Saturday, Jul 22, 2017

06-07-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday held the 2nd meeting of the Migration Coordination Group.co-chaired by the, Director of Agriculture and Administration Division-IGAD, Mr. Mohamed Moussa in his capacity as Acting Executive Secretary, and Counsellor Refugees and Migration in the Horn of Africa of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ethiopia, Mr. Simon Kreye.

This meeting saw the participation of representatives from Italy, Austria, France, and the Netherlands as well as representatives from the European Union, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the German Development Bank (KfW).

Mr. Mohamed Moussa noted the high level of participation from partners to the meeting whose main purpose was to update on the activities conducted and the progress made within the implementation of the IGAD Migration Programme.

Mr. Mohamed Moussa highlighted the special focus given to migration “which has both negative and positive impacts on our [IGAD] region”. He recalled the most recent activities such as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and Refugee Meeting held on July 01 and 02, the commencement of the Negotiation on the Protocol on Free movement of Persons in the IGAD Region held on July 03 and 04.

Mr Moussa thanked the support provided by the development partners and encouraged many more to join.

Counsellor Simon Kreye also noted the very active implementation of the IGAD migration Programme and the high level commitment by Member States to the issue with the recent Summit on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees held in march 2017 and the various Ministerial meetings.
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03-07-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning launched the Negotiations on IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons during the opening session of the first consultative workshop in this matter in Djibouti under the chairmanship of the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti and Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors of IGAD, and in the presence of the Director of Health and Social Development-IGAD, and the Head of the European Delegation to Djibouti and IGAD.

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01-07-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning opened a consultative workshop for IGAD Member States to deliberate on and adopt a common position on the United Nations Global Compact on Migration for safe, orderly, and regular migration and refugees under the chairmanship of the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti and Chair of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors, and in the presence of the Acting Director of Health Social Development Directorate-IGAD, the Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to Ethiopia, and the Chief of Population & Youth at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

This two-day meeting, which is a follow up to the Pan African Forum on Migration held in Kampala (Uganda) in May 2017, is bringing together authorities of IGAD Member States with mandates relating to immigration, legal affairs, and legislative bodies along with partners and stakeholders such as IOM, UNECA, the German Development Agency (GIZ), the European Union, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti, H.E. Amb Shamebo Fitamo, in his opening remarks reminded the audience that the purpose of the meeting was to “consider the preparations and consultations towards the 2018 UN Conference on Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration”. He then expressed his hope that this workshop will give “the opportunity to interact and explore on the IGAD Common Position on Global Compact on Migration and the way foreword”.

Acting Director of Health & Social Development Directorate-IGAD, Ms Fathia Alwan, highlighted that IGAD was the first Regional Economic Community (REC) on the African continent to have developed a Regional Policy Framework which was adopted by the IGAD Council of Ministers in 2012. Ms Alwan also highlighted that IGAD developed a draft protocol of free movement of persons in the IGAD region “and is kick starting final rounds of negotiations between Member States”.

The Chief of Population & Youth at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) also praised IGAD for being the first REC in Africa to be holding a follow up meeting to the Pan African Forum on Migration of Kampala held a month ago. He expressed his gratitude for being enabled to be interacting with Member States on the issue as they are the leaders of the process.

The Chief of Mission of IOM to Ethiopia, Ms Maureen Achieng, also took the opportunity to have some opening remarks before the agenda was adopted by the audience.

This consultative meeting is held with the expected output of an endorsed IGAD Common Position on the Global Compact.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 71/1 of 19 September 2016, entitled “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants”, pronounced the launch of a process of intergovernmental negotiations intended to lead to the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration and refugees (Global Compact on Migration and Global Compact on Refugees) at an intergovernmental conference to be held in 2018 prior to the opening of the general debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly.

IGAD has welcomed the timely initiative by the United Nations to set in motion a process to develop a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be considered for adoption at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018.

07-03-2017, Kampala (Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning launched a two-day Technical Experts’ Meeting in Entebbe to discuss durable solutions for Somali refugees in preparation of the Special Summit of IGAD Heads of State to be held in Nairobi on March 25th, 2017. 

The experts’ meeting was opened during a brief inauguration session where senior officials from IGAD, UNHCR, the European Union, Ethiopia as the Chair of IGAD, and the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda delivered keynote speeches.

This meeting towards the Extra-Ordinary IGAD Summit on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees is gathering experts in refugee affairs from the IGAD Member States and Yemen. The experts include refugee management agencies, ministries responsible for local government, ministries of planning and other relevant line ministries, as identified by IGAD. Development and humanitarian partners, academia, civil society and research institutions are also attending and contributing to the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a draft Summit Working Paper, and to start preparing the core elements of the Summit Declaration and associated Action Plan.

The Programme Manager of IGAD Health and Social Department (HESAD), Ms. Fathia Alwan representing the IGAD Executive Secretary, touched on the challenges in Somalia which are delaying durable solutions for Somali refugees: more than two decades of pronounced vulnerability of civilian populations in face of armed and internal conflicts, very limited - if not lack of - social services, the lack of reliable population data and demographic statistics, and the limited reach of the state and public institutions. For this reason, Ms. Fathia proposed, in her remarks, that focus should be given to providing assistance and support to Somalia in these four areas in order to achieve sustainable solutions for the Somali refugees issue. 

Director of the UNHCR Africa Bureau, Mr. Valentin Tapsoba, applauded “the decision by IGAD Member States to organize a Special Summit looking at a comprehensive regional approach to deliver solutions for Somali refugees.” He reassured of UNHCR commitment “to join forces with renewed energy to achieve the objectives of the Summit”. 

On his part, he UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somalia Refugee Situation, Amb Mohamed Affey noted the unprecedented character of the upcoming IGAD Summit. He highlighted the commitment by IGAD leaders to finding a sustainable solution to the Somalia refugees’ crisis living in the IGAD region.

The Deputy Trust Fund Manager at the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for the Horn of Arica, Mr. Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz, informed the audience that the issue of displacement and migration was on top of the agenda of his organization. He noted that networks of smugglers should be addressed while the benefits of legal migration should be highlighted.

The Deputy Director of the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs from Ethiopia, Mr. Zeynu Jamal, reminded the participants the assistance provided by his country and other IGAD member States to the refugees from Somalia, and called on for more social services to be provided to them. He appreciated the regional approach to finding sustainable solutions to the Somali refugee issue, hence the Meeting of Experts and the upcoming Summit on the subject matter.

The Principal Refugee Protection Officer of the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda, Mr. Douglas Asiimwe, also called for a harmonized approach to the question before officially declaring the meeting open in his capacity as the Guest of Honor.

 

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