Official deliberations of the Administration and Budget Retreat of the Court came to a close on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, at Goshen City, on a note of total satisfaction. The President of the Court, Hon. Justice Jérôme Traoré, in his closing speech, expressed great satisfaction with the overall outcome of the official work done during the retreat.

Summing up his assessment of the activities carried out during the three-day event, the President gave a positive outlook to the general conclusion of the retreat, on the ground that appropriate answers and solutions were provided for all the issues raised, both by the Honourable Judges and the Staff.

He emphasised the importance of the adoption of the budget, carried out in a cordial atmosphere and devoid of any conflict among participants, determined as they were, to ensure that the retreat was a success.

The President of the Court laid emphasis on the provisional nature of the current form of the budget, in that it needs to be passed by the Council of Ministers, on condition that there is no objection from the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC). In his opinion, once the budget is thus passed, it is going to improve upon the financial situation of the Court and thereby the living and working conditions of the members of staff.

Touching on the nature of the document, the President pointed out that the budget respected the directives of the AFC, notably as regards the choice of activities which are likely to impact on the Community citizens, for whom the Court was established.

It is worthy to note that this happy end came about as a result of the 3 days of deliberations, during which participants numbering about seventy reflected on the achievements of the various Departments of the Court, and made relevant recommendations towards improvement in the future budget. The retreat also brought out the status of execution of the budget for the current year, and proposed a draft outline budget for the year 2018. The adoption of the draft budget brought the work sessions of the entire retreat to an end.

If finally confirmed, the budget promises a bright future for the Court, and will therefore have justified the broad theme chosen for the retreat: “ECOWAS Court of Justice: Prospects for Growth”. For growth to take place, the sufficient financial means, among others, must be available to back up the programmes and activities lined up. Without doubt, that was what the President of the Court was referring to when he stated that: “Even if it is true that the adoption of our budget is essential, it will be more important that for the next financial year, we secure more than 50% of the amount forecast.”