’s campaign to end statelessness within 10 years;
Declare the following:
On the prevention of statelessness
1. We recognize the importance and urgency of obtaining concrete information on the causes of statelessness and the number and the profile of stateless persons in ECOWAS Member States, as well as source of statelessness and obstacles to acquisition of nationality by stateless persons in order to design and implement appropriate strategies to address the phenomenon. In this effort, we urge research institutes and universities to actively participate and call upon the international community, in particularly UNHCR, to support us;
2. We undertake to prevent and reduce statelessness by reforming constitutional, legislative and institutional regimes related to nationality in order to include appropriate safeguards against statelessness, in particular to ensure that every child acquires a nationality at birth and that all foundlings are considered nationals of the State in which they are found;
Download full text of Abidjan Declaration.
UNHCR Conference website with other documents for download in English and French: https://www.unhcr.org/ecowas2015/